Warner Brothers President Says No More Female Lead Characters!
Warner Brothers president of production Jeff Robinov just made a bold statement over the weekend: "We are no longer doing movies with women in the lead." Don't you just love Hollywood when the executives make statements like that? This is absolutely baffling, I'm still not sure what to make of it. Apparently this comes on the fringe of WB's two box office "failures": The Brave One with Jodie Foster and The Invasion with Nicole Kidman, which have only made $34 million and $15 million respectively. Nikki Finke from Deadline Hollywood reports the news and claims that a number of producers have confirmed that this is a real statement, but what is this going to do for Warner Brothers?!
Personally I loved The Brave One, I thought it was a great film with an empowering lead female character. Go read Ken's review, he compares it to a superhero movie and gives it a 9.5/10 - a fantastic review for a film with a woman in the lead. Although The Invasion was terrible, the point that Nikki at Deadline Hollywood is making about Jeff Robinov's idiocy is that the executives at the studios aren't blaming their own bad choices in directors over the mistake of choosing a film that had a lead female. This is just blasphemous to hear and absolutely appalling to consider. Apparently Robinov isn't even going to read a script that has a female lead to begin with.
Just consider all the other great movies this year with female lead characters: Freedom Writers, Miss Potter, The Reaping (another Warner Brothers failure), Waitress, Hairspray, Knocked Up (partially), A Mighty Heart, An American Crime, Year of the Dog, Eagle vs Shark, and Once. Also coming up are a few more really big female lead films: Elizabeth: The Golden Age, Enchanted, Atonement, and especially Juno.
One of the most remarkable things to note out of all of Warner Brothers' failures that include a female lead are that they were all produced by Joel Silver: The Reaping, The Invasion, and The Brave One. Maybe they should kick him out as well as stop making female lead movies that start with "the" and they'll see a change. Just look at that list above of female lead films this year - I don't think a film with a female lead is a guaranteed failure, do you?
Now maybe if every film made in the last few years with a female lead was bad and still failed at the box office than maybe Warner Brothers would be making a smart business decision based on the immaturity of the nation. However all I need to do is name Kill Bill and Alien and you'll realize that just isn't the case. The problem with these films failing lies with the director, the script to begin with, and most likely Joel Silver, too. People go out to see good movies, not movies that are marketed well or have a male lead. That's just how it is and you can't put the blame on the fact that it has a female lead. Look at Million Dollar Baby, that won Best Picture and it had a female lead character!
Nikki Finke and women's rights attorney Gloria Allred are already calling for a boycott of Warner Brothers, but I don't know if I'd go that far yet. I love Warner Brothers and I love the studio, at least everyone in the publicity side. For the most part they put out great films, some of this year's best (300, Ocean's 13, Michael Clayton). It wasn't until this was brought up that I realized the difference in numbers between films with male leads and those with female leads. However, that is irrelevant considering the moronic statement made by Robinov.
What needs to be done right now is that people must be vocal - the louder the better. Spread the word, discuss amongst your friends, and make Warner Brothers realize the absolute devastation that this would bring to their studio. Make sure you digg and reddit the article, e-mail it to your friends, add it to your del.icio.us and stumble it! Have something to say as well? Sound off below.