1. “Wondering Woman.” Mark Harris on why Warner Bros. axed Michelle MacLaren, and what that tells us about the state of female directors in Hollywood.
“To translate all of that into English: Since studio development executives are now asked to be property managers rather than movie developers, not many of them are capable of sitting down and talking about what a story should be. And none of them wants to risk his neck by committing early to the wrong choice. So, like many modern-day blockbusters, Wonder Woman will be developed via the monkeys-at-typewriters approach: Let’s have a bunch of different people write different Wonder Woman scripts, pick the parts that we sort of like better than the others, proceed to humiliate the ’winning’ writers by asking them to interpolate the stuff from the ’losing’ scripts that we also kind of liked, let the WGA work out the credits and mop up the blood and tears, sew everything together, and sell the resulting Frankenmovie to an audience we will have programmed (via an incessant drumbeat of teasers, trailers, and post-credit sequences) to show up for whatever this thing turns out to be. That certainly sounds like every writer and director’s dream.”