Pedro Almodovar wants to make Batgirl, Jane Campion definitely does not

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A tale of two auteurs has emerged, each with very different views towards the current trend for superhero films.

Over the last few years, we’ve seen plenty of respected directors with unique artistic styles emerge from cover to comment on the superhero movie. Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola, Ken Loach, David Cronenberg and more recently, Ridley Scott, are just a few of the celebrated directors that have criticised superhero films over the years (albeit usually because they’re asked about them in interviews). Not to mention some of the more, erm, ‘nuanced’ criticism, such as Parasite director Bong Joon-Ho’s personal distaste for the tight-fitting costumes or City Of God’s Fernando Mereilles’ complaining that there was no sex in these films.

You can add celebrated New Zealand director of The Piano, Jane Campion, to that list too. Whilst promoting her new film, The Power Of The Dog, Campion, who is also due to receive the Director of the Year Award at Palm Springs Film Festival, was asked if she’d be interested in making a comic book movie. Because that’s the go-to question at the moment.

“I hate them. I actually hate them.” When asked if she’d ever consider making one, Campion replied: “I think it’s safe to say I will never do that. They’re so noisy and ridiculous.”

On the other side of the fence however, is Pedro Almodovar. The feted Spanish filmmaker is best known for his Spanish-language dramas, but at a screening of his latest female-centered drama, Parallel Mothers, the director said “I would like to do something with Batgirl, but I would have to do it in my own way.”

Whilst Almodovar certainly writes interesting female characters, we probably won’t be getting his hands on a Batgirl film anytime soon. An incarnation is already in the works, with Bad Boys For Life directors, Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, helming the project. Almodovar’s comment that ‘I would have to do it my own way’ would probably have studio executives in a cold sweat anyway, but still, it is interesting to see an esteemed filmmaker like Almodovar considering a comic book movie when so many of his contemporaries are less welcoming of them.

Here’s a thought, though. Can we start asking directors of superhero films if they want to make mob dramas? Or westerns? Or sweeping epics? No piss there. Just be interesting if the question was inverted, and we got a clearer idea of where people’s ambitions lie.


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