Donna Langley Becomes Second Most Powerful Woman in Hollywood

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by Inkoo Kang
January 28, 2014 11:00 AM
2 Comments
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Donna Langley Monica Almeida/The New York Times

On Sunday, The New York Times published a great profile of Donna Langley, the Chairwoman of Universal Pictures.

The article coincided with the announcement that Langley's contract at NBCUniversal has been renewed until 2017, making her the industry's second most powerful woman after Sony Co-Chair Amy Pascal. 

Langley has championed two upcoming projects by women directors, Sam Taylor-Johnson's Fifty Shades of Grey (which has the potential for being a female-directed franchise) and Angelina Jolie's Unbroken. It's always good to see women directors on the studio slate, but of course we need more. Jolie's movie won't open until December and Taylor-Johnson's film is due in early 2015. 

The Times offers a bit of insight (or perhaps just plain conjecture) on the intersection of gender and success at the top of Hollywood's food chain: 

Ms. Langley's ascent represents a slight evolution in how women have navigated moviedom's uppermost ranks. The very few women who have made it that far have typically built a base of power by cultivating friendships with important producers, writers and actors -- serving as the softer interface between film artisans and ever-more-corporate studio owners. Talent feels comfortable with Ms. Langley, but she always makes it clear that the studio is her priority.

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2 Comments

  • Marina | February 1, 2014 2:51 AMReply

    Ms Langley women at all levels of this industry are thrilled at your appointment. Congratulations. I am sure you do not need a thesis on the subject of how men have dominated this industry at every level. To that end I ask that you consider the production of a XENA WARRIOR PRINCESS MOVIE starring Lucy Lawless and Renee O'Connor. There is a world wide audience waiting or campaigning for this movie. With a great script and adequate resources it is a guaranteed success. We do not need a F&F 8. We need a Xena 1. Xena Movie Campaign FB . Thank-you.

  • Kryss | January 31, 2014 7:54 PMReply

    What a great way for this woman... so now that this woman reach to be a powerful woman due to her rage, fighting spirit... she can surely understand that a HUGE Xena fanbase want a Xena Movie, in order to see one of the first woman who was able to fight so in a world ruled by men !
    Miss Langley... we need the return of Xena, the Warrior Princess.... all the Xenites all around the world really want the return of the Woman Warrior.

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