By Melissa Silverstein | Women and Hollywood April 19, 2012 at 11:00AM
According to reports in EW, the Playlist and the Hollywood Reporter, the search for a director for Catching Fire is down to two dudes -- Bennett Miller and Francis Lawrence. Now I think that Miller is a great director. I loved Moneyball and Capote. But to pick him to direct Catching Fire when he has NO experience with something of this magnitude is ridiculous. And Lawrence who has experience with CGI and action films is a name not on the tip of anyone's tongue and also doesn't seem right having directed I am Legend and Like Water for Elephants.
The reports say that Miller is about to get started on a long term passion project Foxcatcher for this fall so that means he can't do it because Catching Fire has to start in the fall too. Lawrence is well, available, so if is down to those two, he's probably the one who is going to get it.
I find this pathetic. How come not one single woman's name has surfaced in any of the trade reports? That usually means that none are being conidered seriously. It's been bloggers who have put forward the female candidates and there are plenty- namely Patty Jenkins who won the job directing Thor but them bowed out. Scott Mendelson puts forward 9 women who can direct Catching Fire: Kathryn Bigelow, Niki Caro, Catherine Hardwicke, Mary Harron, Patty Jenkins, Mimi Leder, Lynne Ramsay, Jennifer Yuh and Kasi Lemmons.
I know that everyone in Hollywood says that they always look for the best director -- male of female -- to do the job. Well the fact is that women can't get on the list unless they get the call to direct something of magnitude. And quite frankly giving this job to Francis Lawrence just because you have run out of time seems to be the most ridiculous thing I have heard in a long time.
So here's a plea to Nina Jacobson - FIND A WOMAN! This is your chance to make history. Give a woman who you trust and can work with with the chance to make this movie. This movie will sell itself. It's not like the choices of the male options are of the magnitude where you can rightfully say that the guy was picked because he was the best for the job.