Rachel Talalay, director of 1995’s cult classic Tank Girl, weighs in on Wonder Woman, Hollywood misogyny, and her vision for a She-Hulk movie.
In an interview with VICE, Rachel Talalay muses on the revolutionary success of female-led Wonder Woman. The creator of Tank Girl, one of the first female-centered comic book adaptations, also reflects on how far women have come in cinema, and how far we still have to go.
We can’t make a big enough deal of the earth-shattering box office and critical triumph of Wonder Woman. The first superhero film to be directed by a woman, Wonder Woman has opened the doors to future female directors struggling in a male-dominated industry.
“There are plenty of problems with the fact that young men filmmakers are given opportunities where young women aren’t,” Talalay says. She ascribes the box office failure of Tank Girl to resistance from the male-led studios and a pitiful budget.
Talalay continued: “The idea that Wonder Woman got made on a really healthy budget … was part of the huge step.”
Wonder Woman has made a powerful impression on both female audiences and the film industry. Director Patty Jenkins has proved that a superhero movie directed by and starring a woman can be one of the greatest ones ever. But where do we go from here?
“The question will be how many female-driven superhero movies, and how many female-driven projects will be developed now?” Talalay ponders. “I think our battle is only one-percent won by the fact that it was successful.”
Rest assured though, Wonder Woman will prove to be more than “an anomaly.” Captain Marvel, the MCU’s first female-led movie, will be directed by Anna Boden (Half Nelson) and Ryan Fleck. While not official in any way, Talalay expresses interest in directing an adaptation of She-Hulk, the female (and frankly better) version of the Incredible Hulk:
"“I have such a strong vision of what She-Hulk should be. The difference between She-Hulk and Hulk is that she loved being She-Hulk. She was the Tank Girl of earlier days in terms of being able to say what she wanted, and when she became She-Hulk, it was like an opening of the door to freedom, to be the person that you wish you could be.”"
Here’s to hoping that Wonder Woman proves to be more than a one-hit wonder. Instead, let’s hope it enables the inclusion of women in an inherently conservative industry for decades to come.