Despite recent reports, femmes take the lead

Contrary to recent reports in the blogosphere, Warner Bros. is still committed to women.

Despite the failure of three femme-centered actioners produced by Joel Silver — Jodie Foster starrer “The Brave One”; “The Reaping,” with Hilary Swank; and the remake “The Invasion,” starring Nicole Kidman — Warner production prexy Jeff Robinov insists he is moving forward with several movies with women in the lead. Indeed, he is offended by rumors of his cinematic misogyny.

Robinov is currently in final negotiations for a Cameron Diaz picture. And he made aggressive bids to land both Peter Jackson’s “The Lovely Bones” and the “Sex in the City” movie, but lost the deals to DreamWorks and New Line, respectively.

Citing such Warners hit chick flicks as “Cinderella Story” and “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” (a sequel is in the works), Robinov said he is still in the business of making pics with women. Warners is producing an adaptation of the Nicholas Sparks novel “Nights in Rodanthe,” starring Diane Lane and Richard Gere. Also in the pipeline are “Spring Breakdown,” a fish-out-of-water comedy about 20ish women on spring break, and the romantic comedy “Fool’s Gold,” starring Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey. Robinov said he would happily make Nikki Caro’s noble failure “North Country,” starring Charlize Theron, again.

Female superheroes are prominent in two upcoming Warners comicbook actioners. Wonder Woman joins the male ensemble in DC’s “The Justice League” and Silk Spectre leads Alan Moore’s “Watchmen.” Female co-stars figure in both “Speed Racer” and “Get Smart.” And Robinov is still seeking the right script and star for a “Wonder Woman” feature, which has been in development for a decade.

Poor execution and bad timing at the end of the most recent horror cycle were part of the poor reception for the horrorific “The Reaping” and “The Invasion,” for which both Kidman and co-star Daniel Craig did limited promotion. As for Neil Jordan’s brainy twist on the vigilante genre, “The Brave One,” Robinov said he is “proud of the movie,” which Foster continues to support around the world. “It’s tricky,” he said. “It may have been too rough for women, and we didn’t get the reviews we had expected.”

Action features starring women remain a hard sell for many moviegoers. But Robinov said he is still willing to put a femme star into an action role. “But, like any other movie, it has to be the right movie with the right actor and the right filmmaker at the right time,” he said.

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