Colin Trevorrow’s Comments on Lack of Female Blockbuster Directors Draw Criticism

Colin Trevorrow
Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Director Colin Trevorrow has come under fire for sharing his opinions about the gender imbalance among directors of big-budget studio films.

Known for directing monster hit “Jurassic World” and recently announced as the director of “Star Wars: Episode IX,” Trevorrow responded on Friday to a Twitter user asking if he thought he would have been hired for “Jurassic World” if he were female.

“I want to believe that a filmmaker with both the desire and ability to make a studio blockbuster will be given an opportunity to make their case,” Trevorrow’s tweet reads. “I stress desire because I honestly think that’s a part of the issue. Many of the top female directors in our industry are not interested in doing a piece of studio business for its own sake. These filmmakers have clear voices and stories to tell that don’t necessarily involve superheroes or spaceships or dinosaurs.”

Trevorrow’s suggestion that female directors aren’t interested in directing superhero or sci-fi films ignited vocal frustration from actress Jamie King, who tweeted at Trevorrow, “It’s unfortunate that you believe this.”

In response to King, Trevorrow attempted to clarify his thoughts: “I believe that there is an imbalance in our industry that needs to change, and it will. If I’m muddling my point, I apologize,” he tweeted.

Trevorrow’s perceived gaffe comes on the heels of him making similar comments to L.A. Times earlier this month (as pointed out by SlashFilm) when asked about the issue of gender inequality among directors.

“Obviously it’s very lopsided, and hopefully it’s going to change as time goes on,” the director said. “But it hurts my feelings when I’m used as an example of white, male privilege. I know many of the female filmmakers who are being referred to in these articles. These women are being offered these kinds of movies, but they’re choosing not to make them.”

He added, “I think it makes them seem like victims to suggest that they’re not getting the opportunities and not artists who know very clearly what kind of stories they want to tell and what films they want to make. To me, that’s the reality.”

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  1. Connor Johnson says:

    get over it people boys and girls are different. they just are, and neither is better or worse.

  2. I completely disagree. Women are capable of making these kinds of films if they were given the equal support, opportunity and creative guidance. I suppose you wouldn’t understand since you probably never had to endure such struggle.

  3. Moebius22 says:

    He doesn’t get it. There was only 1 good answer he would have given to this question, and that was to state no.

  4. James says:

    The answer to this question is not to answer the question. Your DAMED either way.

  5. jimmy says:

    Having watched Jurassic World, I can’t say that the director necessarily likes or respects women. I can’t say that he’s a great director either. Maybe I’ll like Star Wars 9, I hope I do, but I hate every aspect of Jurassic World. I can’t believe anyone like the movie to begin with.

    • Obviously many people love the movie, hence record breaking opening and terrific legs. It’s a great throwback to old monster movies which is why Howard character is perfect. I’m sorry but you can’t force Furiosa types in everything. That character simply wouldn’t work in this genre. Also, it’s double standard to trash the central death scene just because the victim is a woman while shrugging it off if the victim was a man. Like, seriously? Gender equality in movies means that women can die in gruesome ways just like their male counterparts did in every blockbuster. Women and children were off limits for such scenes for decades because it was considered exploitive. But now that SJWs drum up gender equality, women obviously don’t need to be protected from Zara moments cause they can take it, no? Gender equality. Oh wait!

  6. John says:

    LOL. Jaime King aka former teenage druggie James King – the biggest wanna be – as if her opinion carries any weight. Another old fart, past her prime B movie lowlife trying to draw attention.

  7. harry georgatos says:

    Not all female directors can be as talented as Kathryn Bigelow with brilliant genre films from NEAR DARK, POINT BREAK and the sci-fier STRANGE DAYS. A lot of female directors choose to have a snotty attitude to genre pics without a proven track record. A successful filmmaker should be able to go from indie flick to art-house films and genre films to blockbusters. A true filmmaker should be a proven journeyman then just making one type of film throughout their careers. If one does not have a love of sci-fi or genre pics in general then as far as I’m concerned they can stick to what they do best instead of getting some stinker that has no appreaciation of it’s material.

  8. Guest says:

    Female directors are totally choosing not to direct huge films. All the time. Left and right they’re turning them down. They’re all “nah”. Opportunities are just flying at them and all of them would just rather go shopping or something equally important.

    • nimportequoi says:

      If that’s the case, tell who ever you know to call me because I am a female director ready to shoot a blockbuster, sci-fi, etc…send me an email. I’m ready!

    • therealeverton says:

      Try reading the whole thing before you comment next time, it’ll be less embarrassing that way.

    • Mike Brill says:

      You actually said this: “Opportunities are just flying at them and all of them would just rather go shopping or something equally important.”

      Yes, because “preserving artistic integrity” = “going shopping”. Did you even read what Trevorrow said, or were you just waiting to jump in with that brilliant contribution?

  9. Betty Boop says:

    The lesson here is that no one should ever speak honestly from the heart or the truth. Just ignore the subject that will set off the PC Police. There is no room for dialogue anymore.

    • PC police is nothing and they don’t represent general audience. PC police hated every aspect of Jurassic World ( white hero, damsel in distress who runs in high heels, token visible minority who bites the dust, how dare they kill a hot woman and not another bespectacled fat male nerd) yet the movie obliterated records, had terrific word of mouth and made more money than many PC movies that White Knights approve of. For example, their attempt to contribute Mad Max Fury Road success solely to “feminism” is laughable, while they have no explanation why Age of Ultron boxoffice dropped so hard despite addition of another female superhero. According to SJWs, more superhero women = more tickets sold yet boxoffice dropped but a movie with damsel in distress obliterated that movie and it’s predecessor. Bunch of clueless loudmouths. I don’t understand why Hollywood bothers to listen to them when general audience proves that they don’t think like those loons.

      • @ therealeverton, agreed. High heels were awesome throwback to old monster movies, as was Howard losing pieces of clothes throughout the movie until she trips, rips her skirt and falls down in a sexy pose with exposed leg, post-coital hair and glistering sweat all over her neckline. In short, if you do monser movie nostalgia, do it right. That genre doesn’t work with chicks karate chopping dinos. It works precisely with damsel in distress because of the sexy undertones (primal animal, primal male, buttoned up woman getting more and more wild and free of buttons as the movie goes). That worked back in time before feminism but it works now too (hence why Twilight and 50 Shades of Gray are bigger hits with women than movies about empowered Furiosa). It doesn’t mean that we don’t need Furiosa types but SJWs claim that all women only want Xenas and boxoffice and best-sellers show that all women do not want Xenas, not even close. That’s because Xenas are typical male fantasy and majority of SJWs or White Knights are men posing as feminist women and trying to push for their fantasy tropes under disguise of higher cause. Transparent.

      • therealeverton says:

        I’m just making this one small point mate…The high heels were ridiculous and surely most people thought so right? It’s just like the endless runway in Fast 6, you’re having so much fun you let it slide, but it was a joke. especially with the slowest T-Rex in history chasing her… 35 miles per hour much? :)

  10. Rick Blaine says:

    I don’t think Colin is being disrespectful, albeit a too naive, perhaps. I don’t know the exact reasons why Ava DuVernay quit or was fired from Black Panther, but I do remember Patty Jenkins (who directed Charlize Theron to an Oscar in “Monster”) being fired from Thor 2 not too long ago. Kenneth Branagh had given her his blessing, in interviews at least, although I’m sure there were forces above him who could fire her or keep her. That said, it’s true that no matter what you say these days, you’ll “offend” someone. But whatever “side” you’re on, you’ll have to be really naive to think that there isn’t gender inequality in this industry (or most of them).

    • According to DuVerney, Marvel wanted Black Panther to be – gasp – a fun superhero movie, not a political pamphlet and spiritual sequel to Selma. So as a director with integrity, she couldn’t take the offer. Apparently, she hasn’t seen a single Marvel movie beforehand when she went into negotiations thinking they make political statement movies. I’m not joking, that’s what she said about why she didn’t take the job. Marvel hasn’t commented on it yet and likely never will.

      • @therealeverton, I get your point and agree that Marvel isn’t void of political but they are not about political and they shouldn’t be. There are references but they are not heavy nor they are the reason for making their movies. I guess that wasn’t enough for DuVerney but I also don’t think that either side was serious about collaboration anyway. Marvel obviously wants a black director (looks progressive and people pay attention only because it’s black character/black director combo otherwise they wouldn’t if he/she directed Spiderman or other whit hero) and they had to approach DuVerny or there would be “see, they snubbed a woman even though she’s more high-profile than her male counterparts that were approached” SJWs attacks. But approaching doesn’t necessarily mean dead seriousness. And DuVerney seems to be good at self-promoting so meeting with Marvel and then announcing to have turned them down is good marketing for her (shows she’s in demand while staying true to herself or whatever, sorry, not a fan of her). Marvel never commented so I guess they are letting her market herself while they always wanted someone else.

      • therealeverton says:

        I get what you’re saying here, and it will seem like I’m walking all over your point, I’m really not. Marvel put fun into everything they do, but that isn’t to say they don’t do politics “This isn’t freedom, this is for” War Machine (Iron PAtriot) as Drone strike allegory in Iron Man 3 “build -a -terrorist “MAndarin” etc.

        I think it’s more that she wanted to make different political statements than they did. The Black PAnther ‘s script was commissioned with the express intent of making a film that dealt with the political situation of Wakanda, of “black Africa” and so on.

        The very reason they commissioned MArk Bailey, Documentary screenwriter, to write the script was so that they could get a real edge to the film AND still make it a fun superhero film. As they did with their post 9/11 over security Winter Soldier film, but more so. Black Panther is a King and there has always been a feeling they need this to be different; just not as much as she may have been looking for it to be. Perhaps she wanted to alter their script, she did say she wanted to make the film fun after all??

        The Black Panther will be an interesting film, lt’s hope they get the right director, whatever their race or sex.

  11. therealeverton says:

    It doesn’t matter who you are you’ll offend someone who will make a loud noise abot t. If Joss Whedon can get grief from feminists because Black Widow has a love story in Avengers 2, it shows anybody can get hit, no matter what they have done in the past, nor how trivial what they are supposed to have done now.

  12. JR says:

    At this point, if you’re a straight guy, engaging in these discussions is an exercise in sadomasochism. The point is never an honest give and take of ideas or perspectives. It’s an absolute no win situation. Especially if you’re a public figure. And on Twitter no less.

    The point is for sites like this to criticize whatever opinion you express, no matter how honest and benign, to draw clicks by rousing the rabble claiming the “Internet” is enraged (because a handful of the professionally oversensitive on Twitter apparently make up “the Internet”) at anything you said. Better to just ignore it and go on with life.

  13. therealeverton says:

    Not seeing a reason to pick on the guy here. He’s being polite, respectful and speaking the truth as he sees it; from actual experience. Of course this won’t apply to ALL women any more than ALL men want to work in studio system blockbusters (where it is harder, but not impossible, to tell “deep” story.)

    MAny directors like being able to alternate their “Oscar bait” films with pure entertainment, so there’s also no need for the superior snobbish attitude some are displaying either. There’s nothing wrong with either approach and cinema would be dead without the cash Popcorn AND intelligent blockbusters bring in.

  14. He told that truth, and in doing so, was very considerate to all sides, yet he was attacked anyway??? Repeatedly, I have seen female directors and actresses state quite clearly that they don’t respect these kinds of films, those being genre based films. Further, they have stated that they don’t understand them, and want nothing to do with them. Well, what are you going to do as a producer or studio exec if your wish fulfillment director, that being a female, doesn’t care for super hero films, and openly dislikes sci-fi blockbusters and action films???

    Marvel just tried to hire a female director to make its comic book based movie Black Panther, however she wanted to turned it into an activist sequel version of her film Selma, so Marvel was forced to take a pass on her. What she did in turn was to attack them for weeks in the media. As well, a largely inexperienced female directed a Marvel based character, the Punisher, and that movie was a mess. Most women now only want to partake in making these blockbuster super hero, fantasy and science fiction films, not because they love or like them, but only for the money and the prestige. The problem??? If you don’t like or love the subject matter, how are you going to do the very best job possible? If you don’t understand or like the characters or settings, how are you going to make the most richly textured movie as possible? It is that simple. Your passion, or lack of it…for a project, then becomes a real issue.

    Female directors, writers and producers should demonstrate some real love, understanding and history of, and for, the material via their own past or current works, whether being in the form of film shorts, or full-length independent films, and/or major studio films. There is a woman who is largely responsible for Marvel’s hit Guardians of the Galaxy. She, while working in a film development program at Marvel…chose Guardians as a project and brought it to life. Why??? Because she loves science fiction and fantasy. She is the type of person whom should be given the director’s chair for blockbuster genre films, not someone who has only shot art films, rom/coms and period piece films, and doesn’t understand action cues, action pacing, how to shoot special effects, how to work with stunt teams, or even what genre fans deem to be acceptable, or not acceptable, in regard to feel and aesthetics with respect to story and character interactions within genre films. Why??? Because she has earned it, and shown a full tangible understanding and passion for the material, prior.

    Most male directors who get these jobs, know the history of sci-fi, fantasy and comic book genre based material, as they are lifelong fans of it, so when they go in to do a presentation for a studio, they know chapter and verse, while most women don’t, and couldn’t care less, and will say so. As well, when these projects come to agents, most women don’t fight for them, they just take a pass because these films don’t speak to them or their voice. Next, in post, they want to complain, as it is the PC thing to do. Yes, complain and claim sexism where there is none.

    Look, if I’m an executive and I’m hiring for chefs, I want a chef who has a passion for cooking items on my menu, say pastries for instance. If I have two candidates, and one only wants to cook meat, I am going with the chef who has a passion for cooking pastries, because that is all he/she wants to do. Now, ask yourselves, who is going to be the best and most consistent pastry chef between the two??? The answer is obvious. The same is true in film, the computer industry, government or sports, etc. The person with the most passion for a given task will be the best at it–gender has nothing to do with said issue in terms of hiring in this case. Stop complaining and learn your craft when it comes to genre fair, or simply do something else.

    • loco says:

      ” know the history of sci-fi, fantasy and comic book genre based material, as they are lifelong fans of it, so when they go in to do a presentation for a studio, they know chapter and verse, while most women don’t, and couldn’t care less, and will say so.”
      And I’m pretty sure there are a lot of women who are like that (knowing a lot of about sci-fi etc.) as well but never get the opportunity. Too bad your ignorance limits your intelligence.

    • me says:

      Good grief, maybe you should get a hobby. Are you auditioning to be a writer?

      • Anne says:

        “Most male directors who get these jobs, know the history of sci-fi, fantasy and comic book genre based material, as they are lifelong fans of it, so when they go in to do a presentation for a studio, they know chapter and verse, while most women don’t, and couldn’t care less, and will say so.”

        Wow. Presume much, Mega Amp? Clearly you don’t work in entertainment. On the most entry level of fandom, apparently you have never been acquainted with the unfortunately named “fangirls” or been to ComicCon, Wonder Con, Gallifrey, etc. Plenty of women there who know their sci/fi, superheroes and fantasy chapter and verse, inside and out, upside and down. I lived and breathed Star Wars as a kid. My heroes were Luke Skywalker, Superman, The Flash, and Aquaman. Many of these women have grown up, and wait for it, are making films and work in the industry. As a copywriter, I can write men under the table when it comes to sci/fi themes, but you think I’m given those accounts? Nope, I’m put on girl based-products (which I have no interest in, and as a freelancer don’t get a lot of choice), as a default, and when I have been given the chance to write for that genre, mainly because a male isn’t available, I’m always met with surprise at the detail and deftness at which I’m able to accomplish it. And yeah, I’m pissed off about it. /rant.

    • Best comment ever. It’s time to end the stigma for the “good” genres and the “bad” ones. The market decides that.

    • Mike says:

      You said “prestige” in the same sentence as “super hero.” That made me laugh.

  15. Mimi says:

    I don’t see anything wrong with his opinion. People will find anything to get upset about.
    And why the heck should we give a cr@p what a d-list star Jamie King thinks?

  16. Joey says:

    So “Star Wars” Nr.7 to 9 were offered to female directors? “Jurassic World” was offered to a female director? Is there one superhero movie directed by a woman? It’s VERY hard for me to believe that
    all the many, many, many women turned this many, many, many opportunities down, because they thought it wasn’t good enough for them. Colin Trevorrow is basically sayn’: “It’s their own fault! There is no discrimination! There never was! Women are too snobbish! They feel above the crappy movies I like to do! Too bad for them!” Colin, this is such a nonsense and such a distortion of reality…but as a male WASP you have the privilege to create the reality that makes you look better.

    • therealeverton says:

      Yes there have been superhero films directed by women; Thor 2 was originally to be directed by a woman. Sadly they parted ways, but she is now directing Wonder Woman and Marvel Studios were very keen on the director of Selma for The Black Panther, but couldn’t quite see eye to eye. It ain’t perfect, but it isn’t a wasteland either.

      • therealeverton says:

        What argument? You’re the one arguing. You asked if there was one superhero film directed by a woman. You got your answer , but that wasn’t good enough.. You then asked me to what they were, implying that I was lying and that you needed proof, so I told you. If you’d asked for dates I’d have given them to you.. It’s your argument and you lost it. You said

        “Is there one superhero movie directed by a woman?”

        The answer was yes, why the attitude? Just say “OK, thanks for letting me know.” I’m still …”

        OK?

      • therealeverton says:

        For Kim again…

        Yeah, as well s research before you mouth off about certain things, you really should read what the man is actually saying. Now not ALL make directors want to do studio “popcorn” films, anymore than ALL female directors DON’T want to do entertainment Sci-Fi, fantasy and superhero films.

        What he actually says is he has EXPERIENCE of women being offered these jobs and turning them down precisely for the reasons he states. Who are YOU to tell him he is wrong when he has seen AND been told by his TWO FEMALE BOSSES that they have encountered this. Now extrapolating that to all women is nonsense, but asked an honest question he had the decency to give the most honest answer he could The fact that there is a female currently working on a superhero film and another turned down a chance to do the same because :-

        ““At one point, the answer was yes, because I thought there was value in putting that kind of imagery and culture in a worldwide, huge way that they do in a certain way: flying, exciting action, fun, all those things, and yet still be focused on a black man as a hero — that would be pretty revolutionary. These films go everywhere from Shanghai to Uganda, and nothing that I probably will make will reach that many people, so I found value in that. That’s how the conversations continued, because that’s what I was interested in. But everyone’s interested in different things.”…DuVernay went on to say that the work her name is attached to is important to her and if she needed to compromise too much, a movie wouldn’t “be an Ava DuVernay film.” However, the director did support Black Panther and said she will see the feature when it premieres.””

        So there’s evidence that what he says is correct. He can only speak from his own experience and there is likely still work to do in getting ALL films open to ALL directors, of talent. But perhaps his insight may explain a piece of this puzzle. No problem like this has one sole cause, nor one simple solution.

      • Kim says:

        Thank you! So now we got “Tank Girl”(1995) and “Punisher: War Zone”(2008). I guess you ‘forgot’ to include the dates to make your argument stronger? That’s 20 years & 7 years ago ! And both had rather low budgets in the 25 mill. to 35 mill. range, no real blockbuster budgets. Are there more superhero blockbusters directed by women out there or only these two?

      • therealeverton says:

        “Kim says:
        August 23, 2015 at 4:37
        Could you please name one superhero movie directed by a woman?”

        I’ll give you two for the price of one!

        Punisher: War Zone by Lexi Alexander and Tank Girl by Rachel Talalay.

        There you go…

      • Kim says:

        Could you please name one superhero movie directed by a woman? (Not talking’ about vague future plans). And even if the negotiations on “Thor 2” and “Black Panther” didn’t work out, how is it possible
        to create from just a few examples the rule that “women don’t wanna do these blockbusters because of too high artistic ambitions”. This is nonsense. Maybe the contracts offered to them were unacceptable.
        There is a lot of hidden discrimination: Publicly companies give the impression, that they want a female director (to get the good press), but behind backdoors they are making impossible demands and offering lower salaries than a male director would get. Or the producers try to manipulate you into an impossible schedule, that you can’t approve, like it was the case with Lynne Ramsey. A male WASP like Colin T. is part of the most privileged group in the USA and has NO RIGHT WHATSOEVER
        to tell us “what’s it like to be a female director in Hollywood”. He has no clue.

  17. Cath says:

    What he says makes sense. I guess we would need to poll the current female directors and ask them to respond. How many, if any, have been offered “big” pictures? Don’t understand why it would be a slam to claim that women like to do more prestige movies.

    • Kim says:

      Correction: It’s Lynne Ramsay. A very talented director, who was treated very badly by the producers of “Jane got a gun”. They tried to force her into an impossible schedule, which she couldn’t sign.
      When she left, the producers blamed her, instead of asking themselves why they created these conditions in the first place. And guess what? A male director took over, hahahhahaha.

  18. Andrew says:

    Wow, you cannot say ANYTHING anymore without offending someone– no matter how benign and well-intentioned.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Don’t ask for a white man’s perspective on perceived imbalances or equality / fairness / opportunity etc issues. There’s little they could say that would please everybody, it makes them defensive, and since there are only so many slots available, the implication is that any assignment they get is at the expense of someone feeling underrepresented. It’s a no-win for them.

  20. R. Paul Dhillon says:

    What baloney that Colin Trevrrow is being anything but respectful to women directors! Everything in his tweets and in the earlier story shows a filmmaker who is not only honest but also respectful of female directors! And I think Trevorrow makes a very good point that many of these superhero movies are lame candy floss junk designed to grab dollars and are not of unique high artistic value which many of the top female directors would agree with or at least he has heard that from those women himself! He excels at these – others especially women don’t want to waste two years of their life working on something of little value to their life, art and passion for filmmaking! Kathryn Bigelow makes many of these big budget movies and even she hasn’t tackled this genre and even Selma director recently walked away from Black Panthers project cause she didn’t like Studio interfering in her creative vision! So don’t blame a guy like Colin Trevrrow for being honest and respectful!

    • therealeverton says:

      He makes no such point about blockbusters. He makes the point that they can be studio controlled, pure entertainment, and as such not appealing to all filmmakers, especially in his view/experience, a lot of women.

      He’s just made one of those films and signed on for another and isn’t trashing his own work & choices!

  21. James Hazley says:

    Interesting. It’s tough to slam this guy for being honest with his thoughts. But thats the PC gulag this country has become, particularly with anything pertaining to women.

    • Not this country, just loud Internet minority that creates illusion of big numbers. White Knights or SJW are few but they are loud and use access that Twitter/Disqus/etc give them to scream at everyone everywhere. That’s all that is.

      I’m very happy that Jurassic World completely obliterated Whedon’s “feminist” movies Avengers and Age of Ultron after he attacked Jurassic World’s 2 minute clip as “70s era sexism”. Well, guess what, Whedon? “70s era sexism” broke opening weekend record and had insane legs which means that people loved the movie, saw it multiple times and wholeheartedly recommended it to other people. And that goes for all demographics including women. So a movie without a size 0 chick who can beat up a guy twice her size cause that’s PC these days and with classic white male hero (no race-bending to please Diversity Warriors) is the biggest hit of 2015 by a landslide. That’s very telling of what real audience wants to see and has absolutely no problem with.

      Trevorrow makes a great point about general disinterest among female directors to take big blockbusters. Yet SJWs can’t decide whether they want women to be strong or always victims of eeevil white men so they spin this as victimization (although turning down those offers or just being disinterested and preferring to do their own thing = integrity = character strength). Stupid. Hats off to Trevorrow for telling it like it is in a very eloquent and respectful way, something White Knights will never learn.

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