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Star Wars producer Kennedy continues drive to hire female directors

Kathleen Kennedy says Lucasfilm is looking for woman director for Star Wars franchise / Jesse Grant/Stringer, Getty Images

There has been a surge of interest in female directors in film, TV and advertising, much brought to the surface by the “Free the Bid” campaign by director Alma Har’el.

Now, the push has become even more prominent after Star Wars producer Kathleen Kennedy has come out to say that she has “every intention” of hiring a woman to direct one of the Star Wars films.

Kennedy had gotten a bit of flak when she first stated in an interview with Variety that a woman should direct one of the films in the uber-successful franchise, but that the process was slow and implying that the female director chosen needs to have experience and be set up for success.

“We have every intention of giving someone an opportunity,” Kennedy said during a press conference at Lucasfilm’s Skywalker Ranch, as reported in The Verge. She said that the requirements by the company are just that a filmmaker shows an interest in the Star Wars property, and that they have some experience directing larger budget movies. She did say that while she had spoken to a number of female directors, none have been brought onboard as of yet.

Some had implied that Kennedy’s remarks about not yet finding a female director meant that she didn’t think there were enough qualified in the industry to create Star Wars success, while people like Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker) and Michele MacLaren (Game of Thrones) are out there.

Still, taking on a film in a big franchise is a huge time commitment, which means not every director, man or woman, wants to take on the project. But as men who have had success on the indie front get more opportunities to helm big budget films, like Gareth Edwards (Godzilla, Rogue One) and James Gunn (Guardians of the Galaxy), women remain too much on the sidelines.

Hopefully Kennedy and Lucasfilm can find a woman to bring prominence to the Star Wars franchise and embolden more studios to hire deserving directors.

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