Tomb Raider and Captain Marvel writer Geneva Robertson-Dworet recently sat down with Collider to talk about female-focused movies and female creatives in the movie business. As part of the interview, she talked about the importance of having female leadership in both executive and creative positions in order to fully support women’s voices and vision.
Robertson-Dworet actually got the Captain Marvel job based on her initial Tomb Raider scripts. Though the movie was later rewritten to have a “more dramatic, serious, and grounded” tone that matched director Roar Uthaug’s vision, Robertson-Dworet revealed that the film was originally more lighthearted. “My early drafts were very Marvel in tone,” she said, “emphasizing the fun of it. Those early drafts became my sample that got me hired at Marvel.”
At Marvel, she was brought on to the Captain Marvel movie, which she was super excited about. “Oh, man, I love that character!” she said. “We really were bringing so much of what was already in the comics onto the screen, it felt like, in terms of the amazing character who’s so funny and sassy and talks back, and she’s fearless. I love that Carol Danvers is so funny. She has a blast when she kicks ass. Those comics are amazing! It’s an amazing world and sandbox to play in.”
Robertson-Dworet was also effusive about her experience working with Marvel – an experience which has caused friction with some creatives, such as original Ant-Man director Edgar Wright, in the past. However, Robertson-Dworet was delighted. “Marvel is a dream experience,” she said. “It’s a very structured environment. You’re in this amazing collaborative environment, where you go in and meet with the team in person, a lot. Kevin Feige is there, multiple times a week, meeting with you and talking you through his vision of it, within how this story fits into the universe and what you want to do with the character. It was a total blast! … We had all of the pieces ahead of time. Brie was already signed on, when I came on and did my six months on the project. It was very clear what they wanted to do, tonally, when I came in. It was just about refining that and making sure that the director’s vision was making it on the page.”
In closing, Robertson-Dworet was asked about her experience as a woman in the industry. She mentioned that Cassidy Lange, the vice president at MGM who served as a producer overseeing Tomb Raider, “really fought for my ideas,” and how allies at that executive level are important for women in the industry. “I think there’s, thank god, a greater awareness in the industry that we need more female voices, not just on the creative side, but also on the producer and executive side,” she said. “People out in the world who don’t work in this industry assume that you just get a female director, and then everything is great. If the female director has to answer to male executives, when you’re talking about a $100 million or $200 million movie, who are running the show, they’re going to be telling you what to do, and if it’s not that, it’s at least going to be very collaborative. You need female decision-makers on the executive side, as well, because they’re the ones vetoing what the female director or female writer might be saying.”
“I’m incredibly grateful that on Captain Marvel, we had a female executive on the project, we had a female director [co-director Anna Boden], and we had me, a female writer. On that project, they only had female writers, from start to finish. Meg LeFauve and Nicole Perlman cracked the story, as the first writers in, and then I came in. It’s been all-female voices, throughout, which I think is so exciting.”
What will be even more exciting is when that’s not the exception anymore.
(via Collider; image: Marvel)
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