“There are no female filmmakers interested in the genre” is possibly the worst thing anyone could say when asked why there are no female filmmakers yet for said genre. Patty Jenkins has proven that theory wrong for the comic book genre with Wonder Woman. Jennifer Kent took on the horror genre with The Babadook. So to say there are no female filmmakers interested in genre films would be very incorrect. Plus, it’s 2018.
And yet, the thing that should not be said, continues to be said. This time, Blumhouse CEO Jason Blum tried to explain why there haven’t been any female directors for a Blumhouse film. Let’s just say, it’s an explanation that wasn’t well-received and he has since issued an apology for his comments. More on the report below.
Blum spoke to Polygon to talk about Blumhouse’s latest film, Halloween – check out our review here. During the interview he was asked why he hasn’t hired any females to direct a Blumhouse film. Here’s what he had to say:
“There are not a lot of female directors period, and even less who are inclined to do horror. I’m a massive admirer of [The Babadook director] Jennifer Kent. I’ve offered her every movie we’ve had available. She’s turned me down every time.”
Okay, to say “there are not a lot of female directors period” is really bad, but to follow that up with “and even less who are inclined to do horror” is pretty much digging your own grave. Both parts of that statement are completely, and utterly wrong.
However, Blum tried to redeem himself by saying he did offer the job to two females. The aforementioned Kent, and Leigh Janiak, who directed the SXSW-dominating Honeymoon in 2014. Janiak later confirmed that she had met with Blumhouse and had to decline due to scheduling, but said she’s confident they’ll work on something soon.
Offers not working out happens. It’s just a part of the business. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t other female filmmakers who are interested in directing a horror film. And yes, it’s risky to offer it to an unknown director, of any gender. However, those unknowns are just as passionate about the genre as the household name directors. James Wan wouldn’t have gotten to where he is now if no one took a chance on him. Of course, that’s a male. So look at Patty Jenkins, who only directed Monster and a handful of TV episodes before landing Wonder Woman.
I do appreciate that Jason Blum has tried to hire a female director. I just hope that he either tries a lot harder by looking elsewhere or take a risk by looking at some unknowns.
Blum has since released this apology for his comments: