Kathryn Bigelow, Patty Jenkins and Ava DuVernay are among the few
Only nine women directors, so far, have ever been given a budget north of $100 million. Even fewer have done so without also having a male co-director or on projects that aren’t animated. That needs to change, and with “A Wrinkle In Time” opening this weekend, hopefully that changes soon.
Kathryn Bigelow – “K:19 – The Widowmaker” (2002) – $100 Million Before she became the first (and only) woman to win the Oscar for Best Director, Kathryn Bigelow was the first woman director to land a $100 million budget for her 2002 submarine thriller “K-19: The Widowmaker.”
Jennifer Yuh Nelson – “Kung Fu Panda 2” (2011) – $150 Million Jennifer Yuh Nelson directed the $150 million sequel to “Kung Fu Panda.” She came back for the third film as well with a similar budget, but would then be paired with male director Alessandro Carloni.
Lana and Lilly Wachowski – “Cloud Atlas” (2012) and “Jupiter Ascending” (2016) – $128.5 Million and $176 Million Lana Wachowski came out publicly as a transgender woman in 2012 while discussing the creative process behind “Cloud Atlas.” She would then co-direct “Jupiter Ascending” in 2015, with Lilly also coming out as trans woman in 2016.
Jennifer Lee with Chris Buck – “Frozen” (2013) – $150 Million Jennifer Lee’s “Frozen” won two Oscars and was a pop cultural smash, and she’ll direct the sequel as well along with Chris Buck.
Patty Jenkins – “Wonder Woman” (2017) – $149 Million Patty Jenkins was only the third woman to direct a $100 million budgeted movie solo. “Wonder Woman” went on to make $412 million at the domestic box office.
Anna Boden with Ryan Fleck – “Captain Marvel” (2019) Marvel’s first female-fronted property enlisted Anna Boden along with Ryan Fleck, best known for their indie “Mississippi Grind.”