Michelle MacLaren Signs to Develop and Direct 'Wonder Woman' Movie (Exclusive)

Michelle MacLaren Podium - H 2014
<p>Michelle MacLaren Podium - H 2014</p>   |   AP Images
Charles Roven, Zack Snyder and Deborah Snyder are among those producing the movie

Michelle MacLaren has signed on to develop and direct Wonder Woman, Warner Bros’ big-screen take on the iconic DC character.

According to insiders, MacLaren will work with the project’s writers, who remain unnamed at this stage, to lasso together a script for the movie, which would star Gal Gadot. The actress will make her debut as the heroine in 2016's Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

Charles Roven, Zack Snyder and Deborah Snyder are among those producing the Wonder Woman movie, which is set for a 2017 release.

MacLaren was a top choice for the project due to her muscular work on Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead, although she is perhaps most associated with her directing and executive producing work on the much-loved Breaking Bad.

MacLaren’s signing caps off a director search that began in the summer, and her deal culminates an on-and-off-again dance with the Amazonian princess.

MacLaren became a favorite back in August, taking several meetings with Warners execs. Things cooled over the autumn as the studio widened its search. Sources say there was pressure from within to hire a woman for the job as the character has such a strong association with the notion of female empowerment. But at the same time, Hollywood realities were forcing producers and execs to acknowledge that while women directors increasingly work in the indie drama spheres or in TV comedy, few have taken on big-budget, CG-laden tentpoles. In fact, in recent history of comic book movies, no project has been directed by a woman. (Patty Jenkins came close on Thor: The Dark World, but left the project and was replaced by Alan Taylor.)

A Wonder Woman movie has been in development, on and off, for close to two decades. The last director attached was Joss Whedon, who left the project in 2007.

The studio did meet with several women directors: Jennifer Kent, of the well-regarded female-centric horror film The Babadook, was one, while Lesli Linka Glatter, a director and co-executive producer on Homeland, also was on the list.

MacClaren is repped by ICM Partners.