We're still a few months out from the release of Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn), a female-led ensemble film inspired by some of DC's most beloved female characters. The film is expected to inject some feminism into the largely male-dominated action space, and it looks like a few members of the film's crew are taking that to a whole new level. Earlier this week, it was revealed that Birds of Prey executive producer and star Margot Robbie and screenwriter Christina Hodson will be launching a female-driven screenwriting program. The initiative, which will be called the "Lucky Exports Pitch Program", is set to help foster female screenwriters in the action movie space.
The Lucky Exports Pitch Program will be run by Robbie, Josey McNamara, and Tom Ackerley of LuckyChap Entertainment, and Hodson and Morgan Howell of Hodson Exports. The two companies have reportedly selected six women to participate in the program - Sue Chung, Charmaine DeGrate, Eileen Jones, Faith Liu, Dagny Looper and Maria Sten. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the program began earlier this week and will last for four weeks, or through December 6th.
Throughout the process, the screenwriters will break, outline, and develop their ideas for original action movies into studio-ready pitches. The screenwriters will also be treated to informal Q&As and workshops with established names in the creative industry. The speakers include Chaos Walking writer Lindsey Beer, Godzilla vs. Kong writer Max Borenstein, Top Gun: Maverick writer Peter Craig, Birds of Prey producer Sue Kroll, Hobbs & Shaw writer Chris Morgan, The Meg producer Chantal Nong, Ready Player One writer Zak Penn, Captain Marvel writer Geneva Robertson-Dworet, Zoo writer Bek Smith, John Wick director Chad Stahelski, The Cloverfield Paradox writer Oren Uziel, and Mad Max: Fury Road producer Courtenay Valenti.
Ultimately, LuckyChap and Hodson Exports will produce each of the projects, which are aiming to have budgets of $30 million or less.
"It is no secret that there are more men than women getting hired to write big-budget studio movies, and yet there are a huge number of talented female voices looking to break into this space," Hodson said in a statement. "I have been extremely fortunate to have had the opportunity to work on a number of franchise movies, alongside great male and female writers. Feature writing has traditionally been a solitary exercise but it doesn't need to be. I wanted to create a program that was as much about peer-to-peer collaboration and community as it is about changing the statistics. Margot and I share a passion for championing female voices and feel that one way to do that is to connect these writers with a wide array of experts in big-budget filmmaking — men and women alike."
"We feel it is both a responsibility and a great honor to help create opportunities for the voices in our industry who are not yet being heard in the big budget action space," LuckyChap said in a statement. "We couldn't be more excited to join these six incredible writers on this journey!"
What do you think of Robbie and Hodson starting this female-fronted screenwriting program? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!
Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) will be released on February 7, 2020.
(Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for Paramount Pictures)