Disney CEO Says 40% of Disney Studios Upcoming Movie Slate is Being Directed by Women

At the Sundance Film Festival last week, the 4% Challenge was proposed to Hollywood. In a keynote [...]

At the Sundance Film Festival last week, the 4% Challenge was proposed to Hollywood. In a keynote address, Tessa Thompson (Thor: Ragnarok, Westworld) formally launched the TIME'S UP and the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative 4% Challenge, which is committed to studios hiring more women directors.

However, the folks at Walt Disney Studios are way ahead of the curve. According to Robert Iger, Chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company, sent out a tweet yesterday that reassured fans there will be a strong female presence in the company's upcoming slate of films.

"Many have contacted us about accepting the 4% challenge, but I'm proud to say 40% of @DisneyStudios' upcoming movie slate is being directed by women and we are striving for more!," he wrote.

It's unclear if Iger is factoring in Marvel and Star Wars, the former of which will see its first woman at the helm with the upcoming Captain Marvel. Anna Boden is directing alongside longtime collaborator, Ryan Fleck.

The biggest upcoming Disney title to be directed by a woman is the highly anticipated Frozen 2, which is being helmed by Jennifer Lee. The Lion King, Artemis Fowl, Jungle Cruise, Toy Story 4, Maleficent 2, Aladdin, and Dumbo are all being directed by men, so we can only assume Disney has some more unspecified projects in the works.

The upcoming live action Mulan, which is slated for March 2020, is being directed by Niki Caro who is best known for directing Whale Rider and The Zookeeper's Wife. Disney+ is also developing an adaptation of Stargirl, which will be the first original film to debut on the streaming service. The movie is being directed by Julia Hart who directed Miss Stevens and Fast Color.

Thea Sherrock (Me Before You) is also directing The One and Only Ivan, which is being adapted from the book of the same name. The movie does not yet has a release date, but production began last year.

Last summer, it was also announced that Cate Shortland would be taking on the role of director for the long-awaited Black Widow stand-alone film.

While Disney claims to be ahead of the 4% Challenge, other studios have also been vocal about being a part of the movement. Earlier this week, Universal Studios became the first to publicly accept the challenge.

To learn more about the 4% Challenge, visit the TIME'S UP website here.

Are there any specific movies or franchises you'd like to see helmed by women? Tell us in the comments!

This year, Captain Marvel is hitting theaters on March 8 and Frozen 2 on November 22.


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