Why Craig Gillespie Is a Great Pick to Direct Woman of Tomorrow


The I, Tonya director will reportedly helm the DCU’s Supergirl reboot.

DC’s Supergirl reboot has seemingly found its director, with reports indicating that Cruella and Pam & Tommy director Craig Gillespie is set to helm the film. Based on Tom King and Bilquis Evely’s recent comic miniseries Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow, the project has already cast House of the Dragon star Milly Alcock in the titular role of Kara Zor-El / Supergirl, and is believed to begin production later this year. There’s already been a lot of speculation about what significance the Supergirl movie will have as part of James Gunn and Peter Safran‘s DC Universe, and those conversations are sure to grow now that Gillespie is believed to be attached.  

For some DC fans, Gillespie might be a surprising pick for Supergirl, especially after there were plenty of online campaigns and suggestions of female directors for the job. (This certainly isn’t the first, or probably last time, that the topic of the behind-the-scenes gender divide in superhero movies will come up, but that’s a conversation for another day). But if Gillespie does ultimately end up directing DC’s Supergirl reboot, he could end up being a pretty inspired choice.

Gillespie’s film and TV career has already spanned a wide variety of genres and scopes, from the bizarre mumblecore of 2007’s Lars and the Real Girl, to the gruesome comedy of 2011’s Fright Night reboot, to the harrowing melodrama of 2016’s The Finest Hours. While nothing in his filmography exactly matches the massive cosmic scale that has been teased for Supergirl, he certainly has some experience dealing with visual spectacle or CGI-driven shots. He has also exclusively worked off of screenplays that were written by other people, which could bode well for Ana Noguiera’s existing Supergirl script, which Gunn has teased went “above and beyond” any of his expectations, being faithfully brought to life onscreen. 

In recent years, Gillespie has been at the helm of projects — 2017’s I, Tonya, 2021’s Cruella, and 2022’s Pam & Tommy — that have taken a surprising approach to the female experience. The tone of these three projects, both through their established scripts and Gillespie’s direction, has been acerbic, while also successfully humanizing their larger-than-life protagonists. Each project has challenged audiences’ preconceived notions about their well-known subject, whether it be a real person like I, Tonya‘s Tonya Harding (Margot Robbie) or Pam & Tommy‘s Pamela Anderson (Lily James), or an iconic Disney villain in Cruella‘s Cruella de Vil (Emma Stone). It also is undeniable that each project was anchored by its central female performance, with Stone being the most buzzed-about part of Cruella by far, Robbie earning an Oscar nomination, and James earning an Emmy nomination. 

That brings us to Supergirl — a movie about a character who is basically already a household name, appearing in previous movies, six seasons of a television show, multiple family-friendly cartoons, and countless pieces of merchandise. And yet, there is still so much that the world doesn’t know about the heroine, both because of the confusing nature of her DC past, and because she is still regarded by many as a second-stringer to her cousin, Superman. This exact topic is what King and Evely’s Woman of Tomorrow tackles wholeheartedly, showing a Kara Zor-El who traverses around the cosmos in search of a new purpose while grappling with the trauma of her past. When Gunn and Safran first announced the movie adaptation, they specifically cited that it will deliver “a much harsher and more f-cked up” portrayal of Supergirl than audiences are used to. If Gillespie does end up directing the movie, it’s easy to see Kara’s emotions, and the ensuing quest she goes on to help a young girl named Ruthye, being tackled in a flashy but understanding manner. As Gillespie himself told ComicBook.com around Cruella‘s release, he likes “trying to find that humanity and that empathy and that understanding” towards protagonists who might be otherwise seen as two-dimensional. It stands to reason he could successfully take the same approach to DC’s Maid of Might.

How do you feel about Craig Gillespie directing DC’s Supergirl movie? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

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