The weekend comes to a close and sure enough, “Guardians of the Galaxy” surpasses box-office records in bringing audiences back to see this film (let’s face it—you’ve probably seen it at least 3 times this weekend). As much as people like to give credit to the actors for their performance and director James Gunn, we shouldn’t overlook writer Nicole Perlman for her collaborative effort with the screenplay and direction of the final product.
In an in-depth profile on TIME’s website, Perlman chronicles of the struggle in Hollywood as a female scriptwriter with a vast love affair of science fiction. Perlman documents how often studios would address her gender as reason for assigned projects:
She pitched one company a project with a sample that they loved, but they told her that even though they appreciated her take on the article they had optioned they weren’t sure she could write the more action-heavy parts. “They kept saying, ‘This is a guy’s movie, you know, it’s really a guy’s movie.’ I didn’t want to say, ‘Are you saying a woman can’t write a guy’s movie?’” Perlman recalls. “What is a guy’s movie anyway? If you’re making a movie that’s just for one gender, what’s the point?’”
That’s when a frustrated Perlman switched gears and signed up at Marvel Studios back in 2009 when they launched a writers program. According to the article, the writers program contained “several writers would sign on for a period of two years to work full-time on Marvel properties and see what happened. It was a risk, untested and defying the typical screenwriter schedule, which usually involves stacking several projects at different stages, and it came with no guarantee that anything would make it to production.” Luckily for Perlman, the risk paid off and she was signed on board and chose “Guardians” for her adapted screenplay, which took 2 years of incredulous research and rough drafts.
All in all, I’m glad Marvel initiated the writers program if it meant bringing talented writers like Perlman in their team. Her goal is to shift the focus of the “woman writer” title and just be seen as a “writer,” which is an admirable and patient thing to accomplish.
I do still feel like it’s a little bit like, ‘Wow, it’s so crazy that a woman is doing this!’ I look forward to the time when it won’t be that crazy.”
My sentiments exactly, Perlman.
[Source: TIME Magazine]