The week began with weeping and gnashing of teeth as Warner Bros announced that director Michelle MacLaren would be leaving their production of Wonder Woman, due 2017. The reason given by Warner was 'creative differences', but if that PR language seems overly predictable and evasive, Devin Faraci of Badass Digest suggests that MacLaren and producer Zack Snyder actually did clash over anything and everything they could. It seems that they fundamentally disagreed about the project's direction, and that really is a damn shame. See, as Wonder Woman will be the first blockbuster about a female superhero since the disastrous Catwoman (2004), Warner Bros wisely made a point of hiring a female director who would typically be overlooked in Hollywood's extravagant sausage party, leaving MacLaren as the outstanding candidate by some margin.

As television has become an increasingly significant mode of storytelling over the past decade, MacLaren has established herself as one of its best directors with her work on Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, and The Walking Dead. Television may not a director's medium - producers, writers and actors work consistently to shape a show's style and storytelling, while directors function more as hired guns on a few episodes per season - but she has nonetheless managed to stand out where few have. You know a Michelle MacLaren joint when you see one - it'll be thoughtfully composed, ambitious, and practically balletic in its carnage, and that's some accomplishment. Warner Bros therefore seemed compelled to hire her rather than obligated to in a spectacle of hollow liberalism. And indeed, the prospect of MacLaren translating her imaginative, no-bullshit approach to the realm of Hollywood filmmaking was why many people, myself included, were excited for Wonder Woman. That's not to say she needed the DC cinematic universe to find success or be legitimised in her field - she's one of television's outstanding directors whose best work yet to come - far from it, it needed her to lend some credibility and wrangle something good from the world Snyder and writer David S. Goyer are hopelessly trying to create (if you can't tell, I'm not on board the DC train, but that's for a different article).

To their credit, Warner Bros moved swiftly and announced MacLaren's replacement on Wednesday: Patty Jenkins. Admittedly, I'm not that familiar with Jenkins' work; she is probably best known for directing the Academy Award winning independent film Monster (2003), and, ironically, leaving the director's chair of Thor: The Dark World because of creative differences (with, it seems, very few opportunities in between). Still, as director of Wonder Woman, Jenkins will have the responsibility of being the first female director of a superhero film, a title she would already have if Thor actually worked out. As such, she will join an unfortunately select group of women that have been handed budgets exceeding $100 million. Jennifer Yuh Nelson had $150 million to play with when directing Kung Fu Panda 2 (2011) - which remains the most successful film directed by a woman - while similar sized budgets were given to Jennifer Lee and Lana Wachowski, who co-directed Frozen (2013) and Jupiter Ascending (2015) respectively with men. So, when Hollywood so rarely allows women the chance to take on its biggest jobs, when people somehow still believe that female directors cannot open a successful movie, Wonder Woman takes on a larger significance than most generic superhero fare. Warner Bros and Jenkins absolutely need to get right, not only silence the dinosaurs, but (and maybe I'm being idealistic here) to open up more big opportunities for female directors in Hollywood. Hopefully Jenkins is up to the job in the way we believed MacLaren would be.

What's next for MacLaren, though? Well, she signed a first-look deal with HBO last year, so we can expect more excellent television from her. However, her clear desire to move into Hollywood filmmaking, coupled with her clearer schedule, has led to speculation that Marvel will approach her for their 2018 female superhero film Captain Marvel (Angelina Jolie is also in the running). And, funnily enough, production on that film seems to be swiftly moving ahead as it found its writers this week: Nicole Perlman, who co-wrote Guardians of the Galaxy (2014), and Meg LeFauve, who co-wrote this summer's Pixar animation Inside Out. The film will be part of the third phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, when lesser known characters such as Doctor Strange, Black Panther, The Inhumans and, of course, Captain Marvel will be introduced in their own feature films. So, for those unaware, Captain Marvel (previously as Ms. Marvel) is Carol Danvers, a pilot who gains superhuman powers such as strength and flight following an accidental fusion of her and an alien's DNA (comics!). Her origin suggests this film will be a part of the galactic direction that Marvel are taking with Guardians of the Galaxy, Doctor Strange and Inhumans, so getting Perlman on board - she'll also write the Guardians sequel - is a canny move. Likewise, the fact that they've hired female screenwriters is encouraging, as that's something Warner Bros strangely neglected to do with Wonder Woman, which will be written by Ice Age: Continental Shift(2012) writer Jason Fuchs. Like Wonder Woman, the success of Captain Marvel is important, but the possibility of its success is more of a guaranteed thing because, simply put, it's a Marvel film; it'll probably be decent and make a boatload of money given their track record up to this point. DC just don't have that kind of power yet.

And so the inexorable torrent of news continued from there. But for all the plurality of opinion concerning the week's news, everybody appeared to unite to weep over the second Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer. I don't really cover trailers here, and I won't go into any detail because A) I know some people are valiantly trying to avoid consuming anything about the film before its release, and B) analysing trailers is kind of dumb; but needless to say it turned me into a giddy six-year-old in a matter of seconds.


The Weekly Regurgitation:

- Director Bryan Singer announced on Twitter that Olivia Munn will join the already extensive cast of X-Men: Apocalypse, due May 2016. She'll play the mutant Psylocke (real name Betsy Braddock) who, if my memory of the '90s cartoon is correct, is a kickass psychic ninja.

- Ian McKellen and the criminally under-appreciated Gugu Mbatha-Raw have been cast in Disney's live-action remake of The Beauty and the Beast, which is being directed by Bill Condon and will be released in 2017. They will play Cogsworth the clock and Plumette the feather duster respectively. (Variety)

- Michael Mann appears to be directing a biopic about Enzo Ferrari based on the book based on Enzo Ferrari: The Man, the Cars, the Races by Brock Yates. (Variety)

- Matthew Vaughn is in talks to direct a new Flash Gordon film. Admittedly, this is big news and probably warrants a larger write-up, but after the supremely ugly Kingsman: The Secret Service, I'm kind of sick of Vaughn's bullshit. Also, the thing about films is that most of them don't happen, and if Matthew Vaughn's Flash Gordon doesn't fall ill of creative differences, I don't know what will. It's a bizarre clash of sensibilities. (The Hollywood Reporter)

- Ryan Gosling is in talks to star in Denis Villeneuve's sequel to Blade Runner (1982), which already has Harrison Ford on board and is scheduled to shoot next year. This news dropped as I was finishing this article, so I don't really have any time (or enthusiasm, honestly) to develop an opinion beyond my instant reaction of "okay." (Variety - who seemed to break most of the news this week)

- In more interesting late breaking news, Mike Leigh will direct a film about the 1819 Peterloo Massacre in Manchester, it will shoot in 2017 and will probably be amazing. I mean, it's Mike Leigh. Mike Leigh! (Film 4)

- The program for Cannes Film Festival was announced. There are few films that immediately jump out, but that actually tends to be a good sign because Cannes is weird like that.