Geeky Parent Guide: Keeping the Focus on Women in the Entertainment Industry in 2020 and Beyond

As we start 2020, another year and a new decade, the Geeky Parent Guide wants to dive into an important discussion that needs to continue gaining ground. We want to enhance all women in the entertainment industry. As a parent with a daughter and a son, it’s important for both of them to realize that all women are equally capable as men in every aspect of the world. It’s especially important that our daughter is given the opportunity to love football, as much as it’s important for our son to love the color pink or purple. So, when it comes to one of the best connections in the world – the art of storytelling – it’s important to see women in the entertainment industry - making decisions behind the scenes and being cast in leading roles.

We’ll explore various roles that women have this year, whether it be in film, television, comic books, or an overarching role in entertainment through journalism or social media. It’s my hope that women will always have an equal voice in the entertainment world. It is my hope that this same opportunity is also realized in every other aspect of life: education, government, STEM, and entertainment. For today, we’ll be focusing on a variety of entertainment fields that we hope you’ll look forward to this year. As with any entertaining story or medium, we hope you’ll follow each of these individuals and share their works with your friends and on social media to keep the important focus on women in the industry.


WOMEN DIRECTING MOVIES




Cathy Yan, Director
Birds of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn
Release Date: February 7, 2020

Cathy Yan directs the highly anticipated film, Birds of Prey, with many actresses leading the charge, including Margot Robbie’s return as D.C.’s Harley Quinn. Yan also wrote and directed Dead Pigs (2018), which earned several award wins and nominations from various film festivals.


Stella Meghie, Director, Executive Producer, Writer
The Photograph
Release Date: February 14, 2020

Stella Meghie writes, directs, and serves as executive producer for The Photograph, a poignant tale of a daughter learning about her late mother and if she’s similarly incapable of forming relationships that end “happily ever after.” Meghie has also directed, produced, and written other films, earning nominations, including award wins at the Champs-Élysées Film Festival for Jean of the Joneses (2016).


Niki Caro, Director
Mulan
Release Date: March 27, 2020

Niki Caro is directing Mulan, featuring Yifei Liu as the title character, which is the live-action adaptation of Disney’s original animation in 1998. Caro has earned many awards and nominations for films such as Whale Rider (2002), The Zookeeper’s Wife (2017), and North Country (2005) which also earned Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations for Charlize Theron for Best Actress in a Leading Role and Frances McDormand for Best Actress in a Supporting Role.


Patty Jenkins, Director, Producer, Writer
Wonder Woman 1984
Release Date: June 5, 2020

After directing the first film in the Wonder Woman franchise, Patty Jenkins returns to direct the sequel, Wonder Woman 1984. In addition to her role in helming this D.C. franchise, Jenkins also takes on the roles of producer and writer. This is similar to when she wrote and directed Monster (2003) which Charlize Theron won the Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role.


Chloé Zhao, Director
Eternals
Release Date: November 6, 2020

The continuing saga of the Marvel Cinematic Universe continues with Chloé Zhao directing Eternals, with a cast that includes Angelina Jolie, Salma Hayek, and Gemma Chan. Zhao also directed, wrote, and produced The Rider (2017) which earned awards and nominations that includes a win for Best Director at the Dublin International Film Festival, and the CICAE Art Cinema Award at two festivals. The CICAE is a “non-profit association aiming at promoting cultural diversity in cinemas and festivals.”

Zhao has also served as editor on features or shorts where she was also writer, producer, and director, including Songs My Brothers Taught Me (2015) that also earned awards and nominations.


Other Movies Featuring Women in Leading and Supporting Roles:

Underwater
Kristen Stewart, Jessica Henwick
Release Date: January 10, 2020

Gretel & Hansel
Sophia Lillis, Alice Krige, Jessica De Gouw
Release Date: January 31, 2020

Fantasy Island
Lucy Hale, Maggie Q, Portia Doubleday
Release Date: February 14, 2020

Antlers
Keri Russell
Release Date: April 17, 2020

Promising Young Woman
Carey Mulligan, Laverne Cox
Release Date: April 17, 2020

The Woman in the Window
Amy Adams, Julianne Moore, Jennifer Jason Leigh
Release Date: May 15, 2020

Wonder Woman 1984
Gal Gadot, Kristen Wig, Robin Wright, Connie Nielsen
Release Date: June 5, 2020

The Witches
Anne Hathaway, Octavia Spencer
Release Date: October 9, 2020

Halloween Kills
Jamie Lee Curtis, Judy Greer,
Release Date: October 16, 2020



WRITERS AND ARTISTS IN COMIC BOOKS



Jody Houser, Writer
Critical Role: Vox Machina Origins II, Issues 5 and 6; Doctor Who: The Thirteenth Doctor, Issues 2.1, 2.2, and 2.3; The Web of Black Widow (TP), Issues 1 – 5; StarCraft Vol. 3: Survivors, Issues 1 – 4; Stranger Things: Into the Fire, Issues 1 and 2; Harley Quinn & Poison Ivy, Issue 5
Release Dates: 2020

Jody Houser is an Eisner Award-nominated writer and has contributed to additional stories being published this year, including Star Trek: Year Five – Odyssey’s End and Star Wars: Age of Republic. Highlighting this past year, Houser tweeted, “In 2019, I wrote/contributed to 55 comic issues of comics. Including rewrites, I wrote about 1200 pages of comics this year.”


Kelly Thompson, Writer
Captain Marvel, Issues 14 – 16; Deadpool, Issues 2 – 4; Jessica Jones: Blind Spot, Issues 1 – 6; Star, Issues 1 – 3; Captain Marvel: The End, Issue 1
Release Dates: 2020

Kelly Thompson has been nominated for an Eisner Award for Best Writer (2019), and her Hawkeye series was nominated for Best Continuing Series (2018). Her works include, but not limited to, Nancy Drew, Star Wars: Captain Phasma, Deadpool, Heart in a Box, and Hawkeye: Kate Bishop.


Marjorie Liu, Writer / Sana Takeda, Artist
Monstress, Issues 25 – 27
Release Dates: January 29, February 26, March 25

The team of Liu and Takeda has seen Eisner Awards for their work on Monstress, including Best Writer, Best Painter/Multimedia Artist, Best Cover Artist, Best Continuing Series, and Best Publication for Teens. Additionally, Liu is a contributor to Black Widow: Widowmaker, and Takeda has illustrated covers for Spider-Man: The Black Cat Strikes, Issues 1 – 3.


Catana Chetwynd, Cartoonist
Snug: A Collection of Comics About Dating Your Best Friend
Release Date: February 4, 2020

Catana Chetwynd is the creator of Catana Comics which are tales of her relationship with John. Creating her first comic on Thanksgiving in 2016, Chetwynd released her first book, Little Moments of Love, in June of 2018. Her latest release, Snug, “captures the honest, playful, and relatable snapshots of romantic life.”


G. Willow Wilson, Writer
Invisible Kingdom, Issues 9 and 10; The Dreaming, Issue 19 (and beyond)
Release Dates: 2020

G. Willow Wilson is known for writing iconic characters, such as Ms. Marvel and Wonder Woman, while earning several Eisner Award nominations and winning awards such as the Hugo Award (2015), Dwayne McDuffie Award for Diversity in Comics (2016), and also winning the World Fantasy Award for Best Novel (2013).


Triona Farrell, Colorist
Crowded, Issues 11 and 12; The Web of Black Widow, Issue 5; Hit-Girl Season Two, Issue 12; Stranger Things: Into the Fire, Issues 1 and 2; The Web of Black Widow (TP), Issues 1 – 5; Hit-Girl Vol. 6: In India, Issues 9 – 12
Release Dates: 2020

Triona Farrell has works that have been nominated for Eisner Awards, and recent nominations for GLAAD Media Awards include her work on Crowded and Runaways. GLAAD is an organization “at the forefront of cultural change, accelerating acceptance for the LGBTQ community.”


Other Comics Featuring Women as Writers, Artists, or Characters:

Nebula, Issues 1 and 2
Vita Ayala, Writer; Claire Roe, Artist; Jen Bartel, Artist (cover)

Red Sonja & Vampirella Meet Betty & Veronica Vol. 1
Amy Chu, Writer; M. L. Sanapo, Artist

Boston Metaphysical Society, Issues 1 – 4
Madeleine Holly-Rosing

Wonder Woman, Issue 750
Mariko Tamaki, Writer; Gail Simone, Writer; Vita Ayala, Writer; Marguerite Bennett, Writer; Tamra Bonvillain, Colorist; Nicola Scott, Artist; Laura Braga, Artist; Colleen Doran, Artist, and many more!

Quince: The Definitive Bilingual Edition
Kit Steinkellner, Writer; Emma Steinkellner, Artist; Valeria Tranier, Translator; Sebastian Kadlecik, Creator



VIDEO GAMES WITH FEMALE LEADS



Ellie, voiced by Ashley Johnson
The Last of Us Part II
Release Date: May 29, 2020

The highly anticipated sequel, The Last of Us Part II, will be released on PlayStation 4 later this year. The initial video trailer was released in 2016. The trailer concludes with a very chilling phrase, “I’m gonna find and I’m gonna kill every last one of them,” which gives the game a Kill Bill kind of intensity right from the start.


Kamala Khan (a.k.a. Ms. Marvel), voiced by Sandra Saad
Marvel's Avengers
Release Date: May 15, 2020

Sandra Saad describes her feelings associated with bringing an amazing character to Marvel’s Avengers: “She is a first-generation American like me. She’s a young woman of color who has trouble fitting in like I do. And I feel like she has all of these personal struggles that everyone can relate to.” Kamala Khan gains her powers on a day that stains the legacy of the Avengers, which leads her to try to reform the group years later.



GEEKY JOURNALISM AND SOCIAL MEDIA

Bonnie Burton, Writer
CNET

Bonnie Burton writes a large number of articles on a variety of geeky topics over on CNET, so her CNET page is definitely one to bookmark for updated articles. She is also an accomplished author, writing Crafting with Feminism, The Star Wars Craft Book, Girls Against Girls: Why Are We Mean to Each Other and How Can We Change, The Art of Abominable, and many more.


Heather Antos, Editor
Creator of Signal Boost Sunday

Along with being the Comics Editor for Valiant and Image Comics, Heather Antos has created a way for creators to help share their works to the masses. For #SignalBoostSunday on Twitter, Antos encourages creators to share other tweets to help as many people spread the word on the many incredible creations out in the world.



WOMEN IN TELEVISION



Ming-Na Wen, Chloe Bennet, Elizabeth Henstridge, Natalia Cordova-Buckley (Actresses); Maurissa Tancharoen (Creator, Writer, Executive Producer)
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Season 7
Release Date: Summer of 2020

The final season of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will air this summer on ABC. This show features dynamic storytelling to match an incredible cast, earning Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Visual Effects, while winning the same category for the Hollywood Post Alliance.


Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Brooklyn Decker, June Diane Raphael (Actresses)
Grace and Frankie, Season 6
Release Date: January 15, 2020

Grace and Frankie is led by two icons in the industry. Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin have both earned Emmy and Screen Actors Guild Award nominations. The Netflix show has also earned Emmy nominations for Outstanding Contemporary Costumes and Outstanding Production Design for a Narrative Program. Additionally, the show is already scheduled for a seventh season (2021).


AUTHOR TO LOOK FORWARD TO



Suzanne Collins
The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (A Hunger Games Novel)
Release Date: May 19, 2020

Suzanne Collins is the creator of the wonderful Hunger Games trilogy and is bringing fans back to the lands of Panem. The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is a prequel that will take place “sixty-four years before the events of The Hunger Games, starting on the morning of the reaping of the Tenth Hunger Games.”


JUST A BEGINNING

Stories matter. Seeing women in leading roles within television, movies, podcasts, audio books, comic books, and every other entertainment medium is extremely important. It gives more kids and teenagers the opportunity to look up at the big screen or flip through the pages of their new favorite book and realize that anything is possible. If my daughter or son grows up reading or watching D.C. comics, I want them to feel perfectly okay to say, “Wonder Woman is my favorite.” As a Fanbase Press initiative, #StoriesMatter is meant to highlight how important stories are for all of us – especially young kiddos or teenagers that need creativity in their lives or to find a connection that lets them escape the trials of the real world.

As a father of a boy and a girl, I want them both to fully understand that women can do anything. That message is easier for them to retain when they see women in prominent roles in the entertainment they consume. Their recent viewing and love of Frozen 2 is a perfect example of seeing an amazing movie with women taking center stage. They LOVED that movie!

I will always continue supporting and highlighting women in entertainment, as well as all fields. So, if there’s a writer, artist, director, editor, film, or book I should’ve mentioned, share them in the comments below. Also, if you like this article and want to see more content like it, please like and share this article on social media, where you can find the Geeky Parent Guide on Facebook and Twitter.

Until next time, happy parenting and happy geeking.




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