Yet another comic book series is going to be adapted for the big screen, and there’s good news and bad news.
The good news: That comic is “Lumberjanes,” one of the best comic books of 2014. It’s about five girls who are best friends and attend the “Miss Quinzella Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet’s Camp for Hardcore Lady Types.” They’re like Girl Scouts, but aren’t as concerned with selling cookies as they are with being awesome, as well as fighting weird supernatural bearwomen because, to quote the comic, “duh.”
“Lumberjanes” is also a fantastic piece of feminist fiction, created for women, by women at a time when cultural concern for comic book publishers’ efforts to reach out to female fans began to reach a fever pitch. Noelle Stevenson, Shannon Waters, Grace Ellis, and Brooke A. Allen’s creation managed to be both necessary and entertaining, simultaneously important, and a really fun time.
It is also very, very funny.
Here’s the bad news, or at least the strange news: According to The Wrap, 20th Century Fox has chosen Will Widger — writer of the hot Black List script “Munchkin” — to adapt the comic for the screen. That’s a bit concerning.
As Rachel Handlen writes over at The Dissolve, “It’s massively disappointing that Fox didn’t entrust a woman with adapting this lady-empowering, trope-smashing work of art.” She’s right, too. Half of the point of “Lumberjanes” is that, behind the extremely funny, all-ages adventures, is a fierce defiance of old assumptions that pop culture made by and for women doesn’t have broad appeal, and that women aren’t worth marketing anything other than romances to.
Widger may be a very good writer — and he probably is — but ultimately, the decision to hire him will come across as hopelessly tone deaf at best, and a betrayal of what the “Lumberjanes” comic stands for at worst.
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