Barbra Streisand Will Direct A Catherine The Great Biopic & It's Another Win For Woman In Entertainment
Hollywood desperately needs more women in leading roles, but we also need more women running the show behind the scenes as well. According to a May 2015 article in The Washington Post, of the top 100 grossing movies of 2014, women made up two percent of directors, 11 percent of writers and 19 percent of producers in Hollywood. Those numbers are downright depressing, but this new information is not: according to Deadline, Barbra Streisand is slated to direct a movie about Catherine the Great, and it might be one small step in the right direction for the entertainment industry.
Streisand is a legendary performer and iconic Hollywood figure, but she also boasts an impressive directing background. Her 1983 directorial debut, Yentl, was a massive undertaking: in addition to calling the shots behind the camera as director, Streisand co-wrote, co-produced, and starred in the musical drama. In fact, she starred in the other two films she directed as well: 1991's The Prince of Tides, and 1996's The Mirror Has Two Faces. In making these three films, Streisand added to the (sadly small) list of movies that featured female leads that were also directed by women. By signing on to make a Catherine the Great film nearly 20 years after her last directing venture, she'll do it again.
It's worth noting that Catherine the Great is a particularly fascinating woman to explore. According to Deadline, the film will be about Catherine taking charge after her abusive, inept husband — the heir to the Russian throne — proves he is incapable of ruling. Catherine uses her "intelligence, fortitude, and passion to rise to power," earning her the title "Catherine the Great."
Screenwriter Kristina Lauren Anderson is signed on to write the script for Catherine the Great, which seems only appropriate considering the subject. Truthfully, I hate the fact that I even have to mention this as a "win" for women in entertainment: it should hardly be a rarity for women to be well-represented behind the scenes of a film, especially one that is about a woman.
But still, it is a win — and hopefully it will become one that encourages other films to place women in positions of power.