With I, Tonya, Margot Robbie makes her first steps as a producer, a role that she combined with her leading role as Tony Harding in the biopic.
Earlier this week I sat down to talk about her work on “I, Tonya,” while also asking her for an update on when we can next expect to see Harley Quinn in the DCEU, which is when she told me she has been working on her own story for the character.
With my last very question, though, I asked if there was anything she had learnt from producing “I, Tonya” that had made her appreciate the work put in by those in the same position in the DCEU.
“The most important thing as a producer is it’s your job when you pick your director to stand by your director,” Robbie explained. “You can’t stand by your director and second guess everything. There are times when you step in and debate a certain situation. You don’t want to leave any stone unturned.”
“In my opinion a good producer trusts their director, and their job is to enable that director’s vision. That’s it. That’s your job. If that’s your director’s vision you need to do everything in your power to make that possible. And I think that’s a wonderful thing.”
“In the DC Universe, too, once you decide on who your director is, and they have a vision, you have to enable that vision and step in at moments to keep it on course if need be. I think that’s the way. I think that’s what a producer should do.”
There have been rumors that other producers in Warner Bros’ DCEU haven’t acted in this manner, though. While Zack Snyder was given free rein to work his particular brand of cinematic magic on “Man Of Steel” and “Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice,” the savage critical response to the latter reportedly led to two different edits of “Suicide Squad” being ordered by Warner Bros.
One of these was from director David Ayer, which was called a more “somber” cut, while the other was from the editing team behind its successful trailer. Ultimately it is believed that a compromise was reached and they found a middle ground. That didn’t really work though because the reviews for “Suicide Squad” were actually worse than “Batman v Superman.”
“Justice League” was also reportedly changed following the tepid response to “Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice,” as a lighter tone was injected to appease fans that found the original too dark. Not only was Joss Whedon brought in as a co-writer, but he conducted the reshoots, too. But, to be fair to Warner Bros, that was only because a family tragedy stopped Zack Snyder from doing so.
However, to criticize Warner Bros and the DCEU for these decision would be harsh. Especially because Marvel, 20th Century Fox, and Lucasfilm have been much harsher to directors overseeing their Cinematic Universes.
They have either dismissed them in pre-production after nearly a decade (Edgar Wright on “Ant-Man”), fired them mid-shoot (Phil Lord and Christopher Miller on “Han Solo”), or taken the edit away from them after shooting (Gareth Edwards on “Rogue One,” Josh Trank on “Fantastic Four,” Joss Whedon on “Avengers: Age Of Ultron”).
The fact that “I, Tonya’s” budget was only $11 million and all of the films above cost somewhere between $150 million and $250 million tells its own story, though.
Finger crossed that if Margot Robbie was to oversee a blockbuster of this size she would still prove to be a woman of her word, and give them the freedom she afforded Craig Gillespie on “I, Tonya.”
“I, Tonya” is released in New York on December 8, while it will be expanded across the US in the subsequent weeks.