Director Colin Trevorrow has become a fairly controversial figure over the last few years. His career path, leaping from a well-regarded-but-not spectacular indie project, to control of one of the most financially lucrative film franchises on the planet, to his current role as a slightly tarnished but still well-known producer of big-budget films, has frequently been pointed to as an example of Hollywood’s tendency to leapfrog white male directors who are merely competent over people of color and women who are actually great. That’s a perception that hasn’t been helped by his tendency to shove his foot firmly in his mouth seemingly whenever the opportunity presents. (As when he suggested a few years back that women don’t want the chance to direct career-establishing big-budget blockbusters like his own name-maker, Jurassic World.)
For what it’s worth, Trevorrow seems at least cognizant of the flaws in the system he’s profited from, if a recent interview he gave to Uproxx is any indication. Talking about his own rise, he doesn’t shy away from it:“My leap from Safety Not Guaranteed to Jurassic Park 4 was a symptom of a systemic problem in our industry,” he acknowledged. “I was a prime example of a status quo that had to change. Sure, it’s a multi-layered issue and all of that. But it really doesn’t matter because the heart of the problem is undeniable in that we have not been elevating talent in a balanced way.”
Trevorrow’s admissions and apologies—including a dismissal of his previous comments about female filmmakers as “idiot men saying stupid shit”—haven’t done much to sway his critics, though. The reaction to the interview—in which he also discusses the “acidic” situation that saw him lose the chance to direct Star Wars: Episode IX, the entire Jurassic World “high heels” conversation, and the “painful” response to his recent indie flop The Book Of Henry—has been a very mixed bag, especially since it’s easy to read Trevorrow’s comments about his new drive to support female filmmakers as a tacit way of taking some of the credit for their success. (People are also arguing that his apparent feminist intent on Henry—which sees Naomi Watts’ character subsume herself to her dead son’s elaborate plans for vigilantism—doesn’t read at all in the actual film.)
For his part, Trevorrow will, presumably, continue to thrive in the Hollywood system; he’s been tapped to direct the sequel to the latest Jurassic film, Fallen Kingdom. But at least he’s willing, these days, to acknowledge the role of Hollywood’s peculiar gravity in his constant ability to somehow fall upward into success.