In her role as Creative Executive for BOOM! Studios’ film division, Mette Norkjaer finds writers and track directors for film and television projects, establishing connections and creating a network for future opportunities. She’s always looking for new and exciting voices with an eye for diversity to ensure appropriate adaptation of the company’s properties.
“A lot of our content at BOOM! is female driven and female-centric,” she points out in an interview with WWAC, “so whenever we try to adapt a new project, I’m always looking for new, exciting female voices, you know, exciting voices from people of colour, and really trying to diversify the industry.”
She cites the efforts being made by Women in Film to flip the script when it comes to the gender disparity in Hollywood, working to promote female voices and equality. “So many stories that haven’t had an opportunity to be told yet in this space,” says Norkjaer, but by making sure there are female directors and people of various backgrounds on the lists she puts together, she can help push the industry forward with the kind of content that the audience really wants.
Thanks to there being more women like Norkjaer working in the film industry, more diverse voices are being promoted and more conversations about inclusivity are being brought to the table. In fact, these are conversations she regularly has, meeting up with other female Hollywood executives every few months to share the names of people they are excited about in order to create the kind of content that more accurately reflects the society we live in.
“It’s a constant dialogue,” Norkjaer explains, and one that she’s bringing to WonderCon this weekend with a panel called “Entertainment Is Female: A Conversation with Hollywood Executives“:
From the production companies that brought you Transformers, Deadpool, LEGO movies, The Walking Dead, Mouse Guard, and Mission Impossible, women executives discuss how they are pushing for female representation in Hollywood while adapting comics and games to the big screen. Moderator Tiffany Smith (DC All Access), along with panelists Jeannette Francis (Bad Robot), Mette Norkjaer (BOOM! Studios), Nikki Baida (Genre Films), Grey Cusack (Hasbro/Allspark Pictures), Aubrey Davis Lee (Lord Miller), and Sam Crawley (Skybound) will partake in a Q&A.
The panelists are all women Norkjaer has personally worked with or come across professionally. More specifically, they are industry executives who work with games and comics—IPs that typically skew male when it comes to representation. Norkjaer herself is a fan of many of the IPs represented by her panelists and gushes about Hasbro’s recent Bumblebee, which features a female protagonist. But her heart clearly belongs to BOOM! as she excitedly speaks about the titles that will soon be coming to the screen, including Mouse Guard, for which recent news reports indicate Idris Elba is in talks to join Andy Serkis on the project. Fan-favourite Lumberjanes is on the way. Kerry Washington is producing Goldie Vance, with Rashida Jones writing and directing. And, Norkjaer promises, there’s so much more to come.
As comics continue to make mainstream news thanks to their film and television popularity, the conversation around the table not only needs to be about diverse voices, but it must also include them. This panel promises to share the steps being taken by these women executives to make that happen.