Who to Watch: Christina Hodson, Writer of ‘The Flash’

The screenwriter has been behind several of the biggest female-fronted blockbusters in recent years, and she's stamping her name on franchise filmmaking.

Christina Hodson at the premiere of her first movie in the DCU, Birds of Prey. Photo by TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images

The world of blockbusters, franchises, and superheroes has long been male-dominated, from the faces we see on screen to the producers, writers, and directors behind their stories. But according to screenwriter Christina Hodson, though, “there are a huge number of talented female voices looking to break into [that] space”—and she’s one of the few that have made it. With The Flash coming to theaters later this week, we’re highlighting the writer as one to watch.

Christina Hodson’s Focus on Female-Fronted Action Blockbusters

Hodson cut her teeth on a few smaller projects (including a script that landed on the prestigious Black List) before making a statement in 2018 with Bumblebee. Though this spin-off of the Transformers franchise sounded like an eye roll-worthy cash grab, Hodson’s script centered a relatable human protagonist (Hailee Steinfeld) rather than brawling bots. Her fresh take helped make it the best reviewed film of the series.

Her next venture was the lively Birds of Prey, her first collaboration with the DCU. Following in the footsteps of director Patty Jenkins’ powerful Wonder Woman, the movie put an all-female superhero team on the big screen in a revolutionary way. Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn leads the charge alongside women of varying moral compasses played by Rosie Perez, Jurnee Smollett, and Mary Elizabeth Winstead, and each is written as uniquely bawdy, brutish, and brilliant. Hodson’s script spares us the empty girl-power moments so common in big blockbusters, instead opting to show these female characters in all of their glorious, hilarious complexity. It’s a trend she likely would’ve continued in Batgirl, the film infamously scrapped by Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav for cost-cutting measures, but now she’s onto bigger projects.

Taking on a Troubled Production

Hodson took over as the primary writer on The Flash after the movie went through a series of major personnel changes in the pre-production process. Christopher Miller and Phil Lord—the duo responsible for The Lego Movie, who also wrote and produced on Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse—were initially propped up as writer-directors, but script duty was doomed to change hands several times over—at one point, star Ezra Miller decided to write their own version with comic book writer Grant Morrison. Hodson was given the project after her work on Birds of Prey, and she had a steep mountain of previous drafts to scale.

In the end, she seems to have managed quite well, maintaining her burgeoning reputation as an “ace genre screenwriter.” Her writing on the film has garnered praise, with the sentiment largely being that “despite being saddled with the baggage of the DCU’s failures,” The Flash’s story “manages to shine through the noise.” She keeps things “smart” and “playful,” and handles “the stakes… threats, fears, and conflicts” of not only her film, but the myriad DC installments that came before.

Christina Hodson (L) and director Jennifer Yuh Nelson at a panel on female filmmakers during Comic-Con 2018. Photo by Rob Latour/Variety/Penske Media via Getty Images

To Cinematic Universes and Beyond

That kind of franchise fortification is paying off for Hodson, as she’s fast becoming a key player in the high-stakes world of Hollywood blockbusters. Recently, she’s been tapped to pen the next Fast & Furious movie, and she’s staying on at DC as a member of the extended universe’s writer’s room. A champion of female voices in big-budget filmmaking, she’s paving the way for many other female screenwriters to come.

Who to Watch: Christina Hodson, Writer of ‘The Flash’