Susan Wloszczyna on Producer Gail Anne Hurd
Posted on January 4, 2015 at 8:00 am
Susan Wloszczyna’s terrific series on women filmmakers for the Alliance of Women Film Journalists continues with a profile of Gail Anne Hurd, producer of films like “The Terminator,” “Aliens,” and television like “The Walking Dead.” Hurd has appeared on some of the most memorable Comic-Con panels I have attended, and I loved her stories about working for Roger Corman, where everyone on the staff was expected to pitch in on every task at hand, especially the interns.
If any woman producer in Hollywood deserves to be saluted for her perseverance, continued success and ability to be relevant in an ever-changing world of entertainment, it is Hurd.
Much like the female action figures in her films that remain the standard for big-screen female warriors – namely, Linda Hamilton’s Sarah Conner in the first two Terminator movies and Sigourney Weaver’s galactic bad-ass Ripley in Aliens — she is tough enough to survive the occasional bump in the road such as the critically slammed The Hulk from 2003 and Aeon Flux, a failed try to turn Charlize Theron into an action hero in a dystopian universe that came and went in 2005.
That Hurd has proven to be equally successful and influential in a different medium with The Walking Dead — based on a comic-book series — demonstrates that she still has a knack for being ahead of the curve in popular entertainment. The longtime zombie flick fan, she described to Rolling Stone why the hugely popular series stands out from other tales of the wandering undead: “The title doesn’t refer to the walkers. It refers to the survivors. That’s the key to the whole show right there.”