Dear Marvel: It's About Time We Have A Female Superhero Film
There are a few famous women brought to life in comic books: Ms. Marvel, Zatanna, Black Canary, Wonder Woman and Black Widow, just to name a few.
What do these female superheroes all have in common besides being awesome? None of them has a stand-alone film, nor are studios even considering giving them one.
The plight of the female superhero is one that has been discussed and dissected time and time again. With the success of films with female protagonists such as "The Hunger Games," "The Heat," "Divergent" and "Frozen," it’s baffling why both Marvel and DC aren’t putting money where the interest is.
The audience for "The Avengers" was 40 percent female. That’s a big number, especially for a movie that, according to studios, seems to be aimed at males.
It’s no longer a world where women only want to see rom-coms; women are interested in ass-kicking action movies, too! Watching the pretty (if not overly Hollywood skinny) girl fall in love with the hero isn’t enough anymore. Viewers want to see the females in on the action, kicking ass right alongside the males.
In regards to possibly making a female superhero film, Kevin Feige, the president of Marvel Studios, says:
We have a number of candidates from the comics and from the movies we’ve already made, it’s just a matter of finding the right storyline, the right filmmaker and the right time.
Um, Kevin, the time is NOW! What are you waiting for? To be honest, it sounds like a load of misogynistic malarkey. You need storylines? Here are a few ideas: a Black Widow origin story, a Ms. Marvel story that follows Kamala Khan or Mockingbird discovering her powers just as S.H.I.E.L.D. disintegrates.
I mean, come on, Kevin. Let’s stop saying you don’t have the right storyline or the right time. As for the right filmmaker? Well, lucky for you, Hollywood is full of them.
Obviously, the belief that the popular superheroes are the right ones and the only ones that could make successful films isn’t true. Movies like "The Incredible Hulk," "Green Lantern" and even "Superman" don’t do well at the box office, despite casting. So feeding us lines that you’re waiting for the “right” one makes you sound uninformed, and not like the head of a major studio.
If Marvel can make a "Guardians of the Galaxy" movie, then surely it can at least start developing a Psylocke movie, or DC can muster up the smarts to put a "Birds of Prey" movie into development.
Marvel has even started development on an Ant-Man film, which seems a tad overreaching. It’s not as if people were screaming for one. Besides, if you’re not going to include Ant-Man in "The Avengers," when, ya know, he sort of created them, then why bring him into the universe at all?
Even bringing Scarlet Witch into "The Avengers: Age of Ultron" movie is a step up, but how much screen time do we actually think she’s going to get?
Let’s talk about what the hesitation with making a female superhero movie is actually about: the fact that it would be about a woman. Execs seem to be uncomfortable with the idea that a female superhero film could do well, despite the demand for one and past successes of other female-driven films.
It’s a shame that the studios don’t take notes from television. One thing DC has done right is its CW show, "Arrow," where there is no shortage of female characters and female superheroes.
"Arrow" has introduced Black Canary, Shado and The Huntress, even hinting at Harley Quinn and Speedy. The creators of "Arrow" understand that for great TV, and to bring justice to the characters, they have to include all of the characters, no matter their gender.
Even a Daredevil show is in the works. What about Kitty Pryde? What about Zatanna or Poison Ivy? Why is it okay to create a show like Gotham when there are equally interesting and compelling female characters like Manhunter who could also carry a show?
Movie execs, all we’re asking for is a little faith that your female characters are just as capable, if not more capable, than your males to deliver an audience and money. Put your focus where the interest lays, and let me start writing a Wonder Woman movie for you.
I’ve got some ideas -- some really great ideas.
Photo via Marvel