It’s no surprise that there hasn’t been a female superhero movie franchise, but it is definitely sad and righting this wrong is way past due. Who better to call out Hollywood for this grievous error than one of its own towering talents—Jessica Chastain? Jessica’s confused by this women-less phenomenon and, frankly, so are we:
“Where is the Scarlett Johansson superhero movie? I don’t understand it, why is it taking so long for this?” Chastain asked The Wrap, rhetorically, and with no small degree of animation. “This woman clearly shows that people want to go see her in the movies. . . She shows that she kicks ass, she’s a great actress. ‘Under the Skin’ is an incredible film, and why are we still waiting for a go-ahead on a superhero movie starring Scarlett Johansson?”
With the exploding popularity of superhero movie franchises over the last few years, you’d think by now they’d have a female superhero movie. Sure, woman are always a small part of the A-team, but are also always put squarely in the sidecar of the plot. And you know what? Female superheroes should not be chorus girls, they’re headliners!
It’s fair to say that past films like Catwoman or Elektra didn’t exactly clean up at the box office, but times they are a-changin’! And besides, think of all the conventional male-led superhero movies that bombed. It’s not a matter of gender—people just want to see good movies. And now more than ever the public is looking for female representation in leading roles. I’m pretty sure audiences would be clamoring to see a Scarlett Johansson Black Widow spectacular or a Mystique spin-off from the X-Men headlined by Jennifer Lawrence.
And as Chastain aptly points out, Lucy kicked Hercules’s ass. Despite the fact that neither film was exactly a masterful work of storytelling, it proved that audiences were willing to bet their money on a woman. And Guardians of the Galaxy was a huge hit, in no small thanks to Zoe Saldana who, before Chris Pratt’s international media explosion tour, was the most recognizable face on the movie poster. So there’s really no excuse not to get some female balls rolling (ahem).
Yet, there are still excuses freely given for not making female superhero movies. By Kevin Feige, the president of Marvel, no less:
“I hope we do it sooner rather than later. But we find ourselves in the very strange position of managing more franchises than most people have. . . But it does mean you have to put one franchise on hold for three or four years in order to introduce a new one? I don’t know. Those are the kinds of chess matches we’re playing right now.”
Dude, you’re the president of the company playing the chess match. You have the power to do anything you want sooner rather than later. Slot in a movie starring a person that represents half the population. Because it’s not like you doesn’t understand the value of it:
“I very much believe in doing it. I very much believe that it’s unfair to say, ‘People don’t want to see movies with female heroes,’ then list five movies that were not very good, therefore, people didn’t go to the movies because they weren’t good movies, versus [because] they were female leads. And they don’t mention Hunger Games, Frozen, Divergent. You can go back to Kill Bill or Aliens. These are all female-led movies. It can certainly be done.”
You’ve said it yourself, Mr. President. And Jessica Chastain has said it. The public wants it. You want it. Let’s do it. And if Marvel can’t pony up we can look to Sony, who gave us Guardians, where they currently have a female-driven Spiderman spin-off in the works. It’s planned for a 2017 release and can’t come soon enough!
(Featured image via here)