Kevin Feige has been dancing around the possibility of a female-led superhero movie for some time now. He’s been asked several times over the years about films for characters like Black Widow and Ms. Marvel, and always says that he’s open to the idea. He even supports the idea. He’s just apparently not willing to commit to it. Or as he suggests, he feels that Marvel is, at the moment, too busy.
To Feige’s credit, he does support a lot of the arguments that we’ve been telling Hollywood studios for years. It’s no secret that Tinsletown believes that female-led films are “risky,” box office-wise. They are, of course, forgetting films like The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and Frozen, two of the biggest box office successes of 2013, and Lucy, which topped Hercules at the box office last weekend. And those are just three recent examples.
Feige is very aware of this studio mentality, as he recently told Comic Book Resources:
“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.”
Great! Feige’s on board, Marvel has plenty of great female characters to choose from, and have proven with a risky property like Guardians of the Galaxy that their fanbase is loyal and willing to stick around for whatever they give them. So, what’s the holdup? Well, as it turns out, it’s just… too hard to throw a female superhero into the mix right now?!
“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 – which is a very, very good thing and we don’t take for granted, but is a challenging thing. You may notice from those release dates, we have three for 2017. And that’s because just the timing worked on what was sort of gearing up. But it does mean you have to put one franchise on hold for three or four years in order to introduce a new one.”
Okay, there’s no doubt that juggling several high-profile, big budget tentpole projects is a difficult thing to do, and an even harder thing to do properly. And yes, Marvel’s upcoming slate (which also includes three films for 2018), is crowded. But is it really too crowded for a female superhero movie?
This isn’t the first time Feige has shot down our hopes for solo female superhero films from Marvel. The folks over at /Film put together a great collection of quotes that stretch all the way back to 2012, outlining his various reasons for not green-lighting a female superhero film. They include:
April 2014: “We did [a Black Widow movie] and it’s called Captain America: The Winter Soldier.”
March 2014: “Frankly if we do a Black Widow movie after Age of Ultron, when she’s been central in three or four movies, I don’t think we’d get the quote unquote credit for it.”
October 2013: “We already have great female heroes that are showcased and play major roles in our universe now.”
In that last quote he’s referring to Pepper Potts in Iron Man 3 and Jane Foster in Thor: The Dark World. In other words, not very well-rounded female characters, and certainly not “heroes.”
Listen. I’m not saying that Feige is sexist, or has anything against female superheroes. I’m just saying that despite his quotes to the contrary, he’s not really committed to giving a female hero her own movie. If he was, we would have seen one by now, or we’d see one coming down the pipeline. Unfortunately, judging by his latest comments, it looks like we won’t see one until at least 2019.
Source: Comic Book Resources