Jennifer Garner’s Elektra wasn’t just an awful movie that deservedly bombed at the box office after earning only $57 million while being torn apart by critics, as it also had a profound effect on both the leading lady’s career and the idea of female-driven comic book movies as a whole.
Following the double whammy of disappointment that was Halle Berry’s Catwoman and Elektra, the next major feature film with a female superhero in the lead didn’t arrive until Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman a dozen years after the latter was released. Not only that, but the Daredevil spinoff’s dismal performance also had a noticeable effect on Garner’s career.
When she was first cast as Elektra Natchios, she was in the midst of her five-season run in J.J. Abrams’ Alias, which won her a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Television Series, drew consistently strong ratings and earned a legion of fans. The one-two punch of Daredevil and 13 Going on 30 showcased Garner’s undoubted movie star potential as well, proving she was more than capable of being both an action and romantic lead.
Post-Elektra, however, those kind of high profile roles dried up significantly, and in a new interview, the 48 year-old admitted that she wished her time in the superhero genre had coincided with the unstoppable rise of Kevin Feige’s Marvel Cinematic Universe.
“It’s such a shame, honestly, because once Kevin took over everything there was elevated: the writing, the direction, the comedy inside of the stories they were telling. And I did not have that experience.”
Garner is still more than capable of headlining action movies given the popularity of her recent star vehicle Peppermint on streaming, but her tenure as Elektra happened just a few years too early, and you can guarantee that she would have made a fantastic addition to the MCU had the fates aligned a little sooner.