You’ve heard of it, haven’t you? The Bechdel test?
It’s a theoretical benchmark for movies (and indeed all fiction) that asks whether said picture includes a scene in which two named female characters engage in a conversation about anything other than a man. Sounds simple, right? Think again.
Next time you sit down to enjoy a movie, keep the Bechdel test in mind and you’ll soon realize that many films actually come up short. That doesn’t mean that they’re intrinsically bad; rather, the Bechdel test was designed to draw attention to gender representation, and how it’s often tipped in favor of men – The Lord of the Rings and Avatar spring to mind as famous examples of films that have failed the Bechdel test outright. X-Men: Dark Phoenix, on the other hand, is not one of those movies.
As part of Entertainment Weekly’s continued coverage, the outlet spoke to writer-director Simon Kinberg about the so-called X-Women, and why Dark Phoenix can be seen as a tribute to the franchise’s leading ladies.
I really wanted to acknowledge the strength of the women in the comic and in the actresses that we have and the central storyline demands it.
Sophie Turner knows all about Kinberg’s vision, given she’s poised to wrangle the Phoenix Force under control as the titular lead – much to the dismay of Charles Xavier and the gang. And here, the Game of Thrones actress elaborated on Simon Kinberg’s female-fronted drama:
I feel like this movie is a revelation because of it being like a drama but the hero is a female and she’s also the villain. It really is about her relationships with the females in the film, especially Jessica Chastain’s character. It’s really interesting to have those two characters be kind of the two biggest characters in the movie and both be female and so layered and so complex.
Indeed, a female-oriented story is part of the reason why Jessica Chastain was drawn to Dark Phoenix in the first place:
I’ve always wanted to do a big comic book franchise-y film but I had some issues with the female characters in the films I was being offered. I was really pleased with this script because I think it’s a departure from the norm. This definitely passes the Bechdel test and I don’t know how many comic book films can say that.
Fox’s famed mutant franchise shoots for the stars on November 2nd, 2018. But are you excited for X-Men: Dark Phoenix? You can, as always, leave your thoughts down below.