Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Kristen Stewart Is First American Actress Nominated for César Awards in 30 Years; 'Saint Laurent' Leads with Ten Kristen Stewart Is First American Actress Nominated for César Awards in 30 Years; 'Saint Laurent' Leads with Ten How They Sustained the Times Square Momentum in 'Birdman' VIDEO How They Sustained the Times Square Momentum in 'Birdman' VIDEO 6 Things to Know About Sexy Sundance Breakout 'Diary of a Teenage Girl,' Part of Sundance's Women's New Wave 6 Things to Know About Sexy Sundance Breakout 'Diary of a Teenage Girl,' Part of Sundance's Women's New Wave Sundance Raves About Ewan McGregor as Jesus and the Devil in 'Last Days in the Desert' Sundance Raves About Ewan McGregor as Jesus and the Devil in 'Last Days in the Desert' Watch: Jason Segel on Playing David Foster Wallace in Sundance's 'End of the Tour' (Exclusive Interview) Watch: Jason Segel on Playing David Foster Wallace in Sundance's 'End of the Tour' (Exclusive Interview) Filmmakers, Give Us Your Numbers! Sundance and Cinereach Unveil The Transparency Project Filmmakers, Give Us Your Numbers! Sundance and Cinereach Unveil The Transparency Project Sundance Market Explodes with 'Me and Earl and the Dying Girl' and 'Diary of a Teenage Girl' Sundance Market Explodes with 'Me and Earl and the Dying Girl' and 'Diary of a Teenage Girl' Top Ten Takeaways: Polarizing 'American Sniper' Speeds Past $200 Million; Lopez Trounces Depp Top Ten Takeaways: Polarizing 'American Sniper' Speeds Past $200 Million; Lopez Trounces Depp Arthouse Audit: Panic Time? 'Mommy,' 'Red Army,' 'Black Sea,' 'Cake,' 'Duke of Burgundy' All Disappoint Arthouse Audit: Panic Time? 'Mommy,' 'Red Army,' 'Black Sea,' 'Cake,' 'Duke of Burgundy' All Disappoint 2015 PGA Winners: 'Birdman' Steals 'Boyhood''s Awards Season Thunder 2015 PGA Winners: 'Birdman' Steals 'Boyhood''s Awards Season Thunder Watch: Nicole Kidman Talks 'Strangerland' at Sundance (Exclusive Video Interview) Watch: Nicole Kidman Talks 'Strangerland' at Sundance (Exclusive Video Interview) Sundance Acquisitions Market Heats Up with 'The Bronze' and 
'The Witch' Sundance Acquisitions Market Heats Up with 'The Bronze' and 'The Witch' Sundance: Netflix Inks Four-Picture Deal with Duplass Brothers Sundance: Netflix Inks Four-Picture Deal with Duplass Brothers Early Reviews Portend Sundance Breakout in Stylish Historical Horror 'The Witch' Early Reviews Portend Sundance Breakout in Stylish Historical Horror 'The Witch' Sundance: 5 Things to Expect From Alex Gibney's Damning Scientology Doc 'Going Clear' Sundance: 5 Things to Expect From Alex Gibney's Damning Scientology Doc 'Going Clear' Martin Scorsese Breaks Long-Awaited 'Silence,' Set to Begin Filming This Month Martin Scorsese Breaks Long-Awaited 'Silence,' Set to Begin Filming This Month Watch: Meet the Women of 'Birdman' (Exclusive 4-Minute Featurette) Watch: Meet the Women of 'Birdman' (Exclusive 4-Minute Featurette) Watch: Hitchcock's Thwarted Holocaust Documentary Comes to HBO Watch: Hitchcock's Thwarted Holocaust Documentary Comes to HBO Best Actor Oscar Predictions 2015 UPDATED Best Actor Oscar Predictions 2015 UPDATED Oscar Predictions 2015 Oscar Predictions 2015

With Captain Marvel and Wonder Woman, the Female Superhero Strikes Back

Thompson on Hollywood By Bill Desowitz | Thompson on Hollywood October 31, 2014 at 1:55PM

Suddenly there's momentum for female superhero movies, thanks to Warner Bros. and DC breaking the ice with Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman in "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice," followed by a standalone feature. And Marvel announced this week its own own female counter-attack by turning the spotlight on Captain Marvel, aka Major Carol Danvers (coming July 6, 2018). Who will Marvel cast as its first leading female superhero? Let the best action actress win.
4
Wonder Woman

This led to Sony entering the female fray with a Spider-Man spinoff scripted by Lisa Joy ("Burn Notice," "Pushing Daisies"). No confirmation yet if it's Spider-Woman, but it's a significant development. And this week industry leader Marvel, with plenty of female superheroes to choose from, finally announced its own own female counter-attack by turning the spotlight on Captain Marvel, aka Major Carol Danvers (coming July 6, 2018). Who will Marvel cast as its first leading female superhero? Let the best action actress win.

We still don't know the fate of a Marvel feature starring Scarlett Johansson's Black Widow (Nicole Perlman, who plucked "Guardians of the Galaxy" out of Marvel's bin of second tier comics, turned in a treatment in 2011). Fan pressure has been mounting ever since Black Widow become an important fixture of The Avengers. She's busting to break out on her own. The timing couldn't be better and there's no further proof of Johansson's star power after scoring a box office triumph with her badass, cerebral Lucy in Luc Besson's trippy sci-fi/actioner.

Marvel Comics started mixing things up when they announced lady Thor on "The View" after divulging that Falcon will become the first African American Captain America. But then there's always room for experimentation in the comic book world.

However, despite Marvel's impressive string of box office successes, there's definitely awareness of superhero fatigue and what better way to combat it then by turning to Wonder Woman? Fangirls have been impatiently waiting to embrace one of their own and Hall H went gaga over the first Xena-like Wonder Woman pose of Gadot. "Dawn of Justice," then "Justice League," and, finally, Wonder Woman will break out on her own. And that could be the tipping point.

Before then, though, Sony will have an indication of how much interest there is in tapping the female side of the Spidey universe (slated for release in 2017), in which casting will be key and freshness will be imperative after diminishing interest in Andrew Garfield's sophomore turn as the Marvel web-slinger. (Marc Webb's "The Amazing Spider-Man 3" has been pushed back to 2018.)

But, of course, there's already box office evidence of a growing female demo that's worth catering to: the phenomenal success of Jennifer Lawrence in "The Hunger Games," and the competitive surge in young adult novels that are consequently being gobbled up as potential franchise fodder by the studios. And Disney has had a perpetual Cheshire grin after "Frozen" took the world by storm with a double-dose of female empowerment, courtesy of Anna and Elsa. (Jennifer Lee is turning her attention to a film of Madeline L'Engle's trippy YA classic "A Wrinkle in Time.") And Angelina Jolie's "Maleficent" also dominated the summer box office.

Still, Marvel president/producer Kevin Feige, who already has a full slate through 2017, insists that it's a matter of timing in this all-important superhero chess game. True, there are bitter memories of Halle Berry's Catwoman and Jennifer Garner's Elektra, and the conventional wisdom is that guys usually aren't drawn to female superheroes that aren't part of a superstar ensemble, but with the right combination of elements, there's no reason to think that a gender balance of power shift can't be successfully achieved.

So why not a Black Widow movie or even a "Guardians of the Galaxy" spin-off with Zoe Saldana as the smart and deadly Gamora? The great thing about "Guardians" is that it veers off the beaten track and opens up a whole new Marvel world of possibilities. And audiences immediately embraced it. We're craving something new and unpredictable. Makes no difference if you suddenly put a female in charge of saving the universe as long as she's capable, compelling, and doesn't take herself too seriously. 

And why stop with Captain Marvel? Marvel has scads of established female superheroes without having to bring a female Thor to the big screen. Then the hammer would really come down hard on them for such gimmickry.

This article is related to: Marvel, Immersed In Movies, Women in Film, Spider-Man, Wonder Woman, Guardians of the Galaxy, Guardians of the Galaxy, Zoe Saldana, Scarlett Johansson, Scarlett Johansson


E-Mail Updates