The Case For Female Super Heroes In Hollywood
Many a fan has been urging for a film adaptation of a previously established female comic book hero. Not only does it seem that they are aways off but also that Hollywood has no interest in putting effort into making one. I am going to examine the case for female supers in Hollywood.
Maybe this is just me, but I am sensing a crescendo of fans anxious badgering for more female super heroes to make it to the big screen lately. I want Wonder Woman and any other female super hero to get as much representation as they deserve but why are we getting this now? Why is it only now that people started to care? I suppose a strong argument could be made that before the launch of the MCU with Iron Man comic book movies were traditionally just pulpy fodder for teenagers, and lets face it Spiderman, Superman, X-Men are all corny in their own ways, which can be attributed to dated film-making or a whole host of other excuses. The point is that when we got Super Heroes we got a sort of watered down bastardized version of them whether or not they were comic book accurate i.e. Batman Returns, Batman and Robin, Daredevil, Electra, Superman 3 and 4, Catwoman. The only time we got a good Superhero movie outside of the 2000s and later was when someone gave a crap about making a good film regardless.
Lately we have been getting a couple more superheroines than usual: Katniss Everdeen,...,...,..., okay I can't think of anymore off the top of my head (I mean this literally, I am sure there are more, but I literally can't think of any more that come to mind). Really Super heroines are still largely limited to supporting roles, take Pepper Potts from IM3, Selina Kyle from TDKR, Black Widow from The Avengers or Mystique from X-Men (who ironically for a strong heroine doesn't wear clothes [I don't give a damn about context, it is what it is]). With the launch of Warner Brothers DCU with Man of Steel there has been some talk about whether or not we are ever going to get a Wonder Woman solo film (who is after all one of their big three). I am going to make a prediction which all of you can quote me on, we are not going to get a Wonder Woman film by Warner Brothers for at least six years, which is me being generous, honestly I think it will be more along the lines of ten (which for me is still being generous).
In this time one might think we are far more likely to see something come out of Marvel Studios who is making now, a billion dollars a movie and who are now in a greater position to experiment see Guardians of the Galaxy. I would even say that this would be somewhat of a stretch for Marvel, who I think are still more interested in putting out properties such as Doctor Strange for instance, and even if we were to get a female solo super hero film announced Marvel is too big for their own good making scheduling the release of the film a tricky process given their multiple other franchises see Captain America, Thor, Avengers, Antman, GOTG. They even said that they have plans for up to 2020's. So I would guess that they would have less room for experimentation than Warner Brothers. I would estimate that we would get a female super hero from them in say ten years at least but more likely some fifteen years. Granted Warner Brothers is still getting their bearings and as of now I have only a rough idea of what Marvel plans to put out in the coming years, which is to say, I know that they are going to continue with Thor, Cap and The Avengers. However to Marvel's credit, they do now have to compete with Warner Brother's own super hero filled universe which may or may not determine who puts out the first film.
Why do I think it will be so long? Demographics for one. Studios unfortunately look at franchises such as Catwoman and Electra to see if there is money to be made in films featuring female super hero films and so they are hesitant. Hell, when The Legend of Korra was being pitched to Nickelodeon, the studio were SO nervous that the main character was female that they had to do multiple focus groups to tell themselves that a female lead is okay. Another thing is that they came from comic books which catered to boys. It doesn't take a keen eye to see that Starfire and Catwoman were turned into whorish man-objects with DC's initial New 52 reboot lineup. Personally I think this detail has nothing to do with the character's quality, and it shouldn't, but the problem is that the ignorant, stupid, dimwitted, mainstream media masses seem to think it does. Outside of demographics and the perception of female superheroes in comics, the last thing I can think of that may affect development is that there hasn't been a great film featuring a female lead, and so the studios have nothing to look to which can only serve to make the transition worse.
So who will put out the first female super hero and who will it be. Unsurprisingly I think it will be Warner Brothers despite their obvious stigma surrounding Wonder Woman, and Marvel may be playing catch up to Warner Brothers if this is the case. This is only if they don't have any current plans for any female super hero films already. Personally I do hope this is the case. The reason being is that though fans already consider the studios enemies to a degree, I don't think Marvel studios see WB that way despite the obvious fact that WB has been trying to get Justice League out for years. If Warner Brothers does indeed beat Marvel if at least in one area of the Super Hero genre then Marvel may very well be forced to recognize DC as a force to be reckoned with, meaning that the quality of our movies goes up in response to this competition.
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