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June 14 2013

Lois Lane and the case for the female superhero movie. Criticizing the lack of strong female characters. Features Buffy, Avengers, Wonder Woman, and quotes from Joss.

There are maybe very minor spoilers for Man of Steel.

The Scarlet Witch. Potentially, she has as much power to alter the very fabric of the Marvel movie universe as a writer/director.
I think it will take just a few good female-led superhero movies to convince studios it can attract a general audience. I don't believe that audiences are going to reject a comic book movie simply because it stars a woman. I think it just becomes a popular (and sexist) excuse by a studio that can't admit the movie was terribly written, poorly directed, or poorly cast.

And I don't think it's going to be DC or Marvel to take the big plunge. A franchise like Hunger Games started to tip the balance and Emma Watson is about to star in a potentially huge movie adaptation of a series of fantasy novels. If those movies can sustain the momentum and show that yes, audiences would pay to see Katniss run around the forest for two hours, they'd be willing to see a female superhero from the DC or Marvel universe too - as long as it was well done.
they'd be willing to see a female superhero from the DC or Marvel universe too - as long as it was well done.


And supported by well known and/or critically acclaimed stories or plot arcs. Which unfortunately doesn't seem to be there at the moment or like ever. Where's the Dark Knight Returns equivalent for Wonder Woman or The Scarlet Witch? Why can't we get a epic Night of the Owls type story line for The Black Canary or Captain Marvel?
Related: NPR's very depressing piece on the absence of women in film today. It's a much bigger problem than just strong female characters and female superheroes.
So the standard for a female comic book super hero movie is higher then a male one because it has to prove itself? Ugh.

I'm so beyond frustrated.
How about Buffy Summmers? Seems as though I had heard of some willingness to make a movie there.
The standard is higher because most EVERY Live action superheroine-centric film has been a critical and/or commercial failure. Every time one is tried, and its the quality is awful or the business it does is awful, it further poisons the well for similar, future projects.

If you are a film executive, when you see a track record like Supergirl, Tank girl, Barb Wire, Catwoman, Aeon Flux, and Electra do you greenlight another female-centric superhero movie or do you go with what is more proven to make money, Male-centric superhero movie #483? It's similar to how there was a lack of big-budget fantasy pictures until the success of Lord of the Rings opened the flood gates or sci-fi and the original Star Wars.

Pretty much the only superheroine movies which have been successful have been animated movies.
I really do think Marvel should do one though seeing how all their films seem to be guaranteed successes the risk has to be smaller right? I just really want a Captain Marvel film would love it with Jessica Drew as her relationship with Carol is really great. Not sure who owns the Spider-Woman rights though is it still Sony?
I'd take any female superhero or any female-led action movie over any (usually white) dude-led one. Just like in games, I'm really sick of the status quo and all the droning about how they don't sell. Quit underestimating your audiences, and quit marketing to the same demographic for a change.

If I had to choose one superhero I'd love to see on the big screen right now, I'd go with Oracle, Gail Simone-style, with a good helping of Black Canary, sans fishnets please. I'm still mourning Birds of Prey (the show) and that one was pretty terrible (but it had potential, gorram it!)
I don't think that just because Marvel and DC movies have done well (in general) they will do well with a smaller, female-led one. Your movie has to be good; otherwise, it'll be panned and that can be a problem just as big as not makin money. X-Men: The Last Stand made a boatload of money and it was largely criticized and panned by critics. The standards are higher for a smaller, riskier project, especially if it's a relatively obscure female character at the forefront.

I would be interested in a reboot of Elektra. The first one was truly terrible and I think enough time has passed where you could do one.
I'm still holding out for a Halo Jones or Martha Washington movie. Those are the two main female comic book characters from my youth.
This is awesome
KingofCretins: the trouble is doing a superheroine movie right, and with no Joss participation, "right" isn't in the cards for a Buffy movie...

nyrk, "quit marketing to the same demographic" translates into studio-speak as "stop making money." "The demographic" is where the cash is at, so they won't listen to you. I, on the other hand, agree with you exactly because of that: cash does not equal quality, and I'm all about quality.

I think the Veronica Mars movie might make a difference here. It'll mostly be watched because of the Kickstarter thing, but it's also a feature film with a female lead, and not a little genre appeal, despite being non-genre. VM's success might open some doors.

Also we can pin some hope on Our Main Man himself. Less so with Avengers 2, I think, but if that one also makes a mint, Joss will have enough cred to make some mountains move. A Joss-backed superheroine project might stand a much better chance than anything else, either with an established character or (dare I say it?) maybe something new.
I'd take any female superhero or any female-led action movie over any (usually white) dude-led one.


Sometimes I worry that the rhetoric that gets used turns it into a zero sum game. The funny thing is I the sites I hang out with often have that attitude and its why I think the idea loses traction. Many male led movies are good, people say they're sick of them and they watch them. Then they say they want female led and they don't. It's one of the reasons those executives are so cynical.

I'm just not sure why "we should have more women heroes" needs to be packaged so often with the idea of "at the expense of." We really just need a good one made. Do both.

[ edited by azzers on 2013-06-16 21:55 ]
I'm sure the points below are valid, but the first paragraph demonstrates such a weird and tone-deaf analysis of Lois' role in Man of Steel that I couldn't continue with it.

I absolutely support the idea that we need women-led Super-Hero movies now, though.

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