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January 28 2015

Joss Whedon criticises comic book movie industry for "intractible sexism". This Digital Spy interview is from last summer's Age of Ultron set visit.

Well, I'm certainly curious to see if the, "All the best characters in Marvel are owned by Fox, let's face it!" comment gets picked up out of context and run with by the geek media.

(Spoiler alert: yes, yes it will.)
Well its true, all the best female Marvel characters are in the X-Men brand and not a single one of them has been portrayed at their best yet.
Then make up a new one? A Marvel Buffy. A Muffy. Oh no...
Characters are as good as the people writing them. A new character could work. GotG worked with relatively unknown characters. I think the Marvel brand is strong enough in the movie business that it would allow them to make something from scratch.
I'm a little shocked he said most of the best female characters are owned by Fox. I might think it was tongue in cheek, except for the fact that there's arguable truth to it.
Well like me, Joss's favourite female character in Marvel is Kitty Pryde. Which even to some extent inspired him with Buffy. But also when I think of the most prominant heroines, Invisible Woman pretty much always felt like the first lady of Marvel, and Jean Grey's obviously played a big part in the universe too, even if nowadays her role's been supplanted by Emma Frost. (Who of course is also owned by Fox)

I LOVE Janet Van Dyne (The Wasp) but Edgar Wright's decision on when to set much of Ant Man pretty much screwed any chance of her being as important in the films as she was in the classic books. Ms Marvel, or Captain Marvel if you like, has been pushed hard recently because obviously Marvel realised that it's film division was lacking a Wonder Woman/Supergirl equivalent. But historically she wasn't a exactly playing much of a part in the big stories. (And to me at least the Monica Rambeau version was far more interesting. Wish they could have pushed that character. ) And Black Widow too often operated on the fringes of the main books.
So yeah, he's right. (Though I'd say Sony has also played a part in making sure Spiderwoman, Spidergirl and Black Cat don't get to show up in the Marvel movies.)

Of course I think the question we really should be asking is why DC/WB, given that they have all the great DC heroines, haven't bothered to do anything with them? They certainly don't have the limitations that the MCU is operating under..
Jennifer Walters is pretty interesting, but they're not going to give her a movie (too bad, it could be meta like Deadpool); Jessica Jones got a miniseries instead; Janet Van Dyne is a senior citizen and/or dead in the modern MCU continuity... so yeah, Fox did get all the best Marvel female characters that could still be used to anchor a movie, but that's partially because they haven't really leveraged the ones they have. Neither has Fox.
Some of the original '70s Spider-Woman run has some really interesting stuff (wherein all males were attracted to her and all women hated her, making her very much a social outcast). I still hope we'll get to see her character on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (she has no relation to Spider-Man and is not part of Sony's licence) as her story would fit in nicely with the whole S.H.I.E.L.D. vs Hydra hook.
You know it's interesting that this is an issue for comics when right now so many other genre-ish things have women leads anyway. The dystopian/fantasy genre seems to be splitting up quite a bit these days. I thought of five and it's almost 50 50 with Mortal Instruments (failure), Hunger Games (success), Divergent (success), and then the Maze Runner (success) and The Giver (failure) which featured guys.

I think part of it may be comics conservative nature when it comes to using established characters. For instance Marvel/Sony (at the time Feige was a producer) in SM3 demanding that Venom be included because he was seen as popular. Sam Raimi may have had a great story in mind, but we never saw it.

Honestly, I think it comes from the books. Marvel isn't trying to push new product rather than recycling old which is why you don't get a new woman superhero, you get New Thor. You don't get a new hispanic superhero, you get Miles Morales. And that's bad when you're trying to tie your films into your books. You're already hamstrung by the source material.

It's missing the point that films are why people cared about the new Iron Man. It wasn't because there was a thunderous mass demanding it's film creation. I mean, you could just use the name Silver Sable, completely rewrite the character and use it. If the film is great, it will work.
Just a quick FYI as far as licensing that is tangential at best for Allycat & azzers: Spider-Woman and Silver Sable (both great characters) are with Sony as part of the Spider-Man deal.
"why DC/WB, given that they have all the great DC heroines, haven't bothered to do anything with them?"

To be fair, DC is moving forward with both the Wonder Woman film and a Supergirl TV series (set in the same fictional universe as Arrow/The Flash). Vixen is also getting an animated series on The CW Seed, and it will take place in the same TV universe. Progress is being made- however slow.

Also, DC is ahead of Marvel in the LGBT representation department. Gotham, Arrow, and The Flash have all had LGBT characters so far (some more prominent than others). Marvel has failed to include even one openly LGBT character in any of its film/TV properties so far.

All the studios have a long way to go in terms of racial diversity.
The Avengers is on FX now. I was going to post a link on main but couldn't get FX's site to load right.
I'm no expert on the character but I seem to remember a few rumblings when Victoria Hand was introduced that she could have been Marvel's first LGBT character only to greatly disappoint those fans when Ward killed her.

Both studios (and mainstream TV/film in general) have an even longer way to go when it comes to representation for the physically disabled. Sousa on Agent Carter is a nice guy but the show needs to give him more depth then just his leg. Society in general tends to (intentionally or not) categorize people with visible physical disabilities as only that instead of people with depth.

Comic-related media has a more difficult time with this where death often doesn't stick, so it's hard to justify why not to fix someone's disability and get them more involved with the action. This was part of the reason for healing Barbra/Oracle in the Batman comics but it does take away one of the few role models we had.
"Marvel is in a position of making a statement simply by making [a female-led] movie, which I think would be a good thing to do.

But it has to be a good movie, it has to be a good character, . . . ."

Do I smell Joss's next project? After all, if anyone can make this happen, it's Joss, not to mention the fact that he would knock it out of the park. I can't think of anyone better-suited to make this "good" female-led superhero movie. And I'd be surprised if at this point, Marvel didn't let him do pretty much whatever he wants.

Joss could become the solution to the very problem he's identified.

[ edited by Squishy on 2015-01-29 06:20 ]

[ edited by Squishy on 2015-01-29 06:21 ]
Both studios (and mainstream TV/film in general) have an even longer way to go when it comes to representation for the physically disabled.

Hopefully Sousa will be fleshed out more. I would hate to have Enver Gjokaj wasted as the guy with the crutch.

Isn't Daredevil blind?

As a disabled person, I agree with you, though.

The comic book movie world does need to catch up to the rest of the world, where they can get guys to see their movies, but they won't succeed unless women want to see them, too, and more than once. I hate that the most prominent female comic book hero is Black Widow, not because I hate Black Widow, but because other movies with better-known heroines have squandered they opportunity to make them more, or haven't yet made the films.

As a life-long fan of Wonder Woman, I want the movie to succeed, though part of me wants it to fail, so we can say "This wouldn't have happened if you let Joss do it his way!"

And everything that libradude said, too.
The comics industry has been defined by its established customer base; teenage boys. Change is happening but the immense increase
in the cost of the books over the past 20 or so years has precluded fast change. After all it is a business and has to make a profit.
I'd say She-Hulk carries a lot of potential. And regardless of what David S. "Hithead" Goyer thinks, she's got a lot of depth. There's a brilliant movie or TV series in there, that touches on workplace issues, slutshaming, pressure to conform, self-actualization and various other potent themes, along with the sci-fi-action-adventure-dramedy angle. All it takes is a Michelangelo and a chisel to bring it out. She-Hulk is not owned by Fox.
I must admit that I would LOVE a She-Hulk tv series. But I think they'd have to do it as a short netflix like mini series. As the demands on the actress would be extensive!
@Nebula1400-Agree with you on Sousa too.

Depending on the version, Daredevil's blindness is not really a problem for him at all. I understand writing around a disability but wouldn't want them to negate it all together. But he's also supposed to be The Man Without Fear, which the Netflix show won't do because a fearless hero is boring. So we'll see.

But speaking of blind protagonists, Toph Beifong from Avatar the Last Airbender and Legend of Korra is probably the most well-rounded character with a disability in recent media. She's a prodigy with her powers but they don't completely replace her sight and because of her powers she has limits like being unable to swim or rendered useless if her feet are hurt. The disability id there for her on a personal level but you also "forget" she's blind because she has depth. Plus the show is really strong as a whole. Give these a whirl Nebula!

Plus the sequel show proves one strong woman in Toph creates some more equally awesome women but doesn't neglect the boys either:

And they son't shy away from putting someone disabled in the villain department either:

Back on topic, given Marvel's success with fringe characters like GotG they are more open to projects with other lesser known heroes, so I'd imagine/hope for more women. Medusa of the Inhumans is far from a damsel, so they should be able to balance her out with Black Bolt and their are more to come I'm sure.
This might be a tiny bit of topic but I soooooooo want to see a Excalibur movie, or why not a series, made by Joss. At least Meggan have not been used by Fox, and they might even get away with the Rachel Summer version of Phoenix.

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