The most popular argument against making a female-led superhero movie is that the risk is too high. With decades of prequels, merchandise and marketing behind them, franchises like Batman, Iron Man and Superman are supposedly too big to fail. Plus, there’s no point in wasting millions of dollars when women are already willing to pay for “male” superhero movies, right?
This week, Kevin Feige, President of Marvel Studios, explained that they’re fully booked up until 2015, with 2016 and 2017’s releases currently under discussion. Despite some very vague Internet rumors of a Captain Marvel adaptation starring Katee Sackhoff, a female superhero movie does not appear to be in the cards. Instead, Feige emphasized the roles played by female side-characters in the other movies.
“Frankly, you can look at what Jane Foster does in [Thor: The Dark World], look at Pepper Potts literally saving the day and defeating the bad guy in Iron Man 3, and I’d say we already have great female heroes that are showcased and play major roles in our universe now. Captain America: The Winter Soldier, as you will see, features Black Widow in her biggest role yet in any of our films. In terms of a solo stand-alone female hero, I’m not sure when that will be. We make two movies a year, we’ve planned through 2015 and we have some ideas of what we’re doing in 2016 and 2017, so we’ll see what happens.”
That sounds a lot like another denial that there will be any standalone female superheroes even in 2016 and 2017.
As for the rationalizations of why this might be the case, most popular explanations for the lack of female superhero movies have already been debunked. Superhero comics have not been the realm of the stereotypical white male fanboy for decades, and Marvel’s movie output is solidly aimed at the mainstream—including women and girls. Online, the fandom for the Avengers franchise is dominated by women, with thousands of fangirls posting fanfiction, art and GIFs every day. Major studios like DC/Warner Bros. and Marvel are running out of excuses for why there hasn’t been a blockbuster female superhero movie since Catwoman flopped in 2004. [READ MORE]