Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige knows there’s a groundswell of support for a superheroine movie. He also knows that films with female protagonists can make boatloads of money. And he most certainly knows that Scarlett Johansson successfully opened an action movie on her name alone with Lucy two weeks ago.
But he still won’t greenlight a woman-led Marvel movie, because he doesn’t want that picture to displace a male franchise.
In an interview with Comic Book Resources, Feige said of introducing a Marvel pic with a superheroine protagonist (emphasis added):
“I think it comes down to timing, which is what I’ve sort of always said, and it comes down to us being able to tell the right story. I very much believe in doing it. I very much believe that it’s unfair to say, “People don’t want to see movies with female heroes,” then list five movies that were not very good, therefore, people didn’t go to the movies because they weren’t good movies, versus [because] they were female leads. And they don’t mention “Hunger Games,” “Frozen,” “Divergent.” You can go back to “Kill Bill” or “Aliens.” These are all female-led movies. It can certainly be done. I hope we do it sooner rather than later. But we find ourselves in the very strange position of managing more franchises than most people have — which is a very, very good thing and we don’t take for granted, but is a challenging thing. You may notice from those release dates, we have three for 2017. And that’s because just the timing worked on what was sort of gearing up. But it does mean you have to put one franchise on hold for three or four years in order to introduce a new one? I don’t know. Those are the kinds of chess matches we’re playing right now.”
In other words, the girls will just have to wait their turn, which will come when all the boys are done.
Meanwhile, those craving to see a Marvel superheroine kicking ass on her own terms will have to wait until January 2015, when the midseason replacement Agent Carter, about Captain America sidekick Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell), debuts on ABC.