It seems like we’ve been waiting forever (and ever and ever) for Marvel and DC, the two comic-book conglomerates, to make a super-heroine movie.
DC announced two weeks ago that Wonder Woman would finally get her own film, and Marvel declared yesterday that Captain Marvel (nee Carol Danvers) would be the subject of her own blockbuster as well.
So why does the news of the Wonder Woman and Captain Marvel movies feel so anti-climactic? I suppose there’s little joy to wring out of feeling tokenized and treated like an afterthought. And it’s hard not to feel that way when all the male superheroes get to star in each other’s movies while the superheroines are relatively isolated. The clubhouse mentality still reigns, as you can see from the participants of yesterday’s press conference.
Here’s why neither Marvel or DC has yet to get me excited about either female-led movie:
–There’s no writer or director attached to either super-heroine movie, and no actress is attached to Captain Marvel. (DC is reportedly seeking a female director to helm the Wonder Woman movie, but we’re waiting until some kind of announcement happens before we celebrate.)
–There’s only one female-led movie from both Marvel and DC. Why can’t there be more? The Guardians of the Galaxy proved that a good script and a good director can overcome lack of name recognition.
–Where’s the Black Widow movie? Scarlett Johansson wants a movie dedicated to her popular Marvel character, and her one-woman stunt-a-thon Lucy — a superheroine movie but in name only — has grossed $434 million worldwide on a $40 million production budget.
–Womankind is still only represented by white women. It’s been 10 years since Halle Berry’s Catwoman. How long do we have to wait until we can get a superheroine of color her own movie again? And don’t blame the source material. Marvel has plenty of racially and ethnically diverse superheroes, and race-blind casting like Michael B. Jordan as the Human Torch is always an option.
–The comics’ first African-American superhero, Black Panther (to be played by the great Chadwick Boseman), will appear in four other movies other than his own. Which is great, but why isn’t Captain Marvel also scheduled to co-star or make a cameo in other movies too? After all, Marvel’s game plan is to have as many of their superheroes as possible star in each other’s movies.
–Origin stories are the comic-book movies’ go-to storyline, especially when introducing new (big-screen) characters, but we’ll be damn disappointed if/when Captain Marvel is made into a girl instead of staying a woman. We love Katniss and her cohort of kickass teenage girls, but there’s such a striking dearth of super-powered women. Plus, Captain Marvel is an accomplished Air Force officer and pilot. We hope Marvel will be smart enough to realize that the Carol Corps — the fandom dedicated to Captain Marvel — loves her because of her education and experience.
Grown women need role models, too.