Back to IndieWire

Joss Whedon Says The Comic Book Movie Industry Has “Intractable Sexism” & Fox Has The Best Female Marvel Characters

Joss Whedon Says The Comic Book Movie Industry Has "Intractable Sexism" & Fox Has The Best Female Marvel Characters

There are a few ways we could start this article, but let’s put it this way: of the more than thirty planned superhero movies coming between now and 2020, only two will be led by a female character. Those films, of course, would be Warner Bros.‘ “Wonder Woman” and Marvel’s “Captain Marvel.” The small screen’s track record is only slightly better, with “Agent Carter” currently airing, and “Jessica Jones” arriving on Netflix later this year. And according to Joss Whedon (who once had his “Wonder Woman” brewing at WB before it was nixed by the studio), the cause of this imbalance in the comic book movie industry is clear.

“There is genuine, recalcitrant, intractable sexism, and old-fashioned quiet misogyny that goes on,” he told Digital Spy. “You hear ‘Oh, [female superheroes] don’t work because of these two bad ones that were made eight years ago’, there’s always an excuse.”

He goes on to point toward “The Hunger Games” franchise as an example of a female-driven blockbuster that has been very successful, but he puts it on the shoulders of his pals at Marvel to buck the comic book dude trend…even if their best female characters are at a rival studio. “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,” Whedon said. “But it has to be a good movie, it has to be a good character, and most of the best characters in Marvel are owned by Fox, let’s face it!”

Cue the fanboy debates! From my perspective, “good” characters can be written poorly, and “bad” characters can be written well. It’s a matter of making sure the material — whether it’s Scarlet Witch or Rogue or Storm or Agent Carter or Black Widow or whoever — is strong.

At any rate, Whedon is reaching the end of his tenure at Marvel. And with rumors flying that the Russo Brothers will take on the gig directing the two-part “The Avengers: Infinity War,” Whedon seems to have one foot already out the door.

“I couldn’t imagine doing this again,” he told Empire. “It’s enormously hard, and it would be, by then, a good five years since I created anything that was completely my own. So it’s very doubtful that I would take on the two-part Infinity War movie that would eat up the next four years of my life. I obviously still want to be a part of the Marvel Universe — I love these guys — but it ain’t easy. This year has been more like running three shows than any year of my life. It is bonkers.”

Thoughts? Is Whedon right about the industry? What can be done to solve the extreme gender imbalance? Hit the comments section and let us know. Below, some new pics from “Avengers: Age Of Ultron.”

Sign Up: Stay on top of the latest breaking film and TV news! Sign up for our Email Newsletters here.

This Article is related to: News and tagged , , , ,

Get The Latest IndieWire Alerts And Newsletters Delivered Directly To Your Inbox