This weekend, “Ant-Man” lights up the multiplex, but as our review notes, it does have one major narrative hurdle you have to accept and leap over. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) goes to a lot of trouble to recruit Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) and train him for a complicated and dangerous heist, but all the while, his daughter Hope Van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly), who is already fully prepared and capable of carrying the day is denied the gig by her father. A reason is eventually trotted out why Hank refuses to send Hope, but you can practically see the script bending to explain why Scott needs to be the hero.
Black Widow aside, and perhaps the latest addition of Scarlet Witch, Marvel hasn’t had the best track record with women joining the ranks of the dudes to fight the big, bad villains, but according to Kevin Feige, the studio has been a champion of women with agency.
“There have been strong, powerful, intelligent women in the comics for decades,” Feige told Singapore Times. “And if you go back to look at our movies-whether it’s Natalie Portman in the ‘Thor’ films, Gwyneth Paltrow in ‘Iron Man‘ or Scarlett Johansson in ‘The Avengers‘-our films have been full of smart, intelligent, powerful women.”
Arguably however, only one of those three characters fully got into the action mix, but Feige adds that Marvel has routinely “gone for the powerful woman versus the damsel in distress.”
But Feige recognizes “there has been a shift in the press and the public in terms of a very vocal clamouring for stand-alone female character films,” and he know audiences certainly aren’t put off by strong female leads. “Look at ‘Mad Max.’ It’s called ‘Max,’ but Charlize [Theron] is the hero of that movie and it was a giant hit and she was great,” he said. “Or look at ‘The Hunger Games‘ movies, or ‘Frozen,’ or ‘Lucy‘ last year with Scarlett Johansson. They are just as viable as any movie.”
And while the studio does have “Captain Marvel” on their slate for 2018, and Elektra joining the second season of “Daredevil,” Feige wants to make it clear that decisions are not being done in a reactionary manner. “It would paralyze you if you were trying to develop a story or character that is going to please everyone on the Internet. You would curl up into a ball and never do anything,” he stated.
But what do you think? Has Marvel represented women well in their films or can they do better? Sound off below.