It’s time to break up this sausage fest with a little girl-power!
There is no denying it, the superhero film genre is a cash cow. Just a few short years ago, it was hard to suggest there even was such a thing. Now however, (thanks to the folks at Marvel, Sony and Fox) our children and grandchildren will likely be learning about it in film school years from now! Franchises like Spider-Man and X-Men set the stage, with Iron-Man and Avengers taking it to a whole new level. The giant pile of money Hollywood is pulling in as a result gets larger everyday (and will likely continue to grow in the future).
But if you look back at the myriad of movie posters and promotional materials this new genre has generated over the last few years, you’ll notice one glaring trend beginning to emerge.
Of course I’m referring the gender inequality that still plagues Hollywood. While the Marvel and DC universes boasts a huge band of strong female heroes (dating all the way back to the Golden and Silver ages) our theatrical offerings seem to ignore that. Even Marvel President Kevin Feige admits that it’s time for a change. In an interview promoting the newly released Guardians of the Galaxy, Feige stated he “…very much believes in doing it. I very much believe that it’s unfair to say, ‘People don’t want to see movies with female heroes…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 this is one journalist who doesn’t intended to wait around for Hollywood to get their acts together before he starts looking to the future. I’ve given it some thought, and there are a handful of comic book movies featuring a female-centric lead that I would drop money on TODAY if they were in theaters.
Which ones you say? I’m glad you asked…
Barbara Gordon / Batgirl:
Think about it, how many numerous versions of Batman have you seen? Starting with the campy ’60s TV series, I can count six (and that’s not including animated iterations). While Batgril has popped up as a supporting character many times along the way, it’s time for her to step into the spotlight. With her connection to both Bruce Wayne and the Gotham PD (secretly fighting alongside her Father while simultaneously trying to keep her identity hid from him) could lend itself to some interesting scenarios. Plus, it would be nice to see her get a modern upgrade since the whole Schumacher/nipple suit debacle.
Storm and the Uncanny X-Men:
And that is exactly what I’d call it...
Not only could this be a great opportunity to see a new take on some familiar faces (like other actor’s take on Wolverine or Xavier for example) but it’s already been proven that a film like this could work. Remember the movie Hancock starring Will Smith? We find an African-America actor in a lead role who flys around in a very X-Men looking body suit. Substitute him for a hot young starlet who possess control over the barometric pressures and BOOM, you got a Storm movie. Plus, who else wants to see a 10 Commandments throwback where she puts the full force of her mutant powers behind some kind of giant tidal wave of some kind? It’s in these moments where the character could really shine like never before.
OK, I know what you’re thinking, the Incredible Hulk himself has been very hit or miss at the box office…so how the hell do you expect a She-Hulk film to succeed?! My response to that is, I have no idea. All I know is I wanna’ see it. The strange dichotomy of the super-feminine vs. the hulking brute intrigues me. However, I would suggest not going the CG route with such a venture. To me, the use of killer practical effects (combined with the talents of the industries’ brightest make-up artists) could be the secret ingredient to pulling this off. Think more Hellboy and less Avatar.
I can almost hear the collective groans emanating from the comments section below. Allow me to explain my reasoning. The 2004 Catwoman spin-on was a lot of things. Not only was it the worst movie featuring a Batman character ever, and not only was it the worst film of the year (in addition to being the worst film of Halle Berry’s career)…but it may very well be one of the top ten worst films of all time! Move over Showgirls, ‘cause you got a new roommate. While I know I already have one DC pick listed above, I do feel Catwoman needs another shot. If I think back to the way Tim Burton depicted the character (with Michel Pfeiffer in that vinyl outfit in the cold, snow-laden back alleys of Gotham) my hearts yearns for something in this style. We shouldn’t let the lingering bad-taste of what short-sighted Hollywood types did poison the deep well of great source material which still surrounds Batman’s most seductive rival.
Let’s hope in the coming years we see more heroes of the female persuasion grace the silver screen in leading roles. That old stereotype of women not drawing in movie-goers has been proven antiquated in 2014. Jennifer Lawrence alone has become one of the highest grossing actresses in history, with a-listers like Angelina Jolie blazing a trail before her. Examples like Catching Fire, Mr. and Mrs. Smith (as well as Scarlett Johansson’s kick-ass roles in Avengers and Captain America) prove the day of the female action star has come in full force.
Is there a femme fatale that didn’t make my list that you’d like to see get the star treatment? Let us know in the comments section below, maybe some Hollywood big-wig is reading this right now!