In a recent conversation with the movie site ComingSoon.net, Marvel Studios producer/sometime director Louis D’Esposito said some encouraging stuff about the future of female superheroes getting movies of their very own: Marvel would totally like that to happen because the studio has heard the cacophonous internet clamoring for more female superheroes on the big screen. The only problem is that, in Marvel’s grand strategy for cinematic dominance, we’re only in Phase Two of superhero movies — a woman-driven movie wouldn’t arrive until Phase Three (if at all).
Addressing that growing call for a female superhero movie (or, lest we get too far ahead of ourselves, franchise), D’Esposito offered some encouraging words:
There's obviously a drumbeat that is banging louder and louder that we want a female lead superhero... [W]e have strong female characters in our films from Black Widow to Pepper Potts to Peggy Carter and you never know. Maybe there's an offshoot film with one of them. Or Captain Marvel, you know?
Black Widow, Pepper Potts, and Peggy Carter are all fine, but, as io9’s Rob Bricken pointed out back in July in his rallying cry for a legit female superhero movie, none of those characters have the superpowered chops to truly rival Marvel’s big guns. Black Widow can kick a pretty much every non-superhuman’s ass thoroughly, but she still has to fight on the ground next to Hawkeye (whose power is being able to shoot a medieval weapon really well) and Captain America (essentially, a really old-timey, Frisbee-throwing gymnast). The movies need a truly super-powered female character, someone like Captain Marvel, a “lady badass” who, to paraphrase Bricken, can hold her own against the Hulk, Thor, and Iron Man.
Carol Danvers becomes Captain Marvel — and I’ll make this as briefly nerdtastic as possible — when she’s genetically fused with alien DNA, granting her really sweet cosmic powers like the ability to fly, the power to shoot energy from her hands, be virtually indestructible, and generally all the other things that make a stakes-raising protagonist. Who wouldn’t want to see a movie featuring one of Marvel’s best, most powerful characters?
And yet, for all D’Esposito’s optimism, there’s still the lingering doubt that the studio has the will or capacity to make an awesome Captain Marvel movie:
It's hard because we have a small group at Marvel. We do two films a year. To get those two films done and to do them right takes a lot of work and manpower. And female-power, obviously. To add a third film and to just put it in the slate right now is difficult. We have these next three, four, five films coming out and that's what we're really concentrating on.
Granted, D’Esposito’s caution about thinking too far ahead is prudent — even with a brand as apparently strong as Marvel’s, which has notched massive blockbusters with its most recent slate of male-driven superhero flicks, we live in an age of diminishing box office returns. If the next wave of Robert Downey Jr.-less movies (Guardians of the Galaxy, Thor: The Dark World, and Captain America: The Winter Soldier) somehow tank, Phase Three might be a short-lived cinematic era. After all, it will begin in late 2015 with Edgar Wright’s Ant-Man, a shrug-inducing choice for a franchise-starting movie character if ever there was one.
Then again, what the fuck, Marvel? We’ve seen after-credits cameos in Marvel movies since FOREVER ago, so why can’t we start dropping hints that Captain Marvel is going to swoop in during the next giant Avengers battle and steal Hulk’s punching thunder? There have been two Hulk movies, and they were both extremely average. Hollywood studios haven’t really been in the business lately of sinking huge piles of money into staying ahead of the trends, especially not since they discovered the treasure trove of comics stashed beneath their floorboards just waiting to be mined for box office gold.
Right now, all the male superhero storylines have been told. It’s a stale genre, full of dudes with different powers. It’d be nice if there was a studio push to, you know, liven things up a little bit by putting a super-powered woman in the lead role, hopefully sometime before audiences get bored with the pattern and superhero movies become straight-to-Netflix kickboxing expos starring Some Guy Who Isn’t Jason Statham.
Marvel Studios Wants a Female-Led Superhero Film [ComingSoon.net]