Marvel Studios head discusses lack of female superheroes in movies


Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige is sitting on top of the world now, thanks to the recent box office success of "Guardians of the Galaxy," but that doesn't mean he isn't getting criticism for some of his film choices. Recently, Feige has come under fire for the lack of diversity, particularly in regards to female leads, in his studio's films.

Ask anyone about a movie with a female superhero, and most won't have much of an answer. Our last real female-led superhero movie was probably "Elektra," which bombed at the box office. However, recently, many films have done well with female leads, such as "The Hunger Games" franchise and the blockbuster Disney film "Frozen."

Marvel Comics recently announced that it was giving the title of Thor to a female in its comic books, causing a controversial firestorm worldwide. However, that announcement is not going to be carried over to the successful "Thor" film franchise, which will continue to feature a male lead.

So why hasn't Marvel movies jumped on the female superhero bandwagon yet? According to Feige, it comes down to a few issues.

"I think it comes down to timing, which is what I've sort of always said, and it comes down to us being able to tell the right story," says Feige.

Unfortunately, Feige is echoing much of Hollywood's sentiment about why female-led superhero movies aren't being made yet. It's also similar to what DC President Diane Nelson, says about making a Wonder Woman film.

"I think one of the biggest challenges at the company is getting that right on any size screen" Nelson says. "The reasons why are probably pretty subjective: she doesn't have the single, clear, compelling story that everyone knows and recognizes."

Nelson states that getting Wonder Woman her own feature film is a result of the character and her story being "tricky," but didn't expand on the meaning of her statement.

Feige also cited that Marvel is handling such a heavy schedule now, with three films already scheduled for 2017, that creating a new franchise is all but impossible. At least Joss Whedon, director of Marvel's "The Avengers" films, has hinted that the upcoming "Age of Ultron" will feature four prominent female roles. But if Feige is correct, none of those women will be getting their own films, including the popular Black Widow, who co-starred in the first "The Avengers" film, as well as in "Captain America: Winter Soldier."

The news coming out of Hollywood for female leads isn't all bad, "Bridesmaids" director Paul Feig is hoping to reboot Ghostbusters with an all-female cast.

Women make up 52 percent of the movie-going audience and statistics have shown that they prefer watching female superheroes. So the reasoning that there isn't enough time or interest to devote to female superhero movies seems to fall a little flat, seeing as there seems to be diversity and monetary benefits to gain in pushing for more female-led superhero movies.

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