Why can’t I ever write about nice things? Seriously, I kinda remember back when I first started writing a blog it was kinda fun. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I still kinda have fun here, but it seems I don’t get to write nearly as much as I used to about fun things.
Has our world really gotten so shitty? I’m starting to think so. Our celebrities as a general rule are coming across as terrible people. At least the ones that make the magazines. Robin Williams is dead, and that’s one less funny man out there to make it better. Israel and Hamas are at war and it seems that so many people who either don’t know or don’t care about the larger picture, current events, or history are happy to point fingers and call people monsters.
Hela’s grace, not even movies are safe. I’m finally getting to what got me so cheesed I’m writing today. More social justice whining. This time about one of the few good things we still have left it seems, the Marvel Movies.
From what I’ve been able to pick up, I’m guessing the Slate is a kinda social justice/feminist web site. Apparently the writer of the article is more concerned with female representation in titles than actually understanding how movies work and recognizing a good product. She complains that Marvel isn’t putting out movies with female leads, since:
It’s not like the studio is lacking in source material. The Marvel Universe offers dozens of lesser-known superheroines who could anchor their own franchises, but so far, the studio has left them on the page in favor of elevating male heroes like Ant-Man and Doctor Strange…As Sady Doyle notes, Guardians of the Galaxy could have featured many more female characters if it had just taken a cue from the comics: “[T]here are so many pre-existing roles for women in this story that, even if the filmmakers had wanted to stick to a five-person line-up for Guardians of the Galaxy, they could easily have filled all five slots with women.” Instead, of the five main characters featured in Guardians, only one is female.
I’m going to point out the two issues with that statement. First, “lesser-known super-heroines. The reason the Marvel movies have been so successful is because they have focused on the most well known superheroes. Mavel did their “Big Three” of Iron Man, Captain America and Thor.
The movies so far.
Iron Man 1,2,3
Captain America 1,2
Guardians of the Galaxy 1
The only reason Guardians of the Galaxy happened, much less has been as successful it has been is because there were eight films before hand that were so well written and made that people saw a movie with a Tree and a Raccoon and still thought “Hey, it’s Marvel, it should be good!” When comic book fans heard about Guardians of the Galaxy being a film, the best I know we all pretty much laughed. It was the movie that no one would take seriously because of Groot and Rocket. Yet here we are.
Second, regarding the ability to make Guardians an all female cast…no. The reason the Marvel movies are working is because they are introducing the entire Marvel universe to film and they are doing it with the origin stories of the different groups. Guardians of the Galaxy without Starlord who drew them together? Without Rocket and Groot? Even Drax had his part to play. The group in the movie was the original Guardians and those members still make up the primary members of Guardians today from what I understand. It would almost be like saying “Let’s make a Thor movie, but not have Thor, because we have so many female characters in the Thor franchise.”
Doable, but it wouldn’t be the same story.
Psychologies have done studies and even with a bit of common sense I know what would happen if Marvel comes out with an all female cast…it probably wouldn’t do that well. While female nerds are becoming more numerous, they don’t have the same number as male nerds and while even non-nerds will go to Marvel movies that is largely men taking their female significant others. Most guys won’t go see an all female movie because that tends to go into chick flick territory. And while a Marvel Chick Flick would probably be the greatest Chick Flick to come out in 20 years (just like Cap 2 is the best political thriller, Thor 2 and GotG were the best SciFi, and IM3 was the best “man on the run”)…it would be hard to make it as successful.
But that doesn’t mean Marvel isn’t going to do a female lead movie or even a female group movie. Marvel execs in the above article talk about wanting to do such movies, but their studio before could only produce 2 movies a year, and now is barely able to make 3 at the quality of the present ones. The last thing we want as fans is for the movies to go down hill. Each movie they’ve been doing has been pushing a long, singular arch as well, with something like 17 films already in planning.
This is an unprecedented project in the history of cinema. There have been film franchises before, like James Bond, but nothing where there are multiple franchises all forming a mega-franchise. Rumors are already going that there’s to be an Iron Man 4, Cap 3, Thor 3, Dr. Strange, and more beyond Age of Ultron and Antman.
Each of these movies cost hundreds of millions of dollars to make and each one takes about 2-3 years to make. Insisting that Marvel make a female lead movie now, right this minute, because you don’t feel there’s enough female representation or empowerment? Especially of a company that has been the most female friendly in both comics and cinema to the point where in the comics they are changing Thor to a woman (and expect a rant on that once the comics come out due to some rumored details), the primary X-men title is an all female team led by Storm, and in the movies Pepper Potts, Black Widow, Jane Foster, Gamora, and the lady from the first Cap movie have all had parts as large as the guy who’s name was on the box? Those ladies own those movies. Heck, Cap 2 Really should have been titled Captain America/Black Widow like it would have been if it had been a graphic novel Black Widow had such a big part.
Now, if she was complaining about DC, I could see it. They still refuse to make a Wonder Woman movie, despite the fact clearly there is a market for heroes. Heck, they only are giving her a cameo in their new movie and picked a woman to play her which really bears no physical resemblance to the character.
Will we get a female lead Marvel Movie or more? I’m sure we will. But don’t try to ruin one of the greatest experiments in story telling with your politics.