captain america, feminism, iron man, marvel, marvel movies, slate, social justice, stupidity, Thor
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.
Why Do So Few Blockbusters Star Women? Marvel Blames the Sequel.
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.
Non-Aligned Politics said:
Unfortunately, politics infests everything these days from shows, movies to what you read anymore and it’s sickening. There’s no such thing as perhaps a silly, nonsensical show like Married with Children anymore. We have to insert some hot topic socio-political issue into everything we make today. This is starting to remind me of the stuff that totalitarian countries like Nazi Germany and the USSR did to keep their people in line with the State approved consensus.
By the way, I’m not sure if you already know, but rumor is the third Avengers movie is going to called Avengers:Ragnarok. Thats if they make a third one. Its just kind of the possible plan for right now.
I would consider myself a feminist (though probably more accurately an equalist, women are equal, not superior) and I absolutely adore Marvel movies and the heroes in them. My personal favorite is Iron Man, though people think it should be Thor lol. Part of the problem here is we also have to keep in mind the time that these popular comics were made. Women really didn’t read comics back in that time period. Comics were geared toward little boys, giving them men that they could look up to. Captain America was even more a comic for the troops that were away from home. Giving them an image they could rally behind as the American way, giving them more hope and motivation, letting them know the people back home certainly did not forget about them. Now, in the present, yes there are more and more women that are getting interested in comics and comic based movies. That doesn’t really affect the comics that were already made and are still to this day more popular, mostly due to the men who grew up with them. Like you mentioned, there are also female characters that are not just side notes in the movies. I mean Pepper Pots has a huge role in Tony Stark’s life, and in IM 3 (spoiler!) has a badass scene where she is actually the one who defeats the mastermind behind AIM. I don’t understand why they feel the need to bitch about there not being enough female roles. They are just movies. They are for entertainment. Get yours panties out of that tight knot they are in and just enjoy them without having to make something out of nothing. It makes anyone who chooses to go under the title feminist look bad, hurting your cause rather than helping.
Now, with DC. From what I’ve gathered the reason they haven’t made a Wonder Woman movie is with issues with finding the woman to play her. She is such an important character, the symbol for the power of women in the DC world. Not to mention Lynda Carter is such a tough act to follow. I think the reason they are only giving her a small spot in the Superman vs. Batman movie is to try the actress out. Especially considering the woman is a former model and has previously only had very small roles (wasn’t all that spectacular in Fast and the Furious) and so far hasn’t really shown she has the potential to carry such a big role. Personally, I’m not fond of the choice of actress. Wonder Woman was an Amazon, not a stick. And frankly I get frustrated with other’s opinion, stating that she doesn’t have “big enough boobs”, but I’m going to take that as a general comment on her body shape. Her shape is perfect for a model, not an Amazonian. But maybe she will bulk up? Not unheard of for actors to change their physical appearance drastically for a role. Whether they will be able to build the franchise around her only time will tell.