Marvel Studios Boss: Female-Led Marvel Movie is a "Challenging Thing"

Alex Co

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Marvel Studios Boss: Female-Led Marvel Movie is a "Challenging Thing"


Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige says he believes in making female-led films, but it all comes down to them being able to tell the right story.

With Guardians of the Galaxy continuing Marvel's hot streak of movie hits [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/136591-FRIDAY-BOX-OFFICE-Guardians-of-The-Galaxy-Is-a-Record-Breaking-Smash], some have been wondering when the studio will finally launch a film with a female character in the lead role. It seems people looking forward to that might have to wait a little bit longer, In an interview with ComicBookResources, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige was asked how close are we to seeing a Marvel film with a female-led protagonist, since some fans have been demanding for it. Feige admits that even though he "very much" believes in doing it, it's a "challenging thing" and they're still looking to be able to tell the "right story."


I think you're right about that, and 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. I very much believe in doing it. I very much believe that it's unfair to say, "People don't want to see movies with female heroes," then list five movies that were not very good, therefore, people didn't go to the movies because they weren't good movies, versus [because] they were female leads. 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 we find ourselves in the very strange position of managing more franchises than most people have -- which is a very, very good thing and we don't take for granted, but is a challenging thing. You may notice from those release dates, we have three for 2017. And that's because just the timing worked on what was sort of gearing up. But it does mean you have to put one franchise on hold for three or four years in order to introduce a new one? I don't know. Those are the kinds of chess matches we're playing right now.

In the same interview, Feige confirms that Avengers: Age of Ultron is costing the studio more compared to The Avengers; and he thinks film director Joss Whedon will deliver a spectacle that is unmatched in any movie Marvel has ever made, or "maybe amongst any movie ever made."


Well, sometimes I think raising the bar can be equated with spending more money or making a bigger action scene, and while "Avengers [Age of Ultron]" cost more than the first one did, and while there will be big action scenes, what we think raising the bar means is surprising people, exceeding their expectations in ways that they weren't expecting. If all anybody was expecting were more explosions, that would be the easiest thing in the world to do. We get to deliver that every time -- that would be simple. But I don't think that's what people want. I don't think that's what people mean by raising the bar. I think they want to be surprised, and they want to learn more about the characters. What Joss is doing in that movie is both. [He's] delivering a level of spectacle that is unmatched, certainly, in any movie we've made, maybe amongst any movie ever made. But at the same time, and more importantly, [we're] growing the characters and altering the character's relationships in unique and surprising ways which can impact movies that come after.

Do you think the time is ripe for a female-led Marvel movie? Should Marvel start with the Black Widow since people are familiar with the character after being introduced in The Avengers and Scarlet Johansson is a known name in Hollywood? Or should the studio start kick this off with another superhero character altogether? And if so, which one?

Source: Comic Book Resources [http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=54522]

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Arkynomicon

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They probably put it off because they don't know how to market it so they consider it a risk.
 

StriderShinryu

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I think there's a lot of legitimacy to his concerns and I don't envy him for all of the stuff they really do have on their plate. That said, if they need to find some space on their roster for a female led title, I don't get why they have such a continuous hard on for the Ant Man movie. That thing is a total disaster in the making that I doubt more than a few people really care about at all.. if you need room, then there you go. Put that lame duck out of it's misery and you've got some.
 

ron1n

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The time is obviously right now considering the success they are having.

I'm not convinced Scarlet/Black Widow is the answer though.

I felt the previous Captain America installment, kind of stole the concept for what you would imagine a Black Widow film would run with. That and she's just not really that interesting a character unless you went deep into her past which wouldn't really work either (again that idea has already been superseded by the Agent Carter TV series).

Providing she rocks it in the next Avengers, I'd really like to see them give Elizabeth Olsen the green light for a post-Avengers:AoU Scarlet Witch film. Would be especially interesting since they'd be forced to come up with an original back-story given the whole mutant thing is off the table.
 

Ed130 The Vanguard

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You've just released a movie that contained a tree and talking raccoon as characters Marvel, if anyone can pull off a female comic/superhero movie it's you.
 

Alexander Kirby

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I like this guy, he knows how to PR without sounding like one of those people that take a whole paragraph to say absolutely nothing. He also isn't making any excuses, it's not that they (or at least he) don't want to make a female superhero movie it's just that they like making money off their more established franchises.

Let's face it though, a Black Widow movie would definitely make money, we all know guys who would go see it because of the sex appeal. Just as long as we don't get another Catwoman and they actually put some story in too, and it isn't incredibly cringey.
 

Nowhere Man

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Winter Soldier already did the political intrigue/spy game thing so making a Black Widow movie would be redundant. Especially since she co-starred with Cap in that movie anyway. IMO she works better as a supporting character and may not be able to carry a movie on her own.

Let's start fast tracking Carol Danvers/Ms. Marvel instead. The world is ready and Marvel could do it.
 

Something Amyss

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Ed130 The Vanguard said:
You've just released a movie that contained a tree and talking raccoon as characters Marvel, if anyone can pull off a female comic/superhero movie it's you.
Yes, but a talking tree and raccoon won't put off the fan base like a woman will.
 

Exterminas

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What a load of bovine excrements.

You don't need "special" stories just because you have a female in the lead role. The movies he quoted as succesfull examples even show that. Kill Bill for example is just the Count of Monte Cristo with some rape and katanas thrown in in regards to the story. Likewise, Hunger Games and Divergent (as far as the movies are concerned) are just basic coming of age stories.

You don't need to read some mystical book called "Stories for female characters" in order to pull stuff like that off. And so far the Marvel Movies have all been very basic in regards to the story they told. It's not like each of them had an inception-like plot that was special or convoluted.

And the part about handling too many franchises? That's pretty close to the Ubisoft statement about playable female characters being too much work. "Sorry guys, we can't do a Black Widow Movie, we are too busy making Captain White Male saves the day 8!"

Don't get me wrong, I love the Marvel Movies, but when freaking Ant Man gets a Movie before Black Widow, someone really has dropped the ball.
 

ZZoMBiE13

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Nowhere Man said:
Let's start fast tracking Carol Danvers/Ms. Marvel instead. The world is ready and Marvel could do it.
That's what I'm hoping for too. If they're going to start bringing in the cosmic aspect of Marvel, as Guardians suggests, there's no reason they can't get Carol in there to absorb some alien energy and start that storyline going.

With the newest Captain Marvel series doing well at the comic book shops, now's the time to start planning.
 

Diddy_Mao

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The MCU is in the unique position, as the man said, of having to juggle a bunch of properties that exist parallel to one another. Tossing out a film with a character with no connection to the current metaplot isn't necessarily a bad thing, and it'll need to happen eventually if they want to keep this train moving, but in the middle of act 2 is a risky time to pull that particular move regardless of gender.
(Meaning a Moon Knight or Punisher movie at this stage would be just as risky a move as a Spider-Woman or Elsa Bloodstone solo pic.)

Given their current state of affairs I think their best bet would be to make a Ms. Marvel film. It ties in the earth based core series with the newly minted Galactic setting, and it gets a good strong female lead without any strong previous affiliations to bog down the story.
 
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Diddy_Mao said:
Given their current state of affairs I think their best bet would be to make a Ms. Marvel film. It ties in the earth based core series with the newly minted Galactic setting, and it gets a good strong female lead without any strong previous affiliations to bog down the story.
ditto, especially with the kree involvement in guardians of the galaxy I would love for them to make a ms. marvel film
 

Kameburger

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I think the title of this article kind of miss characterized the statement. I think everything he said was absolutely right and going back to what bob said, eventually one of these has to fail, and if it's the first female lead one in this universe than what message is that going to send? I think waiting for the right moment is important, and not rushing out with something half assed just because people are asking for it.
 

Scars Unseen

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The title is a bit misleading. The "challenging thing" he mentioned was managing a lot of franchises, not making a female-led movie.
 

Thaluikhain

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Zachary Amaranth said:
Ed130 The Vanguard said:
You've just released a movie that contained a tree and talking raccoon as characters Marvel, if anyone can pull off a female comic/superhero movie it's you.
Yes, but a talking tree and raccoon won't put off the fan base like a woman will.
Depressing and often repeated, but still very true.

EDIT: Or at least the thinking goes that way. Just because female led movies can't ever succeed doesn't mean they won't ever succeed.
 

Coreless

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I think they could easily make a great female lead movie but really I don't think they have the time or the team to do it since they have already announced like 4 or 5 sequels for the next decade.
 

Something Amyss

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thaluikhain said:
Depressing and often repeated, but still very true.

EDIT: Or at least the thinking goes that way. Just because female led movies can't ever succeed doesn't mean they won't ever succeed.
Not to mention, it seems to be a rather self-fulfilling prophecy:

We don't want female-prominent media because it doesn't sell, so we'll drag our feet.

Well, we begrudgingly give in, but we won't promote it or put money into it.

Well, that didn't sell well, it must have been because it featured A GIRL.

You have a property that features a woman? We don't want female-prominent media because it doesn't sell, so we'll drag our feet....

Lather, rinse, repeat.

And then there's sometimes executive meddling with the process, too. Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network come to mind, though they're on the TV end of things. But again, this isn't just Hollywood. I mean, it's telling that the report a lot of people use to show games featuring girls don't sell also indicates that they receive about half the marketing. And somehow, the takeaway isn't that these games aren't on equal footing in the first place, it's that gamers don't want to play as girls. Because cooties or something.
 

RA92

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Exterminas said:
You don't need "special" stories just because you have a female in the lead role.
Yeah, I mean, just follow Marvel movie formula that has worked so well. Make the character chase a McGuffin that can destroy the world, give her some funny quips, some infighting with her allies and all of them culminating to a large battle at the end. Don't see the issue here...

Zachary Amaranth said:
Ed130 The Vanguard said:
You've just released a movie that contained a tree and talking raccoon as characters Marvel, if anyone can pull off a female comic/superhero movie it's you.
Yes, but a talking tree and raccoon won't put off the fan base like a woman will.
... ah, good point.

(But thankfully, the appeal of the Marvel movie universe now extends beyond any toxic fanbase.)