In a leaked email exchange between Sony and Marvel CEO Ike Perlmutter, the Marvel representative seemingly is not a fan of female superhero films, and lists-off some of the more disastrous projects from the past. There really isn’t a context to the email, but it’s sending-up red flags to us and sites like Women and Hollywood, possibly showing how Marvel sees female driven movies as a whole, since Ike did title the email “Female Movies”.
He mentions the usual suspects such as Elektra and Catwoman being box office flops. Although, somehow also manages to place Supergirl into the mix, the film is over 30 years old and is hardly a modern example to use since the craze really started in 1999. I can see why he’d think their gender was the issue, but in reality these were just terrible movies without the creative and marketing backup to get asses in seats.
I can see this really only being of two minds. One, being that Ike was dissuading Sony from pursing their female driven Spider-Man movie which they have been developing before the deal with Marvel, apparently the spinoffs are still on the table and will be handled by Tom Rothman (good luck with that Sony!). The second, he was giving Sony examples of a failures to nudge them in the right direction creatively. There are usually more than a few factors why certain female superhero movies did extremely poorly, and it’s not because of gender. Some of the factors include a much lower budget than male counterparts, less creative time on script, untested directors or cheap ones, lack of vision, skimpy costumes, misogynistic and sexist tropes.
Women and Hollywood also brings-up the double standard female driven films face. As we don’t tend to blame bombs like Spawn, Green Lantern, Cowboys and Aliens, Scott Pilgrim, The Green Hornet, The Punisher, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, The Shadow, and John Carter specifically because of the gender of the characters or their writers. We actually have plenty of examples of commercially successful female driven films such as Hunger Games, Gravity, Aliens, Maleficent, Alice in Wonderland, Frozen (animated but still female driven story), Lucy, Mama Mia!, and even Twilight. Studios tend to use the few examples of failures to backup their prejudice against the genre as a whole, while audiences and the box office tell another story altogether.
I’m just curious if Mr. Perlmutter is the real reason that those talks of a Black Widow spinoff between Kevin Feige and Scarlett Johansson stalled, even after Captain Marvel and Guardians of The Galaxy screenwriter Nicole Perlman took a crack at a new script. Lionsgate and Marvel had teamed-up years back with writer-director David Hayter to make a solo film, but movies like Elektra and Catwoman spooked them off and they gave it the axe. It’s close to ten years later and the comic book genre is at it’s peak and seemingly a perfect time to release some diverse heroic stories. It’s funny to me because Disney who also owns Marvel is giving Scarlett her own franchise with Ghost In The Shell, an obscure Japanese manga/anime adaptation is a larger draw than a Black Widow movie?
Yes, we are getting a Captain Marvel film in 2018 and I’m fully rooting for that one, believe me. It’s just that it will mark the ten year anniversary of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and in nineteen movies we will only have one centred around a superheroine, which is kind of jarring when you think about it as the studio seemingly prides itself on “strong female characters”. Basically, in that entire time only one Marvel film out of nineteen has female-led story, it’s actually quite shameful. Sure, a couple of television projects are awesome but keeping minorities and women on the small screen is kind of joke in 2015.
— Rafael Rodrigues (@OfficialRafaRio) May 1, 2015
This attitude has me a bit concerned that future of the MCU could only see women in supporting roles rather than leading, boys also look up to female heroes not just girls. I think studios and specifically Marvel forgets that, I mean there has been an equal amount of voices demanding more female superhero films. Also, plenty of boys and adult males support female centric movies, it’s not just women and girls buying tickets anymore times have changed.
I have my fingers-crossed that Elektra is given another big screen shot, since she is one of the strongest characters Marvel has left and shouldn’t be stuck on television, as great as Daredevil is Elektra is more than just a love-interest to Murdock. She could easily fit into the new mystical side of the MCU which is being launched with Doctor Strange, not unlike Iron Fist. If their other existing roster doesn’t scream cinematic they should talk to Fox and Sony make a deal to give us a Kitty Pryde or Spider-Woman movies, I know Joss Whedon has commented that Fox has the superior group of female Marvel characters, maybe it’s about time they worked something out.
SOURCE: WOMEN AND HOLLYWOOD