5 Female-Centric Superhero Movies That Need To Happen
No matter your gender, superhero movies are fun.
Origin stories! Banter! Skin-tight suits! Thrilling heroics! They’re a smorgasbord of pop culture goodness that hit all of our nostalgic sweet spots. They remind us of our childhoods when we ran around in capes or, in my case, spent hours trying to devise a way to make my Gambit and Rogue action figures make-out without Gambit dying (Pushing Daisies showed up in my life a decade too late) while also offering the lure of the ultimate good guy (or sometimes the angsty rich guy) who will swoop in and save the day.
Unfortunately, nearly all of the heroes that make it to the big screen are of the male persuasion, and while some of them have kick-butt girlfriends (I could build a shrine to Pepper Potts), it would be nice to see some female superheroes take flight. Not just because there are plenty of women out there who read/love comics and superheroes, but also because the world of comics have produced plenty of great female characters. I grew up loving superhero cartoons and, although I’m not an avid reader of comics, I’ve read enough to know that if you look in the right places you can find comics with compelling female-driven stories. Furthermore, it would be great, just once, to take my hero-obsessed nieces to a see a film with a heroine at its center. Superman, Batman, Spider Man, Cap’, Thor– they’re all great, but they could use a rest. It’s time to spice things up and I think I know just the ladies to do it.
The Runaways aren’t an all-female team, but they’re pretty close. Brian K. Vaughn’s teen-centric series revolves around a group of kids who realize their parents are supervillains, and among them is Nico, a powerful, but angst-ridden witch/leader, Karolina, a lesbian alien, Molly an adorable mutant with super-strength who once beat up Wolverine, and Gert, my personal favorite, a snarky gal with a psychic bond with her pet dinosaur. More awesome ladies and a transgender character come along later, but even if a film version stuck with the core group, they would have a diverse, compelling group of characters and one killer origin story on their hands.
Rumors of a Runaways film have been circulating for years, but if Marvel loved us at all they’d make it happen– and get Vaughn to write and direct to ensure everything that made the comics special actually made it into the film.
It’s ridiculous that we live in a world where Superman has had six feature films and Wonder Women, who is without a question the most famous female comic book hero of all time, hasn’t had a single film built around her. Several screenwriters have tried and failed to get a film made–including The Avengers‘ maestro Joss Whedon–but still Wonder Woman only exists within the pages of comics and in the occasional Direct-to-DVD cartoon.
The most common argument about why female-themed comic book movies aren’t made is that apparently men won’t go see them, but given the fact that the Amazon Princess has been around for seven decades, I don’t really see that being an issue here. And even if it was, there are enough little girls in the world with moms, aunts, grandmothers and big sisters who remember Lynda Carter and her Lasso of Truth that even without the guys, a Wonder Woman movie seems like an easy sell as long as Hollywood isn’t foolish enough to it go the Catwoman or Elektra route. Leave the camp at home, and give Wonder Woman the same serious treatment her male counterparts have received and all will be right with the world.
I will not rest until I know what happened in Budapest.
With a killer script from Whedon, Scarlett Johansson came to life as Black Widow in The Avengers. She made Natasha cunning, resourceful, fascinating and a female hero who was eager to make attrition for her darker deeds, while never allowing herself to be made to feel lesser for them. There’s no doubt in my mind she could carry a movie all on her own, and I’d be there in the front row on opening night to watch her do her (awesome, awesome) thing as Marvel’s coolest super spy.
Okay, I’ll admit up front I love all the X-Men ladies and the only reason why I chose Kitty over Rogue or Storm, is because of Whedon’s Astonishing X-Men run. He constructed such a beautiful, powerful arc for Kitty that I’d love to see it played out on the big screen. The fact that Ellen Page has already played the character once is just an added bonus. We all know how easily Page can take center stage, so why not build the next team-centric X-Men outing around someone unexpected? Besides Whedon would love to make it happen, but since Kitty’s in the hands of 20th Century Fox, might I suggest Jane Goldman, who has co-written two of the more compelling superhero movies in recent years, plus Stardust?
Yes, they sort of did the Dark Phoenix arc in X-Men 3, but they did it so horribly, I think we would all happily forget that ever happened. On paper, Jean Grey can often come off as one of the least interesting X-Men, but the Dark Phoenix saga, when told correctly, is as about as poignant as comic book stories get. It deserves to be the single driving narrative of a film, and if you have any doubts, head over to YouTube and see what the ’90s X-Men cartoon series did with it then come back and tell me you wouldn’t pay to see that blockbuster.
Those are my dream female-centric superhero films, but there are so many heroines out there, I’m sure your list could look completely different. Share your picks in the comments!
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