The Marvel Cinematic Universe — the universe in which the current Marvel films exist — is full of powerful female characters… but fans cannot help but notice that there has yet to be a female superhero who leads a film. We have seen the Black Widow in Avengers, Pepper Potts in Iron Man, and Peggy Carter in Thor… but no female superhero has led her own film.
That could all change in the future if new comments from Marvel Studios executive producer Louis D’Esposito carry any weight. The Marvel expert discussed how Marvel handles new film ideas, and how they must balance the desire of fans with what they’re capable of producing with such a small core group at Marvel:
“There’s obviously a drumbeat that is banging louder and louder that we want a female lead superhero. We have strong female characters in our films from Black Widow to Pepper Potts to Peggy Carter and you never know. Maybe there’s an offshoot film with one of them. Or Captain Marvel, you know?
It’s hard because we have a small group at Marvel. We do two films a year. To get those two films done and to do them right takes a lot of work and manpower. And female-power, obviously. To add a third film and to just put it in the slate right now is difficult. We have these next three, four, five films coming out and that’s what we’re really concentrating on.”
The good news here is that Marvel is very aware of the fan desire to see a strong female lead in their films. To date, they’ve written great female characters, but it’s hard to call it fair when the lead in all of their individual franchises is a male.
If you’re unfamiliar with Captain Marvel, it was a number of one-shots based around different characters under the name “Captain Marvel” in an effort for the comic publisher to hold on to a trademark in their war with DC Comics. One of the Captain Marvel characters, Monica Rambeau, was female:
The second Captain Marvel is Monica Rambeau, a police lieutenant from New Orleans who possesses the power to transform herself into any form of energy. Her powers were briefly altered so that she cannot transform to energy, but instead can generate a personal force field. Sometime later, the Stranger returned her energy transformation abilities. She is a member of the Avengers, at one point serves as their leader. She uses the name Photon for quite some time, until Genis-Vell adopts the same name. Genis-Vell and Monica discuss this and Monica decides on the name Pulsar.
Another character, Janet va Dyne, becomes Captain Marvel in an alternate timeline in the Age of Ultron comic crossover event:
In the Age of Ultron crossover event Janet van Dyne becomes Captain Marvel in an alternate timeline created by the death of Henry Pym. Pym is murdered by a time-travelling Wolverine to prevent the creation of Ultron, an artificial intelligence which in a post-apocalyptic future has wiped out most of the Earth’s population including most superheroes.
Sound familiar? Age of Ultron is the subtitle of the next Avengers movie. Interesting!
Now we ask: Can you see a female lead in a Marvel film? Which female do you think the film should focus on? How long do you think it will be before we see this film come from Marvel?