Wonder Woman, Captain Marvel, Moana & The Rise Of Female Superheroes

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It seems as if it was just yesterday that the media and the interwebs were complaining about the lack of female representation in the superhero film genre. When Marvel Studios president Kevin Feig said in an interview that the “timing had to be right” for a female superhero from their ranks to carry her own film, we all thought he was being vague and ignoring the indisputable high figures that films with lead female characters have brought in over the past couple of years.

‘The Hunger Games’, ‘Divergent’, ‘Lucy’, ‘Frozen’, and ‘Maleficent’ are just a few and happen to be the big blockbuster which totally killed it at the box office. Well now it seems our cries are being heard because just in the past few weeks there have been some major announcements from some of the big studios about films featuring a lead female character, and a superhero character at that!

Sony studios already announced they will release a female superhero film in 2017. At San Diego Comic Con not too long ago, an image of actress Gal Gadot (above) who will play Wonder Woman in the upcoming Zac Snyder-directed ‘Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice’ movie featuring Ben Affleck as the man in black was released.

Well now DC Entertainment have announced Wonder Woman will be flying onto screens in a solo movie in the summer of 2017, and what’s even better, they are currently seeking a female director to helm the film! So even though there is much conversation around why Marvel haven’t committed to Black Widow movie featuring Scarlett Johansson, especially since her character has already been established on screen in a number of movies, it seems their delay is the opportunity for other studios to capitalize.

Disney also announced a major film of their own, starring a female who couldn’t be further from their staple of Disney Princesses that have been getting much criticism lately. If you are sick of the same story line where pretty girl with skinny waste and perfectly coiffed hair sings her way to win the heart of prince charming, then you will be excited about ‘Moana’ which will be debuting in 2016.

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Directed by Ron Clements and John Musker (‘The Little Mermaid,’ ‘The Princess and the Frog’), ‘Moana’ is to tell the story of a spirited teenage girl and “born navigator” who sets sail in search of a fabled island in the ancient world of Oceania. Along the way, she teams up with a demigod named Maui and encounters mythical creatures and places.

It yet again marks that Disney is moving in a new direction with its female protagonists, if the success of ‘Brave’, ‘Frozen’, and ‘Maleficent’ are anything to go by.

“They break girl characters out of narrower boxes. Disney films in all eras show female characters with varying amounts of passive and active behavior, but the current crop is a lot more likely to send heroines on epic quests than have them sit around waiting for Prince Charming,” writes Oliver Gettell at the LA Times.

“In recent years, both Disney and Hollywood have come under fire for catering to young male audiences — say, with Disney’s Marvel movies — at the expense of female moviegoers. But these characters dispel, or at least modulate, those assumptions.”

“Moana is indomitable, passionate and a dreamer with a unique connection to the ocean itself,” director John Musker said in a statement. “She’s the kind of character we all root for, and we can’t wait to introduce her to audiences.”

Not one to be left out of the party, Marvel have just announced new offerings from their studio which includes something that will excite female audiences. Whether this was pressure from audiences, a decision made in light of the aforementioned studios treading where Kevin Feig said they were not “ready” to go, or whether it was planned all long, we don’t know. What we do know, is that in summer 2018, Marvel will release ‘Captain Marvel’, the story of Carol Danvers, formerly known as Ms. Marvel.

 

“This film has been in the works almost as long as Doctor Strange or Guardians of the Galaxy before it came out, and one of the key things was figuring out what we wanted to do with it. Her adventures are very earthbound, but her powers are based in the cosmic realm,” said Kevin Feig in a statement about the film.

A fusion of Kree and human genes, Danvers possesses the powers of superhuman strength, endurance, durability, stamina and can fly at several times the speed of sound as well as shoot radiant energy from her fingertips. Her hybrid physiology renders her immune to most poisons and other toxins, and she also possesses some precognitive abilities.

It seems Ms. Marvel is someone to watch, as the recent incarnation of the comic version is a Pakistani Muslim girl from New Jersey called Kamala Khan. She made big news as it was a major step toward diversity in a world where it is largely devoid. Marvel did good with that character, and haven’t stopped there. They recently announced at New York Comic Con another diverse female character in their comic book range.

silk-marvel-comicsThe Asian-American character Silk will be available for purchase in February 2015. Silk follows the story of Cindy Moon, who was a classmate of Peter’s who was bitten by the same fateful arachnid. But an early mishap involving her parents — she accidentally trapped them in a web while still discovering her new powers — led to her kidnapping and decade-long imprisonment.

Now free and going by Silk, Cindy searches the city for her parents and attempts to catch up on all the people and events she missed during her captivity.

Silk is to be drawn by artist Stacey Lee (loving this girl power behind the scenes!). The image above is the confirmed first cover drawn by Dave Johnson, the image below is by Stacey. Writer Robbie Thomson said they have 12 installments planned for ‘Silk’ which will no doubt have fans excited.

“As you get to know Cindy both in “Amazing Spider-Man” and the “Spider-Verse” event you’re really going to see a great, dynamic character. I find a lot of inspiration in Cindy. She made this really complicated adult decision as a teenager. Getting a chance to explore that and its ramifications in terms of where she is now is a big part of the first arc that we have mapped out,” he said in an interview.

So in light of this recent news, we gotta say we’re pretty damn excited. Sure, it is no where near equal to the amount of males featured in comic books, films and TV series, but it is an awesome start and if these huge announcements are anything to go buy, it seems it will only get better the more audiences speak up and use their voices to tell Hollywood what they want to see.

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8 Comments

  1. Looking forward to seeing Silk on screen. A big change for Asian women who are often boxed in some martial arts clone.

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