The DC Extended Universe — now known as the Worlds of DC — has been behind the 8-ball on many things compared to Marvel. And, as we have all witnessed with the perfect culmination of storytelling found in Avengers: Infinity War, that distance increased by a few thousand miles.
However, the one thing that DC Comics and Warner Bros. Pictures can tout better than possibly any production house is how fast it took them to diversify its offerings.
It took almost no time at all to create a superheroine film, led by a fantastic female director. When Patty Jenkins created Wonder Woman, it was easy to tell that a woman could command a comic book movie by herself. And that a woman could direct one too.
Now, we have the great Ava Duvernay bringing us New Gods. Indie circuit standout Cathy Yan is at the helm of Harley Quinn and Birds of Prey (also a diverse cast in gender and culture). Christina Hodson, screenwriter of Bumblebee, has her claws in Batgirl. And can’t forget the wunderkind of the macabre James Wan getting ready to unveil Aquaman.
Not to forget there’s the seemingly enigmatic Walter Hamada at the helm of it all.
Meanwhile, Marvel Studios is backing up a Brinks truck to its humble headquarters almost every six months. Almost every movie they touch turns to gold. The problem is that their gold coins mainly go deep in the pockets of white men.
Sure, there is Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olson), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Gamora (Zoe Saldana), and the beautiful women of Wakanda. But there aren’t any leading people of color, gender, or culture outside of a homogenized gaggle of super men in tights.
(S/O to Digital Spy for a great read on how much screen time Marvel has dedicated to women.)
Now we finally have a leading lady in Marvel. So, Kevin Feige, what took so long? Good thing Entertainment Weekly cornered him to ask what we all were wondering.
“I think there are a lot of reasons,” Feige said, “not the least of which was fighting for many years the erroneous notion that audiences did not want to see a female-led hero [film] because of a slew of films 15 years ago that didn’t work. And my belief was always that they didn’t work not because they were female-led stories — they didn’t work because they were not particularly good movies.”
This has been an 11-year, 20-movie wait for Marvel to bring what took DC only a couple of years to start the right way. This is about creating a universe after all. It’s not Marvel hate because it makes objective sense to ask.
Why hasn’t a superheroine happened before Wonder Woman shattered the glass ceiling with her lasso of truth that this really can be done? Maybe Elektra? Maybe seen with the stunning lack of female action stars in Hollywood? Despite the cries for equality in Hollywood, this is about making money.
But, again, now that Patty Jenkins proved this formula of girl (super) power can earn a profit, Marvel is getting ready.
“With [Ant-Man and The Wasp] and now with Captain Marvel and many movies to be announced in the near future, I’m anxious for the time where it’s not a novelty that there is a female-led superhero movie, but it is a norm,” Feige told EW. “And it is less a story of, ‘Oh, look, a female hero,’ and it’s more a story of, ‘Oh, what’s this about? Who’s this character? I’m excited to see that.’ And I think we can get there.”
MEMO to Feige: We are already “there.” We’re just pleased Marvel is catching up.