Joss Whedon Talks Female Superheroes; Expects RDJ in ‘The Avengers 2′

Published 2 years ago by , Updated June 6th, 2013 at 10:38 am,

Scarlett Johansson in The Avengers Joss Whedon Talks Female Superheroes; Expects RDJ in The Avengers 2

The highly-disproportionate ratio of superhero versus superheroine movies has left many a comic book fan – male and female – grumbling, if only because it would be nice to see more diversity in the genre. Problem is, that relevant discussion has a (bad) habit of quickly devolving into an argument of extremes – in which one side dubs the other misogynists, only for the latter to fire back with claims of pseudo-feminism and how the opposition wants all superhero movies to have female leads (because that’s a realistic fear, right?).

It’s no wonder that this is a touchy subject to address, when you consider the traditional objectification - without equal representation – of the women featured in comic books; not to mention, the previous lackluster solo movie vehicles released for characters like Supergirl, Elektra and Catwoman. (And do we even need to bring up the struggle to get either a decent Wonder Woman TV show or film made?)

Avengers writer-director Joss Whedon is heralded for his ability to devise compelling female characters – which includes on his cult TV shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Firefly – and he touched on the superheroine issue during a recent interview with The Daily Beast:

“Toymakers will tell you they won’t sell enough, and movie people will point to the two terrible superheroine movies that were made and say, You see? It can’t be done. It’s stupid, and I’m hoping The Hunger Games will lead to a paradigm shift. It’s frustrating to me that I don’t see anybody developing one of these movies. It actually pisses me off. My daughter watched The Avengers and was like, “My favorite characters were the Black Widow and Maria Hill,” and I thought, Yeah, of course they were. I read a beautiful thing Junot Diaz wrote: “If you want to make a human being into a monster, deny them, at the cultural level, any reflection of themselves.”

Presumably, Whedon is referencing the Supergirl and Elektra movies (since films like Catwoman and Barb Wire technically do not feature superheroine leads). That aside, Whedon has proven willing to put his money where his mouth is, between his previous attempt to develop a Wonder Woman movie and fleshing out the Black Widow character (Scarlett Johansson) – introduced in Iron Man 2 – so much that she become a fan-favorite team member in The Avengers.

iron man main Joss Whedon Talks Female Superheroes; Expects RDJ in The Avengers 2

Similarly, Whedon’s upcoming Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. TV series will introduce a few new female characters – including (gasp!) some non-white ones – and The Avengers 2 looks to feature at least one new super-powered lady addition in the form of Scarlet Witch. The hope, of course, is that we start to get more variety in the personalities and attributes of these comic book movie supeheroines, much like the case for the men (ranging from the snarky Tony Stark to the golden-boy Steve Rogers).

Speaking of Iron Man, Whedon also offered assurances that Robert Downey Jr. will – without a doubt – be reprising his role in Avengers 2:

“He is Iron Man. He is Iron Man in the way that Sean Connery was James Bond. I have no intention of making Avengers 2 without him, nor do I think I’ll be called upon to do that. I don’t think it’s in my interest, Marvel’s interest, or his interest, and I think everything will be fine. But I know that this is Hollywood and you roll with things. You have to be ready for the unexpected. But I loved working with Robert, and everybody knows he embodied that role in a way no one else can. The day he was cast, I went up to [Marvel Studios president] Kevin Feige and said, ‘You brilliant son of a bitch.’”

The conclusion to Iron Man 3 – in combination with the reports about strenuous cast negotiations for Avengers 2 – may have raised doubts about future Iron Man installments, but there’s never been any legitimate reason to believe that RDJ might not appear in the Avengers sequel. (The actor previously assured us as much will be true.) Nevertheless, it’s encouraging to hear something like that from the creative architect on Marvel Studio’s Phase 2.

The Avengers 360 Shot Post Conversion 3D Joss Whedon Talks Female Superheroes; Expects RDJ in The Avengers 2

Marvel has publicly announced that it is willing to recast Tony Stark down the line (maybe even for Iron Man 4). However, it’s best to wait and see what the state of things are in the Marvel Cinematic Universe – like which characters are still living after the “awful” events that Whedon has promised in Avengers 2 - by the end of Phase 2, before speculating too much about future developments (be it recasting or Marvel releasing more superheroine movies).


Iron Man 3 is now playing in theaters, Thor: The Dark World arrives in theaters on November 8th, 2013, Captain America: The Winter Soldier on April 4th, 2014, Guardians of the Galaxy on August 1st, 2014, and The Avengers 2 on May 1st, 2015.

Phase 3 begins when Ant-Man opens in theaters on November 6, 2015, and films like Doctor Strange, Black Panther and Inhumans could be arriving thereafter.

Source: The Daily Beast

Follow Sandy Schaefer on Twitter @feynmanguy
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    • Lol thanks for that video man it was really funny lmao

  1. The Joss Whedon bashing in some of the comments in this thead are absolutely ridiculous, completely without merit and just laughable.

    Get a clue.

    You know who you are.

    • LOL

    • Yup.

    • I assume you mean me

      • My comment was pretty bad as well LOL. At least I added IMO.

  2. I can rest easy now. Whedon FTW

  3. I don’t really care what the gender of a character is, if a film is well-written and well-made. That being said, there is no excuse for Wonder Woman still not having gotten a live-action film. At least the odds of it being good when it finally happens are probably better now than they have ever been, considering the direction that WB/DC appears to be moving in. (Poor Green Lantern.)

    Good female comic book film depictions – Catwoman (Pfeiffer/Hathaway), Black Widow, most of the X-Women, as well as non-hero supporting roles played by Kirsten Dunst, Jennifer Connelly, etc.

    Some significant/obvious characters have not gotten good depictions yet, most notably Batgirl and Susan Storm. I have not seen Supergirl, Halle Berry Catwoman or Elektra…

  4. Yes! bring in She-Hulk,Scarlett Witch, War Bird, Wasp and Enchantress so many great male and Female heroes that do not get used in films.

  5. don’t forget about Sheena, she had a 1984 movie & a 2000′s tv show. but Wonder Woman can’t can’t get both?

  6. IMO Wonder Woman is one of the lamest super heroine’s ever. Sorry D.C. people.

  7. Wonder woman is one of the big three of the Justice league. Lame? hardly. however she is usually used in bad ways. Amazons and warrior women need to be more serious than comical and i liked how she was pertrayed in the justice league cartoon, an outsider learning the ways outside her paradise island.

  8. i never understood why J-Whedon chose the 2 Avengers that had NO SuperPowers to put in the movie when he could’ve chosen them with Powers, it makes sense now to have QUICKSILVER because he is basically like THE FLASH of Marvel and SCARLET WITCH is Marvel’s answer to WONDER WOMAN, Avengers 2 will be very very exciting it seems now that they will include these 2, i CAN’T wait!

    • the ultimates storyline…in it black widow and hawkeye join before the maximoffs. also they were the easiest to add with just a little backstory contrary to wasp and giant man

  9. To be honest, I love seeing female superheros, but they really did not seem as appealing or coo, if anything I felt very uncomfortable seeing my own gender portraited like that.

    Like catwoman in Batman 3, She served no real purpose and seemed downright bitchy and harsh, I was more comfortable watching batman interrogate joker and falcone in the dark knight compared to just her presence in B3.

    Then in avengers, I thought it unrealistic for black widow to have that much unrealistic amounts of strength and use such small guns against aliens. Even hawk eye was atleast using arrows with explosives which seemed more realistic, but once again, too aggressive, there was no caring femininity, it felt like she was trying to be a man, much like bond girls in Skyfall.

    Best female leads by far were in X-Men; storm and Jean. Both had psychic powers, were like feminine females and seemed very easy going, yet were very powerful.

    • God forbid we have a range of female characters. It troubles me that you deem certain behaviors ok for men but bad for women. I personally don’t care for that double-standard. I prefer the diversity. I certainly didn’t think Catwoman in Batman 3 was b*tchy, but even if a female character was, so what? Sometimes it’s great to get that in a character. Sometimes it’s great to get a nurturing, caring woman, sometimes it’s great to get a woman who doesn’t take sh*t from anyone and who looks out for herself. Both can be awesome character types.

      Feminine heros are great, but so are non feminine ones. We should be allowed a range. And it’s awesome to see women with super powers or be able to kick ass even without them. It doesn’t need to be heavy-handed and over the top– that can be annoying, but realistic varied depictions of women (sexy or not, feminine or not, masculine or not, good or evil, etc) really add to a movie for me.