Kevin Feige Says Marvel has No Firm Plans for a Female Superhero Movie

Published 1 year ago by , Updated March 18th, 2014 at 5:36 pm,

Ms Marvel 31 Marvel Comics Kevin Feige Says Marvel has No Firm Plans for a Female Superhero Movie

While the Marvel movies so far have boasted some diversity among their supporting casts, the standalone titles in the franchise have so far stuck to white male protagonists: Bruce Banner, Steve Rogers, Tony Stark, Thor and – coming next year – Hank Pym and Scott Lang in Ant-Man. Marvel’s planned Doctor Strange movie would also introduce another white male superhero (barring any gender- or race-bending casting choices) to the roster, but there are still no standalone superhero movies that break that mold in sight.

It’s somewhat surprising for a studio that’s known for taking bold risks; this summer’s release of Guardians of the Galaxy, for example, will feature a team-up that includes a talking alien raccoon and an anthropomorphic tree. It’s notable, however, that the Guardians’ only white male team member, Star Lord, heavily dominated the movie’s first trailer.

Speaking at a press junket for Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Marvel’s President of Production Kevin Feige was quizzed by Badass Digest on the lack of diversity in the studio’s past and announced standalone titles. Feige recently responded to questions about a standalone Black Widow movie by saying that Marvel has “various outlines and ideas” for such a thing.

However, in his response to a related question posed by Badass Digest, he seems a lot more cautious about the idea:

“I think [Black Widow] has a central leading role in [Captain America: The Winter Soldier]. What people are really saying is “When are you doing a standalone female superhero movie?” The answer is: I don’t know. We only do two a year, we know more or less what’s coming up through ‘16/’17. With Widow what’s great is the interaction with all the team members, and the question is whether we want to pluck her out of that.

“I’m very proud of the way the Marvel movies handle the female characters who are in all the movies we are making, as opposed to feeling the pressure of ‘When are you doing a female movie?’ We’re exploring a lot of Widow, and that’s going to continue with Age of Ultron in a big way.

“Frankly if we do a Black Widow movie after Age of Ultron, when she’s been central in three or four movies I don’t think we’d get the quote unquote credit for it. People would say ‘She’s already a big giant superhero!’ But if we had a great idea, we’d do it.”

To Marvel’s credit, the studio has offered some decent roles for women and non-white characters, even braving the wrath of comic book fans by casting Idris Elba as Heimdall. Based on trailers and early reactions, Captain America: The Winter Soldier is really more of a team-up movie along the lines of The Avengers rather than a straightforward standalone title about Steve Rogers. As with Guardians of the Galaxy, however, Marvel is still able to sell the movie on the central presence of a white male superhero.

Guardians of the Galaxy Poster Art 570x294 Kevin Feige Says Marvel has No Firm Plans for a Female Superhero Movie

It’s understandable that a studio like Marvel, which makes fairly risky properties using pretty massive budgets, might have developed a need for each movie to have at least one white male superhero playing a core role. It offers the opportunity to include great African-American characters like Nick Fury and Sam Wilson, along with strong and capable female characters like Jane Foster and Natasha Romanoff, without the kind of risk that would be involved in marketing a standalone Black Panther or Captain Marvel movie. In an interview with NPR, Orange is the New Black creator Jenji Kohan described this as a kind of “Trojan Horse” approach.

“Piper was my Trojan Horse. You’re not going to go into a network and sell a show on really fascinating tales of black women, and Latina women, and old women and criminals. But if you take this white girl, this sort of fish out of water, and you follow her in, you can then expand your world and tell all of those other stories.”

For now, Feige’s answer to the question of when and if Marvel is going to make a standalone superhero movie with a female protagonist remains a firm, “I don’t know.” When asked whether Captain Marvel – or indeed the new Ms. Marvel, a Pakistani-American teenager called Kamala Khan – could eventually get her own movie, Feige responded with a vague (but promising?), “We’ve talked a lot about [Captain Marvel]. I think that would be very cool.” He also said that he liked the idea of creating an entirely new female superhero for the Marvel movie universe, and writing an origin story for her.

Tell us what you think of this debate in the comments – should Marvel try making a standalone movie with a non-white/non-male protagonist, or is it enough to have diversity in the supporting cast?


Captain America: The Winter Soldier is out in theaters on April 4, 2014.

Source: Badass Digest

Follow H. Shaw-Williams on Twitter @HSW3K
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  1. Little f*ckers. I want atleast one not announced movie Marvel to do right, the one about Ms. Marvel(Carol Danvers). And you can’t do even that? *shows Linus’ finger*

  2. I think its sad marvel is taking this route.

  3. Well, after your race baiting article the other week, you’re at it again. I thought this was a movie site.

    I will be ignoring your articles in the future.

    • So that means we won’t have to deal with your comments?

      That’s a shame because you’re usually a pretty cool member but your reaction here is completely overblown and ridiculous.

      SR weren’t race-baiting then and they’re not gender-baiting now. The guy in charge of the Marvel Studios movies was asked in an interview if there’d be a solo movie based on a female superhero and he replied. That’s what the article is about, followed by a journalistic effort to create discussion from that one quote.

      You don’t just post an article consisting solely of one short quote and then walk away, you try to find the implications of that quote in an unbiased way and then open the door to comments by readers of the site.

      If you can’t see that then it’s your fault, not Hannah’s.

      • Well to be fair to MovieB…

        H.Shaw Williams did state multiple comments and really beating it into our heads that MCU is very white/male oriented instead of just stating it one time and moving on with the comment from Feige. Not to mention ending this article with the words “…Tell us what you think of this debate.” It was obvious the article was meant to provoke us into debate and argument.

        The article did come across very biased, but hey, it didn’t bother me. I agree that all the movies have been very white male led. I just wouldn’t have pointed it out so much. I would have stated it and moved on. Then pointed out the other side of the argument as was only briefly covered.

        I think MovieB saw all the following (below) and felt the article was trying too much to spark a debate and also being a little biased. Just my observations…

        “…the standalone titles in the franchise have so far stuck to white male protagonists:”

        “Doctor Strange movie would also introduce another white male superhero…”

        “It’s somewhat surprising for a studio that’s known for taking bold risks;”

        “It’s notable, however, that the Guardians’ only white male team member, Star Lord, heavily dominated the movie’s first trailer.”

        “As with Guardians of the Galaxy, however, Marvel is still able to sell the movie on the central presence of a white male superhero.”

        • Well if we’re playing that game I can cherry-pick quotes to make it sound like the article was arguing no change is needed at all:

          “The studio has offered some decent roles for women and non-white characters, even braving the wrath of comic book fans by casting Idris Elba as Heimdall.”

          “Captain America: The Winter Soldier is really more of a team-up movie along the lines of The Avengers rather than a straightforward standalone title about Steve Rogers.”

          “It offers the opportunity to include great African-American characters like Nick Fury and Sam Wilson, along with strong and capable female characters like Jane Foster and Natasha Romanoff.”

          That’s why it’s good to read the whole thing instead of just skimming. In any case, not every article that argues a particular point is “biased.” It would be very boring if we strictly straddled the fence on all topics. And I genuinely don’t see how sparking a debate is a bad thing.

          • @ H. Shaw Williams…

            A few things:

            A. You just said, “In any case, not every article that argues a particular point is “biased.” Wouldn’t that be the very definition of bias? If an article is going to argue a particular point (for or against) then that article is biased. It doesn’t necessarily mean the author is biased but the article IS biased.

            B. You also just said, “It would be very boring if we strictly straddled the fence on all topics.” You just admitted that you are biased in this article! If you straddle the fence you are not taking a side. So I ask, why are you upset that someone shows parts where the article is biased when you admit you were?

            C. I literally stated that YOU DID point out the other side of the argument. However, you definitely had more statements supporting the claim that MCU has more white male led movies which I even agreed with. I even stated that I had no problem with bias in the article but I wouldn’t have played it out so much as you did. TO ADD: IMO, if you are trying to spark a debate then you should present both sides fairly without bias.

            D. I also never said anything was wrong with sparking the debate. I actually quoted you and then explained to Dazz that that was the point of the article. I even took “your cue” and took a side by saying that all the movies have been white male led.

            E. SO did you just skim my earlier response above?

            Either way, my whole previous post was simply created to show what I thought the reason to be as to why MovieB thought this was gender baiting and didn’t want to be part of this.

            In the end, the article IS gender-baiting. It was trying to get people to discuss and debate the issue of women’s equality in the MCU. I’m ok with this cause I think it’s true that there are obviously far less women leads in the MCU.

      • Well give it a rest. Everyone knows Feige and Williams are just speaking from experience, it hasn’t been done before with regards to moving away from white male central role. Because sales wise it hasn’t been done before. Does not mean they aren’t going to do one, think Ms. Marvel the movie!

  4. First i would love noting more than a Ms Marvel movie but it has to be Carol Danvers anything else is just disrespect
    Second I would also love to see SpiderWoman or She Hulk as well, but who knows
    Third I dont think Black Widow needs her own movie at this point, but thats just my opinion
    Last i absolutely love that Guardians picture it just makes me feel good inside

  5. I feel it’s great they don’t give much of a f**k to the SJW core and won’t try to appeal to them, unlike Fox with their race swapping.

    • Yes, Marvel has a hard-and-fast rule about not race-swapping any characters. Heimdall? Uh… he always looked that way.

  6. Has everyone forgotten about the Jessica Jones series they’re making?

  7. Marvel will be very Stupid for not doing a Ms Marvel and Black Panther movie. these two characters are more iconic compare to GOTG.

    also people saying it risk to do a female or people of colour movie. but yet a movie like Fast and Furious the most diverse casting makes load of cash. i also said this Marvel should of done a Heroes For Hire movie cause of the diverse of characters. Fast and Furious is basocally Marvels Heroes For Hire.

    • doesnt matter whos more iconic. iron man was not and had really low comic sales but look at what they did. marvel are trying to make all their superheros household names and wont go to the characters they think are more popular because they know most people dont read comics.

      dc aint doing that, even with the animated movies. everything is batman and superman.

      • im not talking about that. Iron Man, Cap, Thor is more known to comic book fans company to GOTG.

  8. i really think they will do one before wonder woman… marvel are the ones that bring in the new thing and all the others try and incorporate it into their own plans. everyone now wants a shared universe.

    apparently cap2 should be called captain america and black widow because scarlet is in a lot which is great. i really want a female powerhouse and i want ms marvel to have a solo movie. but i think she will be in avengers to get people to know she is part of marvel and maybe make her solo movie a prequel to the avengers to get her origin.

    • They definately could have called the movie The Winter Soldier.

  9. I think it’s stupid that people are actually worrying about this. We live in the 21st century for goodness sake. Race shouldn’t be an issue anymore. People just look for things to complain about. A standalone female or non-white hero movie hasn’t been made because it hasn’t worked in the story yet. And if people are REALLY so worried about there not being a movie with a non-white or female character that is FICTION then they should get their priorities straight. I mean come on, a Black Panther movie has been all but confirmed by Marvel for phase 3 plus we’ve got Nick Fury and Falcon.

    • Right, 21st century. Why NOT have more female and and people of colour characters. They create the story, that’s a logical fallacy if I ever saw one.

  10. Ms. Marvel (captain marvel) could have insane powers. She’s an American pilot, there is already an established alien filled universe. It works! Throw the bulk in the mix and bam! Blockbuster…just saying. And no, therefor not create a new hero. Spider woman has origins to hydra and sheild, she can fly and she has a pheromone which gives her power over most men. For a vilian…Sin…the red skulls daughter.

  11. If you can do Guardians of the Galaxy 2 or Ant-Man 2, why not?

  12. Sounds like Feige is a typical “old white guy” type. How very short sighted and sexist, very sad!

  13. they did have a Kree on AoS, that opens up a door for Cpt. Marvel.

  14. well, what a disappointing answer from kevin.

  15. and if they do a ms marvel movie, i hope its Kamala Khan’s version.

  16. Want to kill 2 birds with one stone? Just have the Black Panther be female. The character is even already established in the Marvel universe as Shuri, youngest offspring of T’Chaka. I’m actually a bit surprised no one has brought it up yet and are focused on Ms. Marvel instead.

    Personally I don’t like the idea because it feels like jumping the shark a bit just to get a female lead. I would MUCH prefer T’Challa being the first and proper introduction to the character but it does feel in line with what Marvel has been doing with it’s other movie characters lately.

    If people could be patient, they could introduce Black panther and then kill him off during the 3 movie and have Shuri pick up the mantle. I know that would put her WAY down the line but it would make logical sense. (if only they had ALREADY made a BP movie!)

  17. Of course it’s not enough that all non-white, non-male characters are in the supporting cast. Non-white non-male people aren’t ‘support’ and they deserve to have their stories told and see themselves represented as much as white men do.

  18. ah yes, making a movie with a talking raccoon is no problem but a female/colored superhero? my goodness, that would just be dumb! why do people want that anyways, there’s plenty of those in the background of our other movies.

    also, find it kinda hilarious that marvel apparently thinks black supporting characters make up the whole spectrum of the diversity they think they’re having.

  19. Why is everyone freaking out?

    The original purpose of Phase 1 was for everything to lead up to an Avengers movie loosely based on the original team. They did do this with Cap, IM, Hulk, and Thor. Yes they left out Ant-Man and Wasp but subbed in Hawkeye and Black Widow who had fairly signifcant roles in Avengers. Black Widow also had good supporting roles in IM movies. It’s not like Phase 1 completely disregarded other races and women.

    Compare the new white male hero characters/actors that are in the works. Lets see…Ant-Man, Star-Lord, Daredevil, Iron Fist, Vision, Quicksilver, Dr. Strange, 3 male leads of Agents of SHIELD. Put that vs. the major non-white male hero’s definately in the works Drax, Rocket, Gamora, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, Deathlok, Falcon, Scarlet Witch, 3 female leads of Agents of SHIELD. The playing field is becoming pretty fair.

    Now that Phase 1 was successful they are taking bigger risks with Phase 2. They have increased the role of diversity in a big way. Lets check it out…

    1. They are giving Black Widow more of a role compared to Avengers, and IM2,
    2. Nick Fury more of a role compared to IM 1 and IM2,
    3. bringing in Falcon,
    4. Rhodes (war machine) had a very important role to the plot of IM3 compared to previous movies,
    5. Natalie Portman’s role/significance in Thor 2 was increased,
    6. Pepper Potts role has been continuously increased in all the IM movies ending with her as the final hero.
    7. the casting of Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, and Zoe Saldana.
    8. Heimdel’s role was increased (not by much) but was definately given more of a role.
    9. Agents of Shield has 3 women equally of importance to the men of the show (except Coulson) and it seems Skye will be getting some powers.
    10. SHIELD added in Deathlok.
    11. They have a Jessica Jones show and Luke Cage show in the works.
    12. Wasp will make her debut most likely in Avengers 2 or Ant-Man
    13. Scarlet Witch
    14. Black Panther is in the works

    Finally Fiege didn’t say they arent going to make a female superhero lead. He said that they would like to create a new female hero for MCU. I like this move. They can create a new intresting heroine with unique powers. In my opinion, there aren’t that many current cool female heros at the MCU disposal.

    The titular 6 major characters of Phase 1 (IM, Hulk, Cap, BW, Hawkeye, Thor) were popular and they are going to keep pushing those 6. Now they are expanding. I agree with what he alluded to…Why should they force a minority or female character just to be PC with what is working now?

    • Because women and minorities are just as important and interesting as white men and deserve to have their stories told just as much. Because it supports the sociocultural notion that straight, white and male is the default hero type and that everyone else is just the sidekick. Because it sucks. It just straight up sucks only having movies about white men.

  20. SuperGirl, Cat Woman, Electra, etc. there have been so many flop standalone female superhero movies. Disney/Marvel doesn’t have a hundred million dollars to waste and a frankly more importantly a MCU movie slot to waste on some female superhero. Especially since the more iconic female superhero characters already tanked at the box office.

    Frankly even in non-superhero movies most actresses are a dime a dozen and don’t sell the film. They just add to the flavor of a movie and when paired right could help in the overall box office numbers.

  21. I think they’ve made enough progress that they deserve the benefit of more doubt, at the very least.

    DC’s attempts to add diversity to super hero feature films gave us such gems as Steel and Catwoman. While it wasn’t the not-yet-born Marvel Studios, the very first major attempt to bring Marvel comics to the screen was Blade, and he got a full trilogy out of the deal. Elektra also came out a year after Catwoman, if we really must keep score.

    Nick Fury may not be the headliner but he is a HUGELY important fixture in the MCU, appearing in everyone’s movies AND the tv series. All of Marvel’s films have been diverse, and FAR more diverse than any of the other studios are even attempting in their own super hero movies (and/or tv shows for that matter). But whether they are diverse “enough” I guess is subjective… and some people can’t be pleased and/or just enjoy being willfully obtuse it seems.

    Marvel is also involved in launching 4-5 new Netflix series in the next couple years, which will be both more involved as a story and able to present more mature writing, and 2 of which will feature female (Jessica Jones) and black (Luke Cage) leads.

    Also, Ant-Man & Dr. Strange making the cut ahead of Black Panther & Captain Marvel makes sense from a financial, story-telling and world-building perspective.

    Ant-Man is one of the smartest men on the planet; he brings with him the Wasp, which completes the original roster, as well as Scott Lang. He was also one of the first to perfect a method to induce super powers scientifically, and introduced the ability to change size (giving us Giant Man, all manners of Goliaths, and Atlas, as well as Yellowjacket), communicate with/control other species, and fire energy bursts using both compact technology and bio-energy.

    In addition, the announcement of Michael Douglas as Hank Pym (and Patrick Stewart possibly being ‘young’ Hank…. meaning a potential flashback tale) leads to my belief of Ant-Man being possibly an Ultron origin story as well, which might be a big draw for it post-Avengers 2. I also admittedly hope it is intended as a “one off” character movie for those reasons, and they won’t try to force a franchise out of every single property.

    Black Panther is an awesome character and deserves his movie, but right now he doesn’t bring nearly as much to the world. Klaw… Wakanda… but Vibranium was already established without him and, while he’s another one of those smartest guys in the MU, his powers are actually pretty redundant on the team right now (another reason I wouldn’t be surprised if they got rid of Hawkeye btw).

    The same for Doctor Strange “over” Captain Marvel. He adds sorcery, true magic (hopefully), and other dimensions… while CM brings a pretty stereotypical power set to the table, one that might seem awfully close to Jessica Jones.

    The thing is: I expect both (Panther & Marvel) to happen, I’m certain one of the two will be the first Phase 4 movie announced… and I DO think that’s enough, because it would still be head & shoulders above what DC, Sony and Fox have yet to give us on that front. Besides, wouldn’t it be better to time it right, DO it right, and make it worth the wait rather than risk rushing it all for the sake of the internet’s notoriously fickle diversity timeline?

    • technically there was Howard the Duck before Blade. LOL but that was a different “breed.” of Marvel movie.

      • I always forget about Howard the Duck for some reason… lol

    • Dr. Strange means there could be a Defenders franchise in the future and once that gets going maybe Avengers vs Defenders at a later phase.

      • Unfortunately, I believe Marvel has already confirmed the name “Defenders” for use in the Netflix team series to follow the individual series.

        Anyway, it’d be the distant future before we’d see a true Defenders line-up, since the rights for both Namor and Silver Surfer are currently held by Fox.

        • All they would need for Defenders are the three founding characters. Hulk, Dr. Strange and Namor. Namor’s rights are actually held by Universal. It’s a Golden Age character, so Fox didn’t acquire them with the Fantastic Four. The rights should revert to Marvel soon, if you go time frame it took for the Daredevil movie rights to expire. Universal was supposed to do a Namor the Sub-Mariner film in 2006.

  22. This would be simple to solve!!

    Miss Marvel the movie, starring Nicole Kidman. (And yes she loves Miss Marvel and would be a very good actress for the part, no trolling)

  23. Doctor Strange and Iron Fist should be cast as Asian or Hispanic. There are more than enough leading white males. And hurry up with Blade and Black Panther!

  24. all i can see and hear are excuses after excuses after excuses. he obviously doesn’t think it would do well and therefore doesn’t want to put the effort in. i’m so freaking mad and disappointed at this man. JUST MAKE A BLACK WIDOW MOVIE