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

Published 8 months 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?

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

Source: Badass Digest

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TAGS: black widow, captain america 2, captain marvel

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  1. A Captain Marvel movie could be cool. But, I think it would be best if they introduce her without her powers working for SHIELD before she gets her own movie. Ms. Marvel is far too new for her own movie, the character just does not have enough time as a comic yet.

    • Having a long term plan for both would be ideal. Start Carol as Ms. Marvel and become Captain Marvel. Then introduce the new Ms. Marvel lie in the comics. Like phase 5 or 6 for the switch. I assume the Immortals will be introduced eventually.

      • *Inhumans, not Immortals.

  2. Disappointed to hear this. I was really hoping for a ms marvel movie in the near future. I guess DC will beat them to the punch with WW

    • “beat them to the punch” totally wasn’t a pun lol

  3. The closet youll get to captain marvel or ms marvel for the forseable future is sadly Sky from the Agents of shield show.

    • Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo! Dammit Skye!

    • I hope Skye does end up being a super-powered hero. I think Chloe Bennett is talented, gorgeous… uh… need I say more?
      The possibilities with her character are endless. She started off dopey so to go from that to completely empowered as a woman and superhero would be a great origin story to unfold a new character and integrate her into the Avengers.

  4. I’m not really sure race is a considered issue with alot of the casting(The characters they’ve been using so far are all from a time where you really couldn’t experiment with race/sex). For example Star-Lord is integral to GotG(Without him, no GotG) so it makes sense introducing him more heavily than the other, out there characters. That being said if there’s one female character I really would like to see on the big screen it would be Red She-Hulk(Yeah, like that’s gonna happen.).

  5. Iron Man 3 had a girl superhero. Killed the bad guy at the end of the movie.

    • Yeah and they immediately took her power away.

      • How? She still has Extremis in her veins.

    • And it was only for less than a minute.

  6. I would like to see Carol Denver’s Ms. Marvel on big screen before a Black Widow movie. I’m not familiar with the new Ms. Marvel yet.

  7. maybe next time you could use “white male” a few more times.

    we get your point. *rollseyes*

    • *rollseyes* at what? The truth? Or the author making a valid point that you would rather ignore? You guys don’t want any race changes to the source material, that was created when there was no thought about diversity. Then you’re perfectly content with white males making up 99% of heroes but only 38% or so of the country. That is what is worth rolling eyes at.

      • @wraab *rolls eyes at you*

        @virtuouswing YES

    • Glad to hear it, I strive to be an effective communicator.

  8. Not having a movie with a female lead like Captain Marvel wouldn’t be so bad if Marvel actually had females with superpowers as supporting characters. Correct me if I’m wrong but the only female “superhero” is Black Widow and she doesn’t even have powers. I guess you could include Sif but she’s barely in the movies and Jane takes up far more time. I do realize Scarlett Witch is on the way but in that same movie they’re introducing two villains, Quicksilver and probably Vision so I doubt she’ll get much time.

  9. According to another SR article Kamala Khan is Muslim. Do you think North American movie goers are ready for a Muslim super-heroine? Although looking at that drawing at the top of the article, I’d swear she was just a brunette. How would that be handled in her movie? This is surely going to be controversial or offensive what I am about to say but: Radical Muslims don’t approve of women getting an education, how will they handle the portrayal of a Muslim woman in the form of a Comic Book Movie?

    • So long as they do not depict the Muhammed, desecrate a Koran or do something disrespectful, lie urinating on corpes then I think Marvel will be ok. Oh, and keep the costume modest. Carol is the first Ms. Marvel, she would be the first in a movie.

      • false you clearly don’t know a thing about radical Islam.

        • mohammed isn’t going to like your comment about (radical) islam

    • I wrote that one :)

  10. Carol Danvers Ms Marvel and/or Black Widow solo / Hawkeye Tag Team (Budapest??) – Yes Please :)

    I’ll take one of each for $1000, Alex.

  11. There aren’t enough ginger superheroes! Black Widow doesn’t really count because she has no freckles, so she’s just a day walker like Green Lantern. And what about albinos? They never get their due! There’s also the midget discrimination… A vertically challenged actor finally lands a part in the X-Men franchise but only as an unpowered villain!
    It’s embarrassing how marginalized gingers, albinos, and midgets are, and only because comics were created in an age when discrimination flourished.
    I want to see dwarf casting for Avengers, Ginger casting for Justice League, and albinos in X-Men.

    If you disagree, then you’re a bigot.

    • (((yawn))) don’t quit your day job, because this schtick is garbage.

    • Not sure if trolling or..

  12. Sí, you make a good point, señor. My son is a dwarven albino with ginger hair, and there are no heroes out there for him to look up to. Maybe if they recast Tony Stark, they could pick a midget albino for the next actor. Go Marvel!

  13. I think the Muslim ms marvel would be pretty cool. Not so sure about captain marvel…

  14. Yeah screw girls!

    • With pleasure.

  15. Why are people so hung up on diversity to begin with? just let whatever happens happen. Eventually there will be a female lead and a black lead and whatever else it is you want. They don’t need to do this stuff right now just so they can tick off the boxes. Just let it happen naturally.

    • sorry but its silly cause we been having the same old White male superhero movies over and over again

  16. If this is the case then can DC please fast track WW solo move. Please.

  17. I personally think that Marvel should produce a movie without a white character and actor as the lead role. They should atleast try it out with a Black Panther movie. I know we have supporting black characters like, Nick Fury, Falcon, Iron Patriot I(War Machine) but we need a leading black character. Black Panther is the way to go!

    • Don’t forget Heimdall!

    • Yes! I want a Black Panther movie so much!

    • Idris Elba or Chadwick Boseman should play T’challa.
      Also Terry Crews for Power Man.

  18. I don’t understand that thinking that we need to gender and race bend just for the sake of being diverse. It isn’t like they are making these movies with white males at the lead for white supremacy. They original characters are white males. I have no problems with having a non white male lead to a movie, but I don’t see any injustice happening.

  19. excuses, excuses and excuses is all Im reading, Kevin.

    You and the studio basically dont have interest in a female hero movie. Not yet.

  20. I really hope we eventually get a leading female or black role in the movies… It’s what we need it to be to even things out. Unless Marvel are just plain sexist and racist…

    And anyway, here is what I wanty in Phase III:

    Ant-Man, Captain America 3, Thor 3, Doctor Strange, The Avengers 3.

    Phase IV:

    Iron Man 4, Gaudians of the Galaxy II, Black Panther, InHumans, Black Widow The Avengers 4.

    Phase V:

    Ant-Man II, Doctor Strange II, Ms. Marvel, The Avengers V.

  21. Well, that’s disappointing. I really hoped that they could have a female lead movie in Phase 3. Even if they did a BW movie, no people would not complain that ‘she already a big superhero,’ we’d just be happy that Marvel is expanding. Because to be honest, other than BW (whose appearance in IM2, was sexist, and just a bad introduction) she’s THE ONLY SUPERHERO. Sure there’s Pepper, Jane, Maria, in leading roles. But those roles lack any substance, and the former two have failed to so many sexist tropes. (I’m looking at you Thor:TDW, and entire IM series) Also, to be noted, Every SINGLE alien in GotG is either played or voiced by a white male, other than Gamora, so please don’t forget that they’re still only hiring mostly white guys. Aliens still count.

    • ** I mean lead aliens, as in the Guardians

    • Drax is played by Batista.
      Groot is played by Vin Diesel.
      The Collector is played by del Toro.

      Yup, just a bunch of “white” northern european types. Stop looking to be offended. yeash.

      • I have reason to be offended on the other things I spoke of, but yes you’re right about the actors you listed, I apologize.

      • Yeah, Bautista has a Greek father and a Filipino mother, that’as as far from white as you can get without being Latino.

        • Yeah I get it, I didn’t know about their ethnic backgrounds, already apologized. Not sure why you listed Greek, I’m greek and we definitely consider ourselves white.

          • Totally curious: Why? Why do Greeks consider themselves “white”? Most Jews and Italians don’t. They get called white but don’t consider themselves “white”.

            • We’re not people of colour. We (and probably italians) won’t get discriminated against. We won’t be killed for listening to loud ‘thug’ music. We won’t not get jobs because we’re Greek. We’re not faced with daily racism. Sure we’re mediterranean, but we’re not people of colour.

    • Don’t forget the Cap 2 additions of Agent Carter (Agent 13) as well as bringing back Maria Hill.

      Plus, we are getting a Jessica Jones t.v., Scarlet Witch in the Avengers, and 3 female leads in Agents of Shield.

  22. Skye will be Ms Marvel

    • No, Skye is Skye. Ms. Marvel is Carol Danvers who has not introduced in film yet.

      • perhaps Carol Denvers is Skye’s real name

        • No Skye is not Ms.Marvel. That’s not what they’re setting up, they would defiantly not do that because of the very low response to Skye as a character. The best bet if Skye is not going to be Skye, she’ll take on a Abigail Brand type role.

          • so we are supposed to see an abigail brand without any relations with x-men universe? she knows exactly where she come from, she has natural green air and she is a human/mutant/alien hybrid. Skye character is not even similar to ms brand, but she is also a creature of Joss Whedon, so maybe he want to introduce her at one point…with obviously different origins….time will give us answers

      • Well she does have kind of an identity crisis if im not mistaken

        • Carol Danvers had an identity crisis because of her encounter with Rogue. No Rogue in the Marvel film universe. Skye doesn’t look like Carol Danvers.

          • but she is very similar to Kamala Khan

            • How? She is older and has no superpowers. Kamala Khan is an Inhuman. She received her powers as a teenager. How does that fit with Skye who is a computer expert and reformed criminal? Have you read the new Ms. Marvel?

  23. Like Spider-Woman, She-Hulk haven’t been made at all.

  24. I think a problem is the outfits. Honestly look at ms. Marvel, wonder woman, black canary, scarlet witch and others.

    At dc side people b***h and moaning about wonder woman in a more funtional outfit and people are kicking up a sh*t storm.

    I don’t count black widow as a superhero. She knows martial arts? Has a taser? And uses a gun…not a superhero.

  25. There’s a weird balance they need to strike, between staying true to comic characters created 50-60 years ago (by white men) to keep their core audience happy, and reaching our to a broader, non-comicnerd audience with politically correct casting. They’re already taking chances on big budget movies featuring white male superheroes, it’d be an even bigger financial risk to arbitrarily make a film based solely on the fact that the main character is female/non-white. I think there are opportunities, though. I’d like to see a sub-mariner movie, personally, and I think a Latin-American/Spanish actor like Antonio Banderas could play the hell out that role.

    • Can the white men crap. The men who created it were Jewish, Irish, Italian, Polish, German, etc. White men, like every white person just looks a skin color and goes you’re alright buddy. Grow up. Who bought comics then and who buys comics now?

      • little kids and big kids buy comics. It was a fringe hobby before the movies. Sometimes I wish the movies were never made, nobody would care.

  26. Would a Captain Marvel/Black Panther movie be awesome? Of course it would, but I don’t think Marvel needs to make movies for the sake of diversity. You know what’s funny though is Hollywood acts so liberal and progressive, yet they clearly have diversity issues, hypocrites.

    • i agree with u on that

  27. AOS is the first gender balanced marvel production

    • Agreed. There will be Black Widow, Scarlet Witch & Wasp featured front & centre with the big boys.

  28. I don’t know if these quotes from Feige really say anything new. I mean, clearly Marvel has a full schedule in the immediate future going into Phase 3, with Ant-Man and probably Dr Strange, and sequels for Cap and Thor, etc. Phase 4, however…

    Carol Danvers, to me, seems like a great candidate to be a focal point of the future MCU and I really want to see her get a solo film. Kamala Khan could be a supporting character, but I’m not sure if she might not be risky to put in a big film?

    Black Widow does not really need her own film, IMO. She’s great as an ensemble player. It could work well for her to have a lower-budget, noir-type film, but I don’t see Marvel going that route. Maybe a Netflix miniseries?

    I do think that it’s important, though, generally speaking, to promote diversity. Of course many of these characters are from a time when the lead roles were mostly white and male, and since many of them are only just making it to film for the first time, it’s fair for Marvel to keep them relatively traditional. But I do hope that things branch out as the MCU expands in coming years.

  29. wb/dc will make wonder woman film. and it will make history. gadot sign already three films. bvs,jl and a ww film probably. and wonder woman deserve a film now. the world is ready. and she is most popular comic book superheroin character in the world. <3 wow!