As one of the highest-grossing franchises around, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is certainly nothing to scoff at. Six years and ten movies later, the series has made $7.16 billion at the box office, and there's at least five more years of superhero movies to go.
But not everyone is happy with the MCU. Fans wishing for a Black Widow solo movie are slowly losing hope, and there's still a noticeable lack of prominent female characters in all of Marvel's films. ABC's Agent Carter will be Marvel's first foray into having a female lead, while Netflix's AKA Jessica Jones will be their second time out of the box. In the movies, however, Marvel's female characters have been mostly limited to love interests like Jane Foster or Pepper Potts. But next year's The Avengers: Age of Ultron promises to shift the scales a little bit.
In an interview with EW for her film Unexpected, Cobie Smulders revealed how S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Maria Hill will figure into next year's blockbuster:
There’s so many pieces to this giant puzzle, and I’m happy that Maria Hill is one of them. She’s working for Tony Stark, yes, but they shot so many locations all over the world and this team is out doing all sorts of things. So I like to think that Maria is at headquarters, trying to keep everything running as smoothly as possible. And working for Tony Stark is a whole other ballgame. She doesn’t have S.H.I.E.L.D. personnel to back her up at her disposal, so it’s an entirely different vibe for her.
But Agent Hill won't be the only female character getting a bigger role. Here's what Smulders had to say about the rest of the female cast:
I see Maria as having a more of a female presence in this world, and it’s really exciting to have Scarlet Witch [Elizabeth Olsen] come in, and to see the Black Widow [Scarlett Johansson] have these amazing moments, and see more women on film with all these dudes. It’s great.
We've already heard about Black Widow's increased presence in Avengers 2 from director Joss Whedon as far back as a year ago and more recently from Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige. While it's still unclear what her role will entail, if Whedon is to be believed, then it'll be "a huge part of the sequel." Even though it's not a solo movie, it'll have to do while we wait and see where the character goes next.
In the meantime, Maria Hill has quickly risen in the ranks at S.H.I.E.L.D. Although she started as Nick Fury's lieutenant, she's essentially taken his place in his absence both on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and in the movies. Now working for Tony Stark, it'll be interesting to see where that takes her in The Avengers: Age of Ultron.
But what do you think, Screen Rant readers? Are you just as excited as Smulders to see Marvel women getting bigger roles? Let us know in the comments.
The Avengers: Age of Ultron releases in theaters on May 1, 2015. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. returns on March 3, and Agent Carter begins January 5 on ABC. The first standalone female superhero film from Marvel - Captain Marvel - hits theaters July 6th, 2018.