The golden age of comic book movies is upon the film industry, and has been met with great success over the last few years. The Marvel Cinematic Universe is in full swing and the DCEU is merely just beginning to roll out its announced schedule. Through all the films that have come out so far, there has been an increasingly noticeable lack of female directors and superheroes. The latter portion is starting to turn around with Black Widow, Wasp, and Scarlet Witch playing important roles in the MCU, and Wonder Woman and Harley Quinn being to of the biggest characters for DC.
Marvel Studios almost had their first female director back in 2012 while developing Thor: The Dark World, but Patty Jenkins eventually left the project and was replaced by Alan Taylor. Jenkins is now working on Wonder Woman, which will get the title of being the first modern female superhero movie directed by a woman. Meanwhile, Marvel Studios is still working on finding the right director for Captain Marvel - though they have made it a point of emphasis to hire on a talented woman for the job.
IGN recently had the chance to talk to Head of Marvel Studios Kevin Feige about Captain Marvel, which is still without a director despite Brie Larson being onboard to star as Carol Danvers. There have been numerous short lists and plans to announce a director by a certain date, but there has yet to be any official (or unofficial) announcement. Feige does not believe that only a woman could make a great Captain Marvel film, but says they are still only focused on getting one attached to the project:
I do think it will be not a requirement to make a great version of Captain Marvel, but it's something we think is important. With all of our movies, we want them to be different, we want them to find the new voices. I think the fun thing is we're meeting so many great directors that we'll bring one of them onto Captain Marvel, but we have future things to come [for the others].
The ending of the quote could point to Marvel Studios looking at more female-led films in the future, such as the heavily-rumored Black Widow standalone film. However, the other exciting option would be Marvel hiring on female directors for non-female superhero films as well. Still, as more women-driven properties come into the MCU, expect more female directors to join as well:
It's super important. One of the things that's interesting is there's been a lot of versions of Captain Marvel, there's been a lot of stories of Captain Marvel, and we are now sharing all the source material with the writers who are working on it now, with the filmmakers who we're meeting with and have been for months. Whether they know a lot about the comics or, more likely, the filmmakers we work with don't have to be huge fans, they just have to fall in love with it once they are presented with it. It's amazing to see all of the filmmakers read through it and know, 'Oh, a female's writing it now.' When Kelly Sue DeConnick started on the books, they took on a new thing, and I think that's why, and I think that's important.
Whoever the lucky lady is to take land the directing job, they will be in charge of giving fans what will most likely be the first introduction to Captain Marvel. Feige is excited for the character to debut and meet fellow Avengers down the road, calling her "the most powerful character" in the universe.
What is one of the coolest things about it is she will be by far the most powerful character we've ever introduced in the movie. 'How do you find those limitations? How do you find those vulnerabilities?' is something that is sort of at the crux of the story that we're putting together. She has -- as you know from the comics -- an interesting story, and I think we have a very cool and unique way of telling that story. I don't think it's leaked yet exactly what we're doing with her movie or how we're doing it, but it will be cool. She will prove to be a very important character in our universe for all the movies."
All things considered, Feige and Marvel Studios in general seem to recognize the importance of both the Captain Marvel character and getting her solo film off to a good start - which is why Feige also said they are developing the story further, prior to choosing which director in particular they will hire. Whoever they do end up choosing could get the job of a lifetime, should Captain Marvel be a success.
Outside of the director choice, it will be interesting to see what exactly this movie will be about. After all, it sounds as though Larson will not make her MCU debut before her solo film, and this will be the last film fans see before the fourth and Untitled Avengers film comes out to finish off Phase 3. This could be a much smaller story about Carol realizing her powers in wake of Thanos' first attack in Avengers: Infinity War, or it could take some other approach to introducing the character as a key player in the future of the MCU.
Doctor Strange opens November 4, 2016; Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 – May 5, 2017; Spider-Man: Homecoming – July 7, 2017; Thor: Ragnarok – November 3, 2017; Black Panther – February 16, 2018; Avengers: Infinity – May 4, 2018; Ant-Man and the Wasp – July 6, 2018; Captain Marvel– March 8, 2019; Untitled Avengers – May 3, 2019; and as-yet-untitled Marvel movies on July 12, 2019, and on May 1, July 10, and November 6 in 2020.