Captain Marvel will be a first for the MCU as a female-led superhero movie and Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige has explained why it took it so long. The MCU has gotten close to a female-led movie in its 10-year history. Female characters have always had prominent places in the cast of the MCU movies, especially Scarlett Johansson's Black Widow. Hayley Atwell's Peggy Carter even moved from female lead in Captain America: The First Avenger to leading her own television series, Agent Carter.
However, Captain Marvel will be a bold and exciting step for the MCU. It'll be Brie Larson's debut as the character having never appeared in any other movie beforehand. All Captain Marvel has gotten is a post-credits tease in Avengers: Infinity War. The reason for the long wait to Captain Marvel or any female-led superhero movie in the MCU is simple; it's all about money.
In an interview with EW, Kevin Feige was asked directly about why the Marvel Cinematic Universe has taken so long to introduce Captain Marvel. Feige explained that Captain Marvel is coming more than 10 years after 2008's Iron Man because people were scared a female-led superhero wouldn't succeed. Feige elaborated, saying:
"I think there are a lot of reasons not the least of which was fighting for many years the erroneous notion that audiences did not want to see a female-led hero [film] because of a slew of films 15 years ago that didn’t work. And my belief was always that they didn’t work not because they were female-led stories — they didn’t work because they were not particularly good movies."
According to Feige, the climate has now changed. The success of 2017's Wonder Woman proved that female-led superhero movies can rake in large box office numbers. The character and the story just have to be good enough. Feige admits that Wonder Woman's popularity did give the studio confidence in Captain Marvel. Feige also welcomes Wonder Woman's success explaining:
"The success of Wonder Woman made me very happy because as I’ve said before in the press, I’d much rather the question be, ‘Oh gosh, what did you think about that successful female-led hero that came out a few years ago?’ Rather than the question I used to get, which was, ‘Are you afraid that people don’t want to see a female hero?'"
Most likely, Kevin Feige is telling the truth when it comes to the reason behind Captain Marvel's delay. The build-up to Wonder Woman faced many of the same questions and worries as Feige described. Many people were openly skeptical that a female-led superhero movie could work because of disasters like 2004's Catwoman. However, Marvel definitely had the pop culture clout to make a female-led superhero work long before now. The MCU easily could've led the charge preceding the DCEU and Wonder Woman. Feige's reason might be accurate, but it's still regrettable.
Superhero movies weren't defunct in 2008 when Iron Man hit theaters, but they certainly weren't as popular as they are now. Furthermore, Iron Man, Captain America, and Thor weren't household names before their MCU movies. The Marvel Cinematic Universe helped create those character's popularity and turned their films into guaranteed hits at the box office. The same power could've been lent to one of Marvel's female heroes. Instead, the MCU played things safe. It's a good thing that Captain Marvel is finally arriving, but she could've broke the glass ceiling of the MCU far earlier.
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
- The Avengers 4 / Untitled Avengers Movie (2019) release date: May 03, 2019
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 05, 2019