Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige says that one day soon there will be more female superheroes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe than male superheroes. It has been 10 years since the MCU launched with Jon Favreau's Iron Man - and it looks like it will start to head in a new direction following next year's Captain Marvel.
The MCU has traditionally had something of a gender bias, but that's changing little by little. There's been recent buzz about a possible A-Force movie - a film that would star all the female heroes of the MCU teaming up together against cosmic threats. Marvel stars such as Tessa Thompson, Brie Larson, and Scarlett Johansson have all pitched the idea to Kevin Feige. Thompson, for her part, walked away believing Marvel is "interested" in the concept, though not much has happened on that front since the initial reports.
Speaking to Kevin Feige as part of a press junket for Ant-Man & the Wasp, Screen Rant took the opportunity to ask if there was any movement on this possible film. Feige deliberately avoided giving anything away, admitting he's "cagey about anything post Avengers 4." He then reflected a little on the changing gender balance in the MCU, and where he expects things to go.
"But, as the plan goes forward I think frankly we'll be ... you know, eventually I think we're going to reach a time where it's not just ... listen, it would be amazing to see all of our female characters the way we have seen ... most, never all male, but primarily male. I think we're getting to the point soon where we have so many great female characters that those are just our heroes as opposed to when are they all female, all male. It's just the Marvel heroes, more than half of which will be women."
The last comment from Feige is clearly the most exciting; he envisions a time when people have stopped talking about whether Marvel heroes are male or female, and when at least half - most likely "more than half" - are women. Right now, Marvel is nowhere near that point; female superheroes are still in the minority in the MCU, but that's most definitely changing. Black Panther featured a wealth of female characters, most notably Okoye, Nakia, and the super-genius Shuri. Marvel's next film, Ant-Man & the Wasp, will see the two titular heroes work together as equal partners. And next year's Captain Marvel will be the MCU's first female-led superhero movie. Marvel still has a long way to go before they get to the point Feige imagines, but now we have a sense of the direction of travel.
A single scene in Avengers: Infinity War made the best case yet for an all-female MCU team movie. The Battle of Wakanda featured a smaller fight scene in which Black Widow, Okoye, and Scarlet Witch worked together to defeat Proxima Midnight, one of Thanos's Black Order members. It was a stunning scene, and an exciting taste of what an A-Force film would actually be like. It's clear that Marvel intend their future to be one in which they embrace diversity. Films like Black Panther and DC's Wonder Woman have proved that the world is ready for a far richer, more diverse world of superheroes than we've seen to date. And Marvel intends to make the most of that opportunity.
- Ant-Man & The Wasp (2018) release date: Jul 06, 2018
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 02, 2019