In a male-dominated comic book market, Wonder Woman swooped in to prove to naysayers that people were hungry for female-led superhero movies. The #PattyJenkins-directed adventure has proven to be quite successful, both critically (it currently holds a 93% rating on Rotten Tomatoes) and financially (it's broken all sorts of box office records).
The movie has received praise left and right not only from fans, but also from celebrities, actors and directors. Now, the President of #MarvelStudios Kevin Feige has weighed in on the film's overwhelming success.
Kevin Feige Expresses His Excitement For 'Wonder Woman''s Success
“The success of 'Wonder Woman' is wonderful. It makes us incredibly happy. Finally, we can put to rest the falsehood that audiences don’t want to see female characters. We never believed that was true. There were a run of movies that just weren’t very good 10-15 years ago that caused that reputation. I’m glad that 'Wonder Woman' has blown that away.”
Feige has been commenting on his desire to see more female-led superhero movies for some time. During an interview with Comic Book Resources in 2014, Feige stated he felt it unfair to judge the potential of a female-led film by past critical and financial failures:
"I think it comes down to timing, which is what I've sort of always said, and it comes down to us being able to tell the right story. I very much believe in doing it. I very much believe that it's unfair to say, 'People don't want to see movies with female heroes,' then list five movies that were not very good, therefore, people didn't go to the movies because they weren't good movies, versus [because] they were female leads."
How Does That Compare To Ike Perlmutter's Comments?
It's worth noting that Feige's comments contrast with his former boss Ike Perlmutter's opinions on female-led superhero movies. Amidst the Sony hack of 2014, one specific email sent by Perlmutter to Michael Lyn was uncovered.
In the body, Perlmutter listed three female-led superhero films –– Elektra, Catwoman and Supergirl –– and showed their financial shortcomings. Not mincing his words, Perlmutter called Elektra "very, very bad," and said that "Catwoman was one of the most important female character within the Batman franchise. This film was a disaster."
While the meaning behind the email is open-ended, it was widely assumed that he was suggesting the commercial failure of these three titles meant that audiences in general weren't interested in female-led superhero pictures. Whether or not this was Perlmutter's intention, this does raise an interesting point.
Women Should Not Be Treated As A Collective
While seemingly obvious, it seems worth reiterating: the performance of one female-led movie is not indicative of all female-led movies. Society doesn't individualize enough when it comes to women. That inherently impacts the entertainment industry, since it leads to the erroneous notion that the failure of a female-led film signals a bad omen for other female-led movies.
Of course, if we applied the same principle male-led movies, it would seem ludicrous We've had disappointing male-led superhero films over and over throughout the past decade. Just look at The Incredible Hulk (earned $263 million on a budget of $150 million), or Dredd (earned $41 million on a reported budget of $45 million). The only difference is that, when those failed, we never heard cries of "the end of male-led comic book movies." For some mysterious reason, people are able to see men as individuals, but fail to do the same with women.
Luckily, as Feige has pointed out, Wonder Woman has blown away this erroneous perception. And even if people continue to judge the very concept of female-led against the past performance of female-led movies, at least they'll now be compared to the powerful and successful Wonder Woman. Not to mention, there's a promising of number of female-led superhero movies and TV shows coming our way. Let's hope the Princess of Themyscira has ushered a new era in female representation in comic book movies.
What did you think about Kevin Feige's comments? Let me know in the comments!