While the #DCEU is still lassoing in the rewards of #WonderWoman and a new wave of female-first superhero films, director #PattyJenkins will surely become the role model for any women hoping to rule the box office roost. Whereas greats like Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, and Quentin Tarantino are all known for their directorial skills, Jenkins is set to become synonymous with empowering women in cinema — particularly those hoping to break into that tricky superhero genre.
However, across the pages of the comic books, someone else is waiting in the wings to bring her vision of women in spandex to our screens. Now, ahead of the #SpiderMan spin-off #SilverandBlack, it looks like director Gina Prince-Bythewood is turning to Jenkins for inspiration.
Cat's Got Your Silver Tongue
Speaking to Vulture, Prince-Bythewood said that she went to see Wonder Woman at the theater on the same day she was announced as the Silver and Black director, and found herself inspired by Diana Prince's first live-action outing:
“I remember there was a point in the movie where I was staring up at the screen, just letting the feeling wash over me that I’m watching a woman leading the film and she’s the hero and she’s badass. It just felt good. I lived in that feeling for a couple days.”
Prince-Bythewood has quite a mountain to climb, being only the second woman to direct a big-budget superhero film after Jenkins — although Captain Marvel will be shared by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck. Thankfully, Jenkins herself had some helpful advice on how to handle her hardened heroines when the pair met at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences:
“She dropped a couple gems for me, which I will keep to myself for now. But it was just an immediate connection.”
Although Prince-Bythewood is keeping her cards close to her chest, she also revealed that the two women have set up a lunch meeting to swap some more tips ahead of going into production. While casting is expected anytime now, Silver and Black is reportedly aiming to start the wheels turning in Fall 2017, with an (as yet) unknown release date.
A Woman's Touch
The plot of Silver and Black remains under wraps, but there are reports that Sony is hoping to start its own expanded universe of female antiheroes directly from the pages of Spider-Man. Taking the renowned cat burglar Felicia Hardy (Black Cat) and shiny mercenary Silver Sablinova (Silver Sable), the story will presumably be a dark contrast to the colorful world of Tom Holland's Peter Parker in the #MCU. While the whole idea may be a strange notion to some, Prince-Bythewood certainly sounds invested in the project:
"I go to bed thinking about it, I wake up thinking about it, and during the day, I have my notebook where I’m jotting down ideas and visuals and music. It’s so up my alley in terms of these two female characters and who they are and what they’re about. It’s the perfect way for me to dive into the Marvel universe, to focus on these two women who I really respect and can’t wait to bring to life."
If Sony is intending on building a female-centric expanded universe, it is a risky move to make when we consider their massive flop in trying to craft the Sinister Six for Marc Webb's maligned Spider-Man reboot. However, thanks to the likes of Star Wars and Wonder Woman, women saving the world couldn't be bigger right now. If Sony takes the Marvel and DC approach of giving us solo films for the more established characters and leads into a big team-up, it could definitely be the way to go. This way, each character gets to dip their toe in the water and you can gauge the reaction on whether others deserve a standalone.
The issue of a Black Widow solo film has long been a bone of contention for Marvel, but with other characters like Hawkeye destined to just be part of a team, there is a careful balancing act for any studio for what films are assured box office success. Almost certain to come out after Tom Hardy slips on his symbiote suit for #Venom, Silver and Black's destiny is still up in the air. There could indeed be the birth of a brand new franchise, or we could have another Fant4stic and kill it dead in one movie. One thing is for sure though, our titular women in Silver and Black will likely have to have bigger balls than men of the MCU and DCEU combined when they take on the genre's two biggest houses.
Do you think 'Silver and Black' will be a big success or a massive failure?