As you are no doubt aware, we here at The Mary Sue are more than a little peeved about the lack of a female superhero movie from Marvel. I want to unequivocally state that. But. There’s something kind of impressive about how Marvel president Kevin Feige has managed to elevate double-talk on the subject to an art form. “We understand that people want a female superhero movie, and we want one too! Hey, look at our awesome supporting characters!” And now: “It’s great that the comics are doing more progressive things now, but eh, let’s not rush it on our end.” It’s like watching the Da Vinci of bullshit at work.
In an interview with ScreenCrush, Feige was asked about the potential for backlash—similar to what Lucasfilm faced when Star Wars: Episode VII‘s mostly male initial cast was announced—if Marvel doesn’t get around to a female superhero movie soon. Like that backlash hasn’t already happened. Tactful, ScreenCrush. Kevin Feige’s bullshit meter: ON.
“I don’t think J.J. Abrams or the Star Wars people — I have no idea — but my guess is that they were not swayed by any backlash. We’re not going to be swayed by the backlash. We’re going to keep bringing the movies out the way we envision it and the way we believe in it — and that includes diversity in all of the active films. And certainly, on our development slate of many of the characters…and always being conscious of that. The great thing for us is the comics have been conscious of that through the decades and have been rather pioneering in that over the years.”
I just want to put my head down on my desk and sigh. There seems to be an implication here that people who take Marvel to task for their lack of a female superhero movie are being somewhat unreasonable—that we’re wannabe bullies trying to get Marvel to abandon their ~creative vision~, as if said creative vision has to have 100% male leads. Kevin Feige is not speaking from outside the sphere of control. If Marvel really wanted to do a female superhero movie—like they’ve hinted before, with Captain Marvel–they absolutely could. There are a lot to choose from. They could confirm that shit tomorrow.
The whole thing is reminiscent of the time The Amazing Spider-Man producer Avi Arad waxed poetic about how “inevitable” diversity in comic book films is, as if those in his position aren’t the ones who could decide to make it happen, not just eventually, but now.
Feige was also asked whether the MCU might consider mimicking Marvel Comics’ recent moves towards progressivism, namely making Thor a woman and having the Falcon adopt the mantle of Captain America:
“Well, look, listen, as you know, that’s happened before in the comics. It’s getting a lot of attention because they’ve just done it, but both of those things have happened in the past. So, it’s always that’s part of the fun. There’s always that chance to surprise people or to switch up — a number of people have worn the Cap costume. A number of people have lifted Mjölnir. So, that’s all fodder for future storytelling.”
Way to avoid the diversity element entirely there, Feige. You should give lessons.
(via Dark Horizons, hat tip to anon tipster)