comScore
  1. Mediaite
  2. Gossip Cop
  3. Geekosystem
  4. Styleite
  5. SportsGrid
  6. The Mary Sue
  7. The Maude
  8. The Braiser

What's with the name?

Allow us to explain.

Today in things that make us scream incoherently

Legendary Pictures Turned Down a Movie Because Its Main Character Is a Female Action Hero


You probably haven’t heard of Legend of the Red Reaper. The passion product of Tara Cardinal, who also stars, it’s about a Reaper, or guardian of humanity, who goes on a quest for vengeance against those who betrayed her kind. It’s the sort of high-fantasy action story that’s gotten more popular since Game of Thrones hit it big. But you probably won’t be seeing it in a theater, since Legendary Pictures passed on it. Why? They don’t think people want to see action movies with female leads. Because Sucker Punch failed. Yeah.

To start off, let me quote the e-mail sent by the Legendary representative, bolded for emphasis:

“Thank you for letting me take a look at your script this weekend. While I did enjoy the mythology behind the story, I found myself a little confused with regards to the ‘Red Reaper’ world as a whole. While I was not closely familiar with the world before reading, certain aspects felt either unexplained or redundant — most specifically, illuminating Aella’s past, demonic powers, etc. I feel that it would be difficult to bring on another project with our currently saturated slate of epic fantasy fare, especially without any significant cast/director attachments or large-scale brand recognition. Also, while I am personally drawn to the presence of a female action hero, it is currently a tough sell with the less than stellar way Sucker Punch was received. Ultimately, while I don’t think this is for Legendary, I think the property has potential.”

The first three points—a confusing backstory, an oversaturation of fantasy, and a lack of a big-name star or director—are completely valid. Or could be: The President of DC thinks Wonder Woman’s story is “tricky,” after all. But since I haven’t read the script, I’m willing to give the anonymous e-mail writer the benefit of the doubt and say Legendary had three legitimate reasons for passing on Red Reaper.

But, of course, it’s that last reason that gets me. People don’t want to see movies with a female action hero? Oh, sure. Because it’s not like the female leads of The Hunger Games, Prometheus, and Snow White and the Huntsman took their respective studios to the bank or anything. Even Brave and the Twilight series, which are a bit more far-flung from the action genre, show that a female lead is no barrier to a movie making a ton of money.

It’s not that this person doesn’t like female action heroes; it’s that other people don’t! Not that whoever wrote the e-mail has anything to back that claim up save the financial failure of one movie, but hey, we’re talking millions of dollars here. Who wants to take chances?

Except Legendary does take chances when it’s not a female-led film. It’s perfectly reasonable to assume that they would want to avoid a repeat of Sucker Punch, which they produced. But let’s take a look at some of the other films Legendary has made in the last five years.

Jack the Giant Slayer
10,000 BC
Wrath of the Titans
Jonah Hex. Jonah
flipping Hex.

So when Sucker Punch performs poorly it’s because audiences don’t like female-led films, not because of of any of the actual faults highlighted in its generally negative reviews. (A few tidbits from Rotten Tomatoes: “Pointless,” “repellent,” “a particularly ambitious exercise in tedium,” “it kind of sucks out your soul while you’re watching it.”) But when Jonah Hex crashes and burns, it’s not because it starrs a guy! And its failure doesn’t make Legendary shy away from comic book movies, either, since they’ve done three since it came out.

Legendary’s Superman Returns flopped in 2006, but they kept giving comic book movies another shot. Of course they did, because there’s more to the success or failure of a film than a basic thing like what genre it is. But apparently Legendary sees “gender” as a totally valid thing to reject a movie based on… as long as that gender is female.

According to Heidi Honeycutt, who first wrote about Legendary’s rejection of Red Reaper on Planet Etheria, the film was allegedly rejected by another production company, Bad Hat Harry (which produced Jack the Giant Slayer with Legendary along with the X-Men movies). According to Honeycutt, they also “[cited] that they don’t feel female action leads are bankable.”

Because people clearly don’t want to see movies where ladies kick butt.

Even though, y’know, that’s demonstratively not the case.

Do you feel like screaming? I feel like screaming.

Cardinal went ahead and made Red Reaper without a major studio; you can see the trailer at the source link. Regardless of anything else about the movie, I hope you’ll agree with how completely bogus it is that a studio would say “but audiences don’t like female leads!” A) as an explanation for the financial failures of some movies, when the failure of male-starring movies never gets tied to gender, and B) as an excuse not to make more female-starring films.

OK. That’s it. I’m done. Time for a calming circle, readers, ’cause I need it. OMMMMMM.

(via: Planet Etheria, via Women and Hollywood)

Are you following The Mary Sue on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest, & Google +?

TAGS: | | | |


  • http://geekpinata.com/ Crystal Lynn

    *headdesk*

    *headdesk*

    *headdesk*

  • Kathryn (@Loerwyn)

    Sucker Punch was ridiculously bad. But that’s because it was a male sexual fantasy dressed up as an “edgy” criticism of sexism, which missed the point and became an overly-long masturbatory waste of time, money and absolutely everything else. Oh and the music was pretty bad.

    Um. Yeah. Ahem. But this, sadly, is nothing new. Hopefully it’ll change and hopefully this film will get made (especially now GoT is pulling in millions), but… yeah. Sadly it’s the state of affairs right now, and we just need to keep chipping away.

  • Samuel

    Legendary Pictures is bad and should feel bad.

  • Craig Oxbrow

    Oy.

  • http://thewrongdrum.wordpress.com/ Jeanette Diaz

    You just nailed my feelings on sucker punch.

  • Calum Syers

    This is the excuse that’s always dragged out. *X Movie with Female Action Hero was bad, and or was a flop. So lets not make this movie.” Of course, this excuse is risible since how many action movies are turned down starring men because other action movies starring men flop. No one is going to be passing on a script because the Matt Damon film, “Elysium” is under performing.

  • Calum Syers

    Sucker Punch made me want to vomit up my internal organs.

  • Jason Toupence

    I blame it on the poor reception of 1985′s Red Sonja

  • Alyson L

    Cause you know Xena had less ratings then Hercules… oh wait! These people need to wake up. Quick thinking we are all baby pink wearing, scared of our own shadow women who don’t like action films.

    Sucker Punch was bad, bad, bad and I could tell you that from just seeing the trailer.

    As for Bad Hat Harry… I think Singer dislikes women heroes. All the strong females in the XMen world and the only one with true screen time turns into a world dissolving psychopath. He reduced all the others to minor roles and weakened their roles as well as their characters (Rogue pisses me off beyond belief – he took away all her sass). Turning X-Men into a Wolverine extravaganza. All in all, Singer has only been involved with one female led project and that was the failed Footballers Wives (the US version) which never got picked up.

  • Anonymous

    What makes sexism so hard to defeat is that it’s a problem more common with stupid people, and it’s really hard to explain stuff to stupid people.

    For example, while most people were saying the problem with Sucker Punch was Zach Snyder’s confused “vision”, Legendary Picture understood that the problem was the female leads and rewarded Zach Snyder with a big franchise. Which got bad reviews and, while far from a flop, didn’t really perform as well as people thought it would.

    But yes, please. Don’t listen to us, or anyone else. Continue doing bad, cheap movies starring women and keep blaming the leads for their failure.

  • Will Beaty

    To be fair, Singer turned every not-Logan X-person, male or female, into a minor role. But he made Magneto and Mystique catty girlfriends, so I forgive him.

  • HamsterMasterSamster

    Super frustrating that this attitude still persists. It’s why I always hold my breath whenever anything new with a female lead comes out because in an already tiny pool of female-led media, it will be held up as an example for anything featuring women ever. And if it fails? It’s because wimmins.

    The amount of terrible male-led media that gets easily through to production makes me want to cry by comparison.

  • Alice Ruppert

    I am a woman, a feminist and I loved Sucker Punch.
    There, I said it. Crucify me.

    Also, I found the soundtrack pretty damn cool.

    (That doesn’t change anything about the ridiculousness of rejecting a female-led action movie because of Sucker Punch’s financial failure)

  • Anonymous

    The Wolverine-centric X-Men is a problem that plagued Marvel Comics as a whole and isn’t specific to him. Plus, he isn’t responsible for Jean Grey turning into a psychopath, both in films and comics.

    His track record isn’t great but it’s not bad enough yet to say he dislikes women heroes yet.

  • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

    Yes, but the fact that he’s leaving out Wanda to do something with Pietro points to something though.

  • Lisa Liscoumb

    I blame it on the poor reception of 1987′s Cherry 2000.

  • Anonymous

    I would argue that Sucker Punch had admirable ambitions, but Snyder was wholly incapable of pulling it off writing-wise. That script was a mess, and with a narrative so meta and complex the last thing you need is a story that confuses more than it illuminates.

    The reason it came off as a “male sexual fantasy” wasn’t because that was its aim, it’s because Snyder wasn’t capable of translating his thoughts about female empowerment in a patriarchal society into a coherent script. Had he successfully done so, the school girl outfits and burlesque getups would have made more sense in the context of the film and not come off as “I want to infantilize and objectify these women.”

  • Anonymous

    I find it hard to fault him for a movie that’s not yet released, especially since the film has 4 main characters played by women, which is way better than most franchise. I suspect the film was too crowded and that Pietro has a small part anyway, but we’ll see.

  • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

    I’m sad that I can only like this comment once.

    I mean it had it’s problems, but it was trying, which is better than we get with other movies.

    I thought the fact that Babydoll’s first mental retreat was to a brothel was brilliant, because it then demonstrated that the power sex supposedly gives to women is a lie built by men. Which is why she’s forced to the second retreat of a fantasy world.

  • Anonymous

    Has Legendary never heard of the Resident Evil franchise, which keeps chugging along with multiple female leads kicking ass? No matter what you think of the quality of those films, the fact that they’ve made five movies over the past decade is certainly evidence that female action heroes are viable financially.

  • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

    Then why use Pietro, if you are going to exclude Wanda? I get the concerns, but there are many more mutants that could fill Pietro’s shoes, if he’s not the important.

  • Anonymous

    It could be as simple as Singer and co thinking her powers are too similar to Jean Grey or Storm or some other character and would be confusing to those not deeply familiar with the lore. It could be that they’re keeping the inclusion of Wanda a surprise. It could be that they’re finding it difficult to depict her powers in the context of the narrative: mutant/witch whose powers deal in probabilities often resulting in unexpected consequences (they had a tough enough time figuring out what to do with Xavier, who apparently could just immobilize his opponents with his mind, rendering all battles moot; a powerful mutant like Wanda who can wipe out the X-gene entirely could present all kinds of logistical challenges for the writers).

    It was disappointing to hear them do a 180 on the inclusion of Scarlet Witch, but I think it’s a little unfair to imply at this moment that it’s because she’s a woman. I mean, they don’t seem to want to bring Cyclops back, even though there’s clearly leeway to do so and Marsden is up for returning.

  • http://jbsargent.wordpress.com/ TWOxACROSS

    But don’t the RE movies also have financial support from Capcom? I think that’s the reason they can afford to make so many of the dang things, because one of the production companies earns a profit elsewhere that it can funnel into producing the movies.

  • LifeLessons

    Sucker Punch didn’t fail – it made its money back at the box office in domestic. So no one went homeless who financed Sucker Punch.

    I could start saying things like Alien, Aliens, Salt, Tomb Raider, Resident Evil, Underworld, but you knew those words already.

  • Laura Truxillo

    Wait, didn’t Legendary just do Pacific Rim? Sheesh, I was hoping that meant maybe they were more on the ball about expanding the kinds of action stories they told.

    Truth told, I did not hate Sucker Punch. But I also did not pay money to see it (library) and went in expecting a ridiculously stupid movie that at some point would give me a lady-led diesel-punk WWI trench scene, and nothing more. But yeah, it sucked in a lot of ways and holy CATS, it is 2013 and I can’t believe studios are STILL using the “Well, the other movie–THAT WAS RIFE WITH PROBLEMS AND PRIMARILY EXISTED TO CATER TO HORNY DUDES–flopped, so now people don’t want action movies with ladies.”

    The other reasons–perfectly valid. The final reason? Stupid, stupid, stupid.

  • Laura Truxillo

    The similar powers is a viable excuse (I always figured we’d never see Scarlet Witch in a movie because her powers are kind of lackluster-looking in the execution, unless you feel like doing a lot of pink lensflares). But keeping Pietro in and omitting Wanda is just kind of a creep move. If you need a speedster, there are other speedsters (Northstar, for one).

  • Laura Truxillo

    Yeah, I can see that. It had a certain kind of potential, and could have been a nice surreal movie about a woman trapped in a mental institution, the trauma she experienced, and her path to salvation.

    But instead it was just…yeah.

  • Joanna

    Sucker Punch is one of those Marmite movies but I personally liked it for the Girl Power feels (though the script was a little poor). I think the escapist fantasy realm panders more to women, and while the female characters were a bit of eye-candy as some would say, the men were portrayed as disgusting slobbering pervs…not sure if THAT is an altogether male fantasy if you ask me. And I loved the soundtrack. Bjork forevers XD

  • Joanna

    It’s like saying Alexander didn’t do well as a film because Colin Farrell was blond in it. Blond characters don’t sell, people!!!

  • Mandy

    *high five* from another feminist lady who likes Sucker Punch! It’s so rare to find another fan.

  • Rebecca Pahle

    That’s always a dilemma: Do I see this lady-starring thing even though it looks bad, or do I avoid it and risk contributing to a lack of lady-led movies in the future?

    Darnit, studios, we shouldn’t have to go through that.

  • Anonymous

    I would be down for Northstar instead of Quicksilver. That opens up even more possibilities. I imagine they wanted Wanda and Pietro specifically to explore the family dynamic with Magneto (hope that’s not spoiling anyone). Maybe they feel like a father/son dynamic is good enough? Right now, with so many characters set to appear I’m not sure what the deal is gonna be with this movie. But I’m afraid that it’s going to be another Wolverine and friends production. Maybe Singer didn’t want to throw Wanda in if her role in the story was going to be miniscule (Pietro, on the other hand, is much less interesting). Or maybe he’s throwing a fit because he can’t get Saoirse Ronan (hate having to always Google Search her because I can’t remember how to spell her name… :( )

  • Rebecca Pahle

    I want Mako Mori to come along and glare at whoever wrote that e-mail.

  • Rebecca Pahle

    Thor and Captain America tanked at the box office for a reason, duh!

  • Rebecca Pahle

    Thanks for bringing MY attention to it! :)

  • Anonymous

    As far as I’ve been able to discover Capcom hasn’t put any money into the film series, just several production houses independent of Capcom. Capcom’s involvement seems limited to licensing their properties out for adaptations, but not overseeing production or script development, funding projects, or casting. The average budget of the films is about $50 mil, with an average box office take of $180 mil – so it seems a low risk, high reward proposition for studios.

  • athenia45

    Yeah, but it doesn’t make sense that she would retreat to a brothel world in the first place. IMO, the writers just couldn’t deal with actresses in a mental institution without makeup.

  • Anonymous

    This! Exactly!

  • Anonymous

    I disliked the movie (for various reasons unrelated to the ladies) but I’m 100% behind you on the soundtrack.

  • http://www.28dayslateranalysis.com/ Michael R. Allen

    And, what about Electra? I also thought Hunger Games was painfully boring. The protagonist did not even fight any of her own battles; she had someone else fight them for her. Most of the time she was running or hiding and that does not create for great conflict.

    But, each film should be judged by its own merit, imo.

  • Anonymous

    Eh, I think it has more to do with the fact that they have surprisingly small budgets and consistently gross at least 3x that budget. I mean, they’re not great movies, but they are good business. Even if Capcom is involved in the financing, I don’t think they’re a loss leader.

  • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

    It makes sense if you have a sexually abusive stepfather who’s always shamed BabyDoll for being beautiful, tempting him into “folly”.

    This is a fanwank, of course, but yeah I can think of a few reasons why a sexually abused girl would think that intentionally luring men with sex would give her a power that was previously denied.

  • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

    Whedon wants Ronan, and Ronan wants the role, so we’ll have to see on that.

    I think the sole reason he chose Quicksilver, is to try and usurp their premiere in Avengers 2. From what I’ve heard, there isn’t going to be anything to with the father/son dynamic, it won’t even be mentioned.

  • Anonymous

    Then they’re missing a great opportunity. I don’t even know how in the world they’re going to fit all these characters into this film. At this point Days should just completely concede Wanda and Pietro to the Avengers where they’ll get decent character development.

  • Anonymous

    Like that xkcd comic.

    For men: “You’re bad at movies!”
    For women: “Women are bad at movies!”

  • Emily Hill

    a lot of men are swine

  • MeatyStakes

    This so freaking much. Instead of noticing that Snyder was the issue here with his uninspired approach to characters and plot (cause yeah, his stuff looks gorgeous, no denying there) they put the blame on the cast.

    Snyder so far has been unable to convey actually relatable characters, they come off as over-processed and self important. In the only movie this worked was Watchmen to me (dystopian alt-history is like perfect for that)

    And yeah, Snyder isn’t good at showcasing humanity as a whole, but he does as a harder time with women specially, so if you give him a whole-female cast, well, it is not going to be pretty.

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    Also, “it doesn’t make sense that she would retreat to a brothel.” Maybe it makes sense to her.

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    Also, “it doesn’t make sense that she would retreat to a brothel.” Maybe it makes sense to her.

  • Infophile

    Part of the problem seems to be that if a female-led film does well, it’s forgotten next time a studio is considering whether a female-led film can do well. Legendary looked to the failure of Sucker Punch in 2011, rather than the success of The Hunger Games in 2012. (Sure, they actually made Sucker Punch, but let’s not pretend a studio should get any breaks for only looking at what’s worked for them and ignoring what works for competitors.)

    It’s a classic problem with marginalized groups. If you fail, it’s tied to your membership in the group. If you succeed, it’s tied to anything else.

  • CMFTW

    AAAHHHHHH!!!! FFFUUUUUUUUUUU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    *facepalm* *headdesk*

    OK, I feel slightly better now. -_-

  • Samuel

    The RE movies have surprisingly good cinematography, as well. The shower fight scene and “running down the building” scenes alone in 3D were frankly amazing from a technical and spectacle standpoint.

  • frodobatmanvader

    I really wish that these studios would understand that movies like Sucker Punch fail, not because they star women, but because they star *scantily-clad* women that most people would feel embarrassed admitting they paid money to see.

    They diminish their female audience for the same reason most men didn’t want to see Magic Mike, and in turn discover that the horny men who *would* see it are far less than they anticipated/saving their money by staying home and looking at porn.

    It’s funny how the movies that star women which are successful are the ones whose advertising doesn’t basically amount to “Look! T&A!”

  • Samuel

    I actually kinda gave up reading Marvel Comics when every title and every team turned into “Wolverine and his X Number of Poorly Written Friends”

  • frodobatmanvader

    Vey.

  • Alexa

    Well I would of appreciated the film a bit more without all of the panty shots.

  • frodobatmanvader

    Not mention Legally Blonde, which starred someone who was blonde *and* a woman! Seriously, total box office disaster…

  • Anonymous

    How can you say that? There were at least 3 other people with me in the cinema during it’s 5-day run time in my city when I watched it! ;-9

  • frodobatmanvader

    Maybe this is just a fluke from when I started reading comics (early to mid-90′s), but I was introduced to Quicksilver via X-Men Comics *separately* from Scarlet Witch (who I think was off doing Avengers-related material), and didn’t even know they were related until several years later. So I believe there is *some* precident to Quicksilver -> X-Men / Wanda -> Avengers.

  • Ross Van Loan

    Sucker Punch was a pretentious disaster. It’s heart was in the right place as an attempt to create a reactionary feminist action mythology, but the actual physical framework of the film was not up to accomplishing this noble task. The so called female warriors simply ended up escaping into terribly executed escape fantasies instead of actually achieving any Fem-Spartacus ends.

  • Ross Van Loan

    Yes, that was the single worst cover of White Rabbit ever!

  • TJW

    The Hunger Games: massive following from books
    Twilight: massive following from books
    Snow White and the Huntsman: starring the girl from Twilight
    Prometheus: huge sci-fi nerd franchise return

    None of these negate, if you will, Legendary’s point with this particular script. Sucker Punch adds to it. That being said, a Wonder Woman movie should have happened by now, because there is an established following.

    If this script is really strong, it would be made. Probably isn’t.

  • Rebecca Pahle

    If the script’s not strong, that’s a perfectly valid reason to not pick up a movie. “Female-starring movies don’t sell”? Not a valid reason.

  • Alexa

    Ridley Scott’s Alien…That is all.

  • blu girl

    I didn’t see the movie but the Skunk Anasie cover of Search and Destroy on the soundtrack- awesome!!!

  • Mina

    Seriously. I never had any interest in seeing Sucker Punch. A woman in a movie kicking ass? Sure, that sounds great. But the advertisements made it clear that it was more just a pair of boobs that happened to be attached to a woman kicking ass. That someone honestly doesn’t understand the difference (or at least claims not to) drives me up a wall.

  • St. Jason

    I don’t think this really has to do as much with the female lead than it being an unknown property. Hollywood in general does not like to gamble on properties that do not all ready have a following, especially is there isn’t a big name actress/director involved. The Hunger Games, Prometheus, and Snow White and the Huntsman, all either had a fan base from previous works or big name actresses/directors involved (or both). I think honestly had this been a relatively unknown male actor/director equivalent pushing for the same project that the project would have still been rejected.

    I know that shocker headlines will get people to the site but I think its a real shame that the headline is “Legendary Turns Down Movie” instead of “Female Actress/Director Self Produces Film”. It’s not until the last paragraph that its even mentioned that Tara Cardinal made the film any way, and no where is it mentioned the release date or how people can get more information on how to support her efforts. I know that its not big Hollywood money but according to IMDB Cardinal was able to secure a 3.8 million budget which is still a lot of money in my eyes.

    Hollywood has a lot of the blame here but its up to us to vote with our wallets and support films with female leads as well. If this movie comes out and makes a pile of money then we get the sweetest justice of Legendary kicking themselves for passing on it in the first place. We can complain about the situation now but if we don’t go out and support this movie when its released (in March) than its just hollow words.

  • Anonymous

    мy coυѕιɴ ιѕ мαĸιɴɢ $51/нoυr oɴlιɴe. υɴeмployed ғor α coυple oғ yeαrѕ αɴd prevιoυѕ yeαr ѕнe ɢoт α $1З619cнecĸ wιтн oɴlιɴe joв ғor α coυple oғ dαyѕ. ѕee мore αт…­ ­ViewMore——————————————&#46qr&#46net/kAgk

    It’s like saying Alexander didn’t
    do well as a film because Colin Farrell was blond in it. Blond
    characters don’t sell, people!!!

  • Ashe

    “Women don’t sell movies. Here, let me choose the most abjectly awful, objectifying, misogynistic, poorly animated fuckbucketmess starring female leads to prove my point.”

    But if we pulled out Transformers 2, we’d be told that’s a general failure, not a male failure.

    I don’t believe for a second that the majority of producers and executives actually believe this crap. If they know anything, it’s numbers. And with movies like The Hunger Games, Haywire, Brave and Bridesmaids winning critics and audiences over alike, it’s a lie that literally has nothing to back it up.

    I do believe that they revel in the lie because they have the power to do so. Why shouldn’t they feel damn good knowing that they can bullshit so blatantly and have an entire INDUSTRY backing them up? People with power don’t want to share it. When women start increasing leading roles, what could that lead to? More women directors? More direct attention toward female audiences? More…WOMEN?

    Run for your lives, it’s the slippery slope!

    Systemic power at its finest, in something as simple as a rejection letter: lying to your face because there’s nothing you can do about it.

    (yet)

  • Ashe

    I hate that dilemma.

    “Take our greasy table scraps, and if you don’t like them, we’re blaming you!”

  • Ashe

    That’s another kick in the teeth.

    Even when movies with female-leads are successful, especially with our very prominent last few years, studios are STILL skeptical.

    Voting with our wallets is one way of doing it, but man, if they don’t try their hardest to ignore it.

  • Anonymous

    “It’s not that this person doesn’t like female action heroes; it’s that other people don’t! Not that whoever wrote the e-mail has anything to back that claim up save the financial failure of one movie, but hey, we’re talking millions of dollars here. Who wants to take chances?”

    From the context of the email, it sounds more like the author was saying a female action hero would be a tough sell to *other producers,* not to the audience. The fact that the author mentioned another Legendary picture rather than another notorious flop like, say, Elektra or Catwoman, suggests that it’s people within Legendary who need to be sold on the idea of making another big fantasy-action film with a female protagonist. Also the fact that the author said they *personally* (as a representative of Legendary) like female action heroes, suggesting that while they support the idea, it’s less likely to be supported by others within the company.

    Not that this is any better, of course – in fact, it’s worse in a way. But I see no reason to think the representative wasn’t genuine in this regard. It’s just another damning indictment of Hollywood: even when there are people who do want to do something, they’re having to go against all these other idiots.

  • Thomas Hayes

    Because Sucker Punch failed? The movie was both critically panned by nearly everyone (one exception I can recall being Moviebob who loved it) and looked from its trailers like a crass exploitation film. That’s why no one went to see the damn thing.

  • Thomas Hayes

    Exactly. The publicity for that film made it look like trash – I haven’t actually seen it, but none of the trailers made me want to.

  • Marie
  • Joanna

    =O Mind blown!

  • Rizz Rustbolt

    Wonder Woman movie? That’ll never fly with the audiences, kid.

    You need a property with real name recognition. Like Superman, Batman, or Doc Sampson. Those are some names that’ll really draw in those schlubs in Nebraska.

  • athenia45

    Personally, I would have threw out the whole mental institution part, and just went with the brothel part since the whole “feminist” critique centered around the Battle As Sexy Dance. But I’m sure, they really wanted to keep the mental institution so Baby Doll meets a particular fate.

  • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

    I get that, but it was also a very common thing that happened to single adult women in the 50′s, so I can understand wanting to highlight the reality.

  • TJW

    Lol.

  • http://taste-is-sweet.livejournal.com/ Aundrea Singer

    Wash, rinse, repeat. ::Sigh::

  • Valerie C.

    The Alien franchise had a female lead, heck even the star alien in the 2nd movie was female!! Pompous pricks…

  • frodobatmanvader

    And then let’s look at *other* failed movies with action heroines, shall we? Let’s see…

    Elektra, which wasn’t content to simply star Jennifer Garner, it felt the need to star Jennifer Garner *in a bustier* (though the fact that it was a spinoff from a not-well-loved predecessor may have contributed as well).

    Next, there’s Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life. You know, it’s funny, aside from Ms. Jolie looking very well-endowed, the advertising for the first one *didn’t* go out of its way to objectify the shit out of Lara Craft… until you watched the movie itself, and then one of the camera’s first acts is to ogle her. Combine that with the fact that it was a mediocre film, and no wonder the sequel’s ad campaign of “Look! Angelina Jolie in a wet suit so tight, she may as well be wearing nothing!” failed.

    And then there’s Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle, which is the EXACT same scenario as Tomb Raider: for the first one, the ads displayed “Action women who were also sexy,” but then the movie gave us “Sexy women… who also did action”. Plus, it was still a little mediocre. So when the sequel’s ad campaign dropped any pretenses of seeing these women as anything more than Sex Objects, well… audiences generally don’t like to get fooled twice.

    And THEN there’s Halle Berry in Catwoman… and THAT… outfit.

    You know what? I rest my case. I guess Hollywood needs to get the memo that, with action films starring women at least, sex *doesn’t* sell.

  • Anonymous

    The twits at Legendary are touched in the smegging head for turning this down. I say farm it out to studios who have done successful female action hero movies & see how fast they snatch it up.

    I *want to see this movie!

  • Thomas Hayes

    Yep. They haven’t really worked that out, have they?

  • Anonymous

    I came to the comment section to make this very comment. Hello, Resident Evil movie franchise. Not only does it do well at the box office, it is making more bank now in the series than it was years ago. So whatever one’s feelings about the writing, script, story, etc., it’s still pretty obvious that a woman-led action hero movie CAN sell and make PROFIT.

    Also worth noting that the majority of the RE movies have sidekick heroines as well in nearly every title. This past RE movie had more women action heroines and villains than I can remember seeing in film in… ages.

  • Joanna

    Heh, yeah. I think I just kind of like it as a mindless watch tbh.

  • http://www.iterativearts.com bud latanville

    Bob didn’t love it, he felt it was an interesting and misunderstood failure. just sayin’ :) (I’ve used his video about that a few times as reference.)

  • http://www.iterativearts.com bud latanville

    I was posting this same info, but it seems disqus or themarysue ate my post.
    Only one thing can add to the perception of SR as a failure, and that is that it’s budget was $120m more than Batman Begins, meaning that the profit margin was much narrower. But it more-than made back its budget at the box office…
    Perception vs. Reality, and perception wins again, I guess… :)

  • http://www.iterativearts.com bud latanville
  • Thomas Hayes

    My mistake, I’ve not watched those videos in some time. I do recall his initial review being strongly positive but I could be misremembering that too. His opinion of the film is one of those things idiots in his comments section try to use against him to invalidate his opinions, so he’s clearly heavily against the grain.

  • http://www.iterativearts.com bud latanville

    no worries!