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DC’s Plastic Man Movie Is Pivoting To a Female Lead

So, The Incredibles 2 then?

plastic man

DC and Warner Bros. are reimagining their Plastic Man movie and have hired writer Cat Vasko (Lumberjanes) to pen a female-centric version. The film, which has been in development off and on for several years, previously saw writer Amanda Idoko (The Mayor) working on the action comedy in late 2018. At the time, Ben Schwartz (Sonic the Hedgehog) threw his hat in the ring via Twitter:

Plastic Man follows Patrick “Eel” O’Brian a criminal who gets doused with chemicals and shot during a heist gone wrong. Once he recovers, he finds that he can now bend, stretch, and mold his body into any shape and starts fighting crime. The character was created by Jack Cole in 1941 for Quality Comics, and was later acquired by DC after Quality Comics folded. Plastic Man has appeared in Justice League and Batman: The Dark Knight Strikes Again. The cult character is a favorite among comic fans and creators.

While Vasko’s take is described as female-centric, it’s unclear whether or not Plastic Man will change to Plastic Woman. What is clear is that fanboys are already upset at the idea of a Plastic Woman. I guess even super-stretchy masculinity is deeply fragile?

Others are taking issue with the film for different reasons, mainly the idea that we’ve already gotten a Plastic Woman movie, and that movie is The Incredibles 2. Helen Parr aka Elastigirl has already appeared in both Incredibles films, and took center stage in the sequel. But live-action is a different world, and there’s plenty of action and comedy to be mined from a Plastic Woman movie.

I think this is an exciting opportunity for a slapstick superhero comedy for women. We got a taste of it with Margot Robbie’s elastic performance as Harley Quinn in Birds of Prey. But I would love to see a female-centric version that channels the comedy of an Ant-Man or the zaniness of a Shazam! Imagine someone like Lauren Lapkus or Tiffany Haddish in the role.

Part of what made Elastigirl so successful as a character was that she worked as a metaphor for modern womanhood. As a mother, wife, and superheroine, Helen Parr is constantly stretching and adapting herself to fit any role. In a world where women are expected to juggle multiple roles (boss, mother, wife, employee, head of household etc.) women are constantly stretching themselves thin to please everyone else.

There’s a lot of territory to explore here that most superhero films have barely even glossed over. It’s also another welcome addition into the woman superhero film canon, which is pretty bare compared to the dozens of male-centric superhero films already out there. I mean, is a female-driven superhero action comedy really that much of a stretch?

(via The Hollywood Reporter, featured image: DC Comics)

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Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. An pop culture journalist since 2012, her work has appeared on Autostraddle, AfterEllen, and more. Her beats include queer popular culture, film, television, republican clownery, and the unwavering belief that 'The Long Kiss Goodnight' is the greatest movie ever made. She currently resides in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband, 2 sons, and one poorly behaved rescue dog. She is a former roller derby girl and a black belt in Judo, so she is not to be trifled with. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.