Kevin Feige Says Marvel Films “Have Been Full of Smart, Intelligent, Powerful Women,” Not “the Damsel in Distress”
In an interview with the Singapore Times, Marvel movies’ big boss Kevin Feige stated that they’ve always tried to go in for “the powerful woman versus the damsel in distress.” He cites examples of these women, saying, “If you go back to look at our movies—whether it’s Natalie Portman in the Thor films, Gwyneth Paltrow in Iron Man or Scarlett Johansson in The Avengers—our films have been full of smart, intelligent, powerful women.”
These comments come as a reaction to Ant-Man, which premieres this week (and which we’ve reviewed here!). In short: Hank Pym asks Scott Lang to pick up the Ant-Man helm, even though Pym’s daughter, Hope, is insisting that she should do so. There’s a reason Pym does this, but spoilers, obviously. So the question of “why are women sidelined in Marvel movies” came up at a presser, and Feige shared his thoughts on Marvel’s strides towards featuring “intelligent, powerful women.”
Feige cited Black Widow as an example above, and he responded saying how trying to create a script to please everyone on the internet is paralyzing. He expressed his confidence in the Avengers‘ director, saying, “There’s no bigger advocate for women than Joss Whedon.” Sure. Okay.
Given Marvel’s recent track record of movies, he’d be right. Compared to a lot of other movie studios and franchises, they’ve featured more women as actual characters versus sexy lamps. While some of those characters could probably have been written better, and the lack of merchandise support is absolutely glaring, Marvel’s still doing better than other studios.
But that’s a pretty low futzin’ bar, let’s be honest.
It’s what we always say: this is great! We absolutely appreciate the neat things Marvel’s doing. But you can do better. You can always do better. There are some very real things coming down the pipe where you could double down on what you’re saying (coughcough Captain Marvel coughcough). We’ve got high hopes.
Just please don’t make one female-led movie (in your 13+ year lineup), think it’s enough, then call it a day. Okay?
—Please make note of The Mary Sue’s general comment policy.—