• Thu, Aug 28 - 11:54 am ET

Jessica Chastain Awesomely Calls Out Hollywood’s Lack Of Female Superhero Movies

Jessica Chastain Toronto International Film Festival September 2013I want to give Jessica Chastain so many standing ovations right now. In a new interview with The Wrap she awesomely calls out Marvel for their lack of female-centric superhero movies. She uses Scarlett Johansson — aka Black Widow — as an example, and the way she argues her point is beyond fabulous.

Jessica is disappointed that Hollywood still avoids making movies with women at the center, even when there’s a clear demand for it:

“Where is the Scarlett Johansson superhero movie? I don’t understand it, why is it taking so long for this?” Chastain asked TheWrap, rhetorically and with no small degree of animation. “This woman clearly shows that people want to go see her in the movies. ‘Lucy,’ didn’t it beat ‘Hercules’ by a lot opening weekend, when it was made for a lot less? She shows that she kicks ass, she’s a great actress. ‘Under the Skin’ is an incredible film, and why are we still waiting for a go-ahead on a superhero movie starring Scarlett Johansson?”

Jessica calls it a “no brainer” if the studio wants to make money. By the way, Jessica’s point that Lucy beat Hercules at the box office is absolutely correct. In fact, Lucy has already made $217 million, compared to its $40 million budget. We might not have thought it was very good, but its success is just more proof that there’s demand for movies centered around women — and for Scarlett Johansson specifically.

Plenty of fans want a Black Widow movie as well, but Marvel of course has lots of excuses about “timing” and telling the “right story.” Studio chief Kevin Feige had this to say earlier this year:

“I hope we do it sooner rather than later. But we find ourselves in the very strange position of managing more franchises than most people have — which is a very, very good thing and we don’t take for granted, but is a challenging thing.”

Yeah, that’s kind of the problem. Maybe if you stopped adding on more and more sequels and reboots for the male-centric franchises, you’d have room for a woman. You can redo the Spider-Man franchise ten years later but not give a single female superhero her own movie? I’m not even a fan of superhero movies, or even of Scarlett Johansson in particular, but I’m still pissed off about this. We’re making some progress in that there’s an Agent Carter TV series in the works in which Hayley Atwell will reprise her Captain America character. It’s definitely a step in the right direction, but Peggy Carter is still not a superhero, and a TV show is not the same as a blockbuster movie franchise.

Can we just make a superhero movie about Jessica Chastain? No superpowers or flashy costume needed. She can just give her feminist opinions for two hours. I’d watch it.

(Photo: Dennis Van Tine/Future Image/WENN.com)

You can reach this post's author, Jill O’Rourke, on twitter.
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  • Napoleon

    There are no Hollywood films that have female or male black, hispanic, or asian superheroes in lead roles but I’m sure that doesn’t matter….right?

    • Jill O’Rourke

      Where in my post do I imply that? This is a response to a quote specifically about the lack of female superheroes. I agree there’s a diversity problem as well, but I don’t think one problem should override or negate the other.

    • Napoleon

      My original comment was directed at those who seem to encourage larger female roles while conveniently ignoring blatant minority exclusion in big budget films. I apologize for not making those intentions clear

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