Despite living in the golden age of superhero movies, and the abundance of female superheroes on the comic-book page, the current realm of superhero movies (post-Iron Man) is noticeably devoid of female-centric films.  Despite key supporting roles in many superhero movies in recent years, including Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow in Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014), and Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016), 2017's Wonder Woman will mark the first female-lead superhero movie of the modern era; and the success, or failure, of Wonder Woman's first solo outing will greatly influence the trajectory of superhero movies, particularly, their gender diversity, moving forward.  

To understand precisely why it's so important that Wonder Woman succeed, we must first look at the current state of female action movies, or lack of.  

After the moderate failure of Angelina Jolie's Tomb Raider series (2001-2003), and the colossal catastrophe of Halle Berry's Catwoman (2004), the state of female-lead action movies has been rather stale.  Not until the release of The Hunger Games (2012) were we once again afforded the opportunity to follow a big budget action movie with a woman at the centre.  

However, despite the phenomenal success of female-lead movies like The Hunger Games series (2012-2015) and Lucy (2014), starring Scarlett Johansson, there hasn't been a significant shift towards female action movies; a fact made all the more worrying worrying by the failure of this summer's female-lead Ghostbusters reboot.  According to recent reports, notably an article by Forbes, the Ghostbusters reboot stands to lose around $70 million for Sony.  With numbers like that floating around, and many pinning the movie's failure on the female cast, the pressure on DC's Wonder Woman to succeed, both as a movie within the DCEU, and as an example that female-led action movies can, and are, viable as money-making machines for major Hollywood studios is more prominent than ever.

There is little doubt that Marvel Studios, with their own female-led superhero movie in the pipeline, Captain Marvel (2019), will watch the developments and reception of Wonder Woman with attentive eyes, hoping to either avoid the movie's mistakes, or emulate the movie's triumphs.  Similarly, MGM will be watching the movie's success or failure unfold mere months before they release their own female-centric action movie, Tomb Raider (2018), starring Alicia Vikander in the titular role.

It's crucial to note that, as of this moment, neither Marvel nor DC have any other female superhero movies on their respective schedules.  It's highly likely that both are holding off on committing to any more female-centric films until their initial outings are proven to be either a success, or a failure.  

For the sake of gender equality in movies, we must hope that Wonder Woman is a success, because if it isn't, then the taste for female-led superhero movies may be tarnished beyond repair.  In the same way that Warcraft (2016) has tarnished the appetite for movies based on video games (fingers crossed that Assassin's Creed (2016) doesn't take a beating because of this), the potential critical and commercial failure of Wonder Woman could spell disaster for female-centric superhero movies moving forward. 

While I have no doubt that there will be a small minority of people that will defend the movie anyway, regardless of its quality, in a similar way that Ghostbusters had; there will no doubt be a similar minority of people that will bash and turn their noses at the movie because of an inherent misogynistic view that action movies are fronted by "heroic men".  

However, at the end of the day, success or failure of Wonder Woman will not be down to either of these small groups, but rather the virtues, or vices, of the movie itself.  

Fingers Crossed that Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins can pull it off.

Who am I?

My name is Stuart Kilmartin, and I hail from Galway, Ireland.

I studied English Literature at NUI Galway (B.A. & M.A.).  Spent many a moon reading Edgar Allan Poe & I can recite Ozymandias, by Percy Shelley, word for word; it's irrelevant, but I'm proud of it.

Deep-rooted passion for all things film and television.  For those who say David Lynch is too obscure, I agree; and yet, I love him.

I started this blog with the intention of getting my thoughts out there and to gain more experience in entertainment writing; and to prove that all those years watching movies weren't time wasted.

I've been writing for over a year now, and I've collaborated with ComicBuzz & Headstuff, where I've had a number of pieces published.  Check out some of my other published work here  http://comicbuzz.com/author/stuartkilmartin/ or https://www.headstuff.org/author/stuart-kilmartin/ 

Get in Touch!

If you found any of these articles interesting or insightful, feel free to email me at pipinghotproductions@gmail.com.

I would absolutely love any feedback you may have relating to any of my articles.

If there are any suggestions for future topics, please tell me. I'm always looking for new material to write about.

 

 

 

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