Look, in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s … another male superhero.
The Internet seemingly went up in flames recently, when it was announced that Ben Affleck was going to play Batman in the newest movie version of the beloved hero, which, for those of you keeping count, will make him the star of the ninth major film adaptation of "Batman" since 1989.
And for those of you not keeping count, Wonder Woman still remains at 1 feature-length film, which was an animated direct-to-video movie in 2009.
Now, I’m no math major, but something seems off here. Where are all the female superheroes?
One might think that with two more "The Avengers" movies in the works, Captain America, Superman and Thor each getting sequels, Iron Man already having 3 movies under his belt and an entire new Spiderman series (and with each of those movies raking in millions upon millions of dollars), Hollywood studios could squeeze in one film with a female lead.
It’s certainly not for lack of female characters to pick from. Numerous characters in the X-Men series are women, and expanding plotlines for X-Men characters is certainly not a problem seeing as Hugh Jackman has appeared in six separate movies as the character Wolverine, both as a supporting character and as the main character.
Natasha, or Black Widow, from "Iron Man 2" and "The Avengers" would be an awesome choice, as she is not only a complicated and powerful character, but "The Avengers" is incredibly popular at the moment and the character is already in the public eye.
“But she doesn’t even have any super powers!” you say.
Well, neither does Batman, and what a flop that turned out to be, right?
I’m not saying that superhero movies with a male lead are bad. For the most part the movies are enjoyable, the characters are multidimensional and the plots are entertaining.
But representation is important. It is important for everyone to see people they can relate to in the media. It is important to have female characters, characters of color and characters of different sexualities because we are not a world of solely white, heterosexual males.
In fact, this could be an incredible opportunity for a studio to bring female superheroes into the modern age, or even to create a new superhero entirely. Not only has there been a significant decline in the number of original movie scripts being produced, as most of them seem to be adaptations or some kind of sequel, but comic books themselves have been getting recent backlash against the “outfits” they put the female heroes into, which would probably fit better under the name “glittery bathing suits” instead.
It’s not like this a new point to bring up. In fact, a Wonder Woman television series was pitched and filmed a pilot in 2011, but was not picked up due to incredible criticism about poor costume choice and writing.
All in all, I think the answer is that it’s up to the fans.
Fans have a lot of power. In fact, one might argue that since Hollywood studios cater to what viewers want to see, they have all the power.
The backlash from Ben Affleck being cast as Batman was so loud he had to address it on television. Fans were so heartbroken over the death of (spoiler alert) Agent Coulson in "The Avengers" that the character was brought back to life and is now on a brand new TV show.
Fans have power. And with this great power, as we all know, comes great responsibility. A responsibility to see that all kinds of people, regardless of gender, race, sexuality or handicap are represented in the media.
So, I ask the fans to turn their voice to another cause and begin asking, “Where is Wonder Woman?”