Kevin Feige explains why it took so long for the MCU to have a female solo film


Continuing to address the scarcity of female-led superhero films in the MCU, Kevin Feige explained what he thinks caused the problem in the first place.

By count, Captain Marvel will be the 21st film in the MCU. And that means 20 movies throughout the MCU’s successful 10-year history were either all male-led or only had women in supporting roles.

In hindsight, it sounds ridiculous to think that it took so long for something like Captain Marvel to hit the scenes, but it’s not as simple as it sounds.

Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige talked about this openly in an interview with Entertainment WeeklyAccording to him, there’s been a culture of fear in the movie industry in recent years that have prevented them from moving forward with female-led superhero films.

While there’s necessarily no right answer as to why there has been a lack of these films in recent years, Feige did explain some of the biggest culprits:

"I think there are a lot of reasons, not the least of which was fighting for many years the erroneous notion that audiences did not want to see a female-led hero [film] because of a slew of films 15 years ago that didn’t work. And my belief was always that they didn’t work not because they were female-led stories — they didn’t work because they were not particularly good movies."

On that front, Feige isn’t wrong. Movies like Halle Berry’s Catwoman or Jennifer Garner’s Elektra didn’t necessarily spark a fervor for superhero movies. Catwoman currently stands at 9 percent rotten on Rotten Tomatoes, and Elektra barely passes that with a 10 percent rotten rating.

Unfortunately, according to Feige, movies in the past like those hurt Marvel’s chance to continue exploring the genre. It seems like movie studios didn’t understand that with a good director and team behind the film, any character or movie could be turned around to be something better.

Captain Marvel partly has her female hero successors of the MCU so far to thank. Fans have fallen in love with characters like Gamora, Shuri, and Scarlet Witch. So it’s no wonder that if fans could love these ladies when they’re part of a team, they could also love them when they take the lead. But it isn’t just the Marvel characters that Captain Marvel owes its success to. Feige says there’s another female superhero movie that helped, too:

"The success of Wonder Woman made me very happy because as I’ve said before in the press, I’d much rather the question be, ‘Oh gosh, what did you think about that successful female-led hero that came out a few years ago?’ Rather than the question I used to get, which was, ‘Are you afraid that people don’t want to see a female hero?’"

While Feige says he does support female superheroes in the lead, it would be interesting to know Marvel Studio’s history of pitching and promoting its female-led movies. Was it always Marvel’s intention to slowly build up to a movie like Captain Marvel, or did they avoid having a female lead altogether knowing that movies studios wouldn’t be supportive of it?

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Regardless of how film history has hindered the genre, we can finally look to the future for more films like Captain Marvel.  The movie hits theaters March 2019, and there will hopefully be many more films like it to follow.