Robot 6

Quote of the Day #2 | Is the time finally right for a female-lead superhero movie?

What if Brave and The Hunger Games are the top grossing movies this year? Will girl-lead adventure movies become less like unicorns? Maybe we’ll actually get that one female-lead superhero movie? HAHAHAHAHA. Oh, I kill me.

Faith Erin Hicks, making a good observation about this year’s potential blockbusters and what it could lead to.

Do you think that the time is ripe for a superhero movie starring a woman? Are we over Elektra and Catwoman enough that Hollywood could consider Black Widow or – finally – Wonder Woman? If female-led films become extremely profitable, what other female superheroes are ready for the big screen?



Jake Earlewine

March 22, 2012 at 2:13 pm

The market has been ready for a long time. Lara Croft: Tomb Raider is a superheroine movie.

Whether the superhero is male or female is not important. What is important is having a great story.

If the marketplace is ready for it, then why has every single action movie with a female lead completely bombed at the box office (with the exception of Tomb Raider)?

Did anyone go see Columbiana? Anyone?

the resident evil movies are extremely profitable.

Personally, I think the X-Men movies showed that it doesn’t matter – the cast was half and half and all three were at least decent (3 got a lot wrong, but the bits with Beast and Magneto were nice and Wolverine was as good as he’d ever been. More a disappointing “what could have been” than an outright failure).

I don’t care all that much about Wonder Woman or Black Widow, so using them as examples of possible super heroine movies doesn’t entice me all that much (I find their backgrounds rather boring and their shticks are a little lame). I’d be much more interested in heroine movies with other, more interesting female leads (although most of my examples don’t really work well without their team, the X-Men, backing them up…).


Jake, you say that male or female doesn’t matter. That it isn’t important.


I liked the Powerpuff Girls movie. It was great!

Id really like to see the introduction and spinoff of ms. marvel in the avengers movie.


Like it often is in modern day mainstream comics, the level of interest hangs largely on the creative team.

Kill Bill

There’s something in common between those films.

Extend the look into tv and the case is stronger.

Veronica Mars

Of course there can be a successful superheroine movie. As with any film though, you can’t half ass it.

It’s ridiculous that this question has to even be asked, over thirty years since Ellen Ripley first kicked Alien ass in the middle of space. So yeah, the time is right.

Linda, you’re not a real person, so it’s whatever, troll.


March 22, 2012 at 6:32 pm

I think the issue, as Jorell touched on, is more that female-lead action movies tend to be half-assed. It seems that movie executives assume that audiences don’t want to see a female action movie so they don’t put much effort into them…so they bomb. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy.

The tricky part now is to make a super hero movie that isn’t half ass or otherwise corny. The track record on those is still spotty!

The time is finally right for a female lead superhero movie THAT ISN’T GARBAGE.

Gina carano in haywire and soarise ronan in hannah are great examples of a female driven action movie. Right up there with alien and kill bill.


The last good female superhero film I watched was Angelina Jolie in Salt. It made a substantial amount of money.

Female superheroes often look cheesy. Catwoman. Wonder Woman. Elektra. They all look cheesy. They try to have it both ways – take me seriously, but check out my tits as well.

If Salt and Hunger Games convinced me of anything, it’s that you can have compelling female superheroes – but not in male-designed, skimpy spandex. It’s silly


I agree… “Hanna” was a fantastic female-lead action movie.

I guarantee the success of Hunger Games will not be used as proof in Hollywood that female action films work – the success of the films will be credited to the success of the books ala Potter and Twilight. None of the other “female lead” action movies cited reached a level of commercial successes that would be needed for a big budget superhero film. I loved Hanna and Salt, but notice neither one was enough of a hit to even prompt a sequel yet, and both their budgets were nothing compared to the budget that would be required to make a true female driven superhero film. As far as Alien, Resident Evil, etc, I would argue that there are other hooks in those movies – Resident Evil is as much (or more) about the zombies/creatures than about the female hero, and Alien was a monster/horror movie first and foremost. People didn’t go see Alien because they wanted to see a woman kick ass.

I’m not arguing against a female superhero film – I was praying the Whedon WW film would happen – but as with everything in Hollywood, we’re going to need a studio to take a chance, commit creatively and financially to making one a success (like Marvel did with Iron Man), and hope it’s a smash critical and commercial hit. Once that happens the floodgates will open.

Good observation? To say a female lead in an action movie is a unicorn is plain silly since that would imply none have been made. More like a wolverine- something that exists but not seen as much as some would like. Seems like most action and adventure film not starring Jason Statham have had a female lead or kick ass females as central characters who stole the show- plenty have been listed already and anyone who pays the least bit of attention to movies could name a dozen others. Would I like to see even more? Sure. But to ignore the multitude of movies the last few years seems strange since we’ve had more female leads in action films in the last 5 or 10 years than we had in the previous 100.

@ Joe Williams

I agree – but try and identify more than one film featuring a female superhero in a costume that DIDN’T tank at the box-office.

Aeon Flux

Women in male designed, sexy spandex (unless it’s shiny black leather worn by that Underworld lady) aren’t taken seriously, and don’t attract an audience. Until they start depicting female superheroes in a similar manner to films like Salt, Hanna, and Hunger Games they won’t sell.

Yep. I mean, I badly want a Black Widow movie. Wonder Woman, eh…

@Lord Prong

Given that Supergirl came out over 25 years ago, I’d say that that isn’t a relevant example at this point; I’ve also not seen it, so can’t really judge it. But, I mean, you may as well bring in Tank Girl if you’re going to go back decades.

The problem is, looking at that list, all of those other movies absolutely, totally, and completely freaking sucked on every level imaginable. They weren’t good movies, they weren’t even fun movies…there were absolutely excruciating to the point of being butts of jokes for years to come.

Hell, Aeon Flux and Catwoman were so bad that they effectively killed Charlize Theron and Halle Berry’s careers, despite both of them just having won Oscars. Berry is still MIA, while Theron is only making a comeback now, 6-7 years later.

The problem is, from a hollywood exec perspective, they WILL use those epic flops as indicative of the fact that female superhero movies don’t work, failing to realize that it probably has more to do with how ridiculously shitty all those movies were than anything else.

Put out a GOOD female superhero movie and if it flops, then we’ll talk.

Jake Earlewine

March 25, 2012 at 6:37 pm

Darryl, you were clever enough to see that my name is Jake. But what was the point you were trying to make? You didn’t actually say anything in your post. What does my name have to do with this discussion about females being the lead character in a successful movie? Zip. Nada. Nuffin’.

I think Linda responded to your post with the same level of cognitive prowess that you displayed, when she pointed out that your name is Darryl.

My name is Jake and your name is Darryl. I’m glad we got that settled. Peace on ya, brother.

Are u kidding me? Hollywood can be as ready as i wants, but when in movie a women beats a man in a war situation it proves that the movie is bullshit because men are way better warriors and soldiers as we supress our emotions while females do not.

Also a movie must be believeable, these movies where the girls who cant weigh more then 110 pounds walk around beating the shit out of every man they see. But fact is one of those guys would land 1 punch and knock her out because women can’t take a punch. They’re neck muscles are small and weak and provide no protection from being hit in the jaw/face

So you can take Gina Carano, that’s what you’re saying?

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