Last week, Marvel broke the internet with their release of the first trailer for “Captain Marvel” a film starring Oscar winner Brie Larson. The film is the first of its kind for Marvel, signaling a shift in the landscape of comic book movies, at least for Disney.
DC comics and Warner Brothers already ushered in a completely new age of superhero film with the wildly popular and incredibly entertaining “Wonder Woman.” Not only was “Wonder Woman” well written and incredibly well acted, it also featured a woman in the director’s chair for the first time in DC and Marvel history. Patty Jenkins’ involvement in “Wonder Woman” and the upcoming “Wonder Woman 1984” is exactly what made Marvel speed up their involvement in “Captain Marvel.”
Another Marvel property at Fox will be making their debut in July 2019, five months after “Captain Marvel” is due to hit theatres. “Dark Phoenix,” whose trailer also debuted last week as well, shows a powerful Jean Grey (Sophie Turner) take control of her powers with the help of a cosmic entity but instead of her being a hero, Jean is a villain.
Despite the various status and ownership of these strong women, there’s no doubt that DC and Marvel are both making headway in the inclusion of women in filmmaking. Hollywood still has a long way to go but if “Captain Marvel,” “Wonder Woman” and “Dark Phoenix” are anything to go by, audiences are in for a new era in filmmaking.
However, it is imperative to note that Hollywood isn’t there. Yet. Despite the strides that DC and Marvel are making, they’re still not up to par and sadly, neither is Hollywood. According to IndieWire, only 16 percent of directors in last year’s films were women.
The percentages get smaller the higher the amount of money a film made. In an even more shocking article, The Wrap noted that only “3.3 percent of the films scheduled for release [in 2018] have a female director.” Even worse is three out of the six major Hollywood studios don’t even have a woman director on their roster at all this year.
And it isn’t like women aren’t making money in Hollywood either. In fact, “Wonder Woman” grossed $412.5 million dollars in 2017 making it “the third-highest grossing domestic” release that year, according to the Wrap.
It’s safe to say that Marvel and “Captain Marvel” is expected to make more than that for the pure fact that it’s Marvel and because “Black Panther,” a film that was also revolutionary for Marvel in completely different ways, made over $700 million dollars at the box office, according to Box Office Mojo.
Of course, the unfortunate truth is, none of this boils exclusively down to superheroes and directors. Women are also sadly missing from most films period. According to womenandhollywood.com, in 2017, only 33 top grossing films of 2017 contained a female lead or co lead. According to the same site, women accounted for only 11 percent of the writers in the top grossing films. Only 4 percent accounted for cinematographers and 3 percent accounted for film composers.
So, what exactly can the audience do about this sore lack of women in film? Basically, support every single film that not only has a woman lead but also a woman director or even a woman composer or cinematographer in its credits. Not only that but go see “Captain Marvel” and “Wonder Woman 1984” and “Dark Phoenix” when they’re released in theatres.
Encourage your sisters, mothers, friends, aunts, any woman in your life to get out there and write. We, at the Arka Tech, aren’t saying that you have to pick up the nearest “Screenwriter’s Bible” and write the next big blockbuster. Any type of writing will suffice. Make a blog, call out Hollywood and its sexism and misogyny. Demand more stories, of all kind, that include women directors, characters, writers and more. You name it, you write it.
Men, also do this, but also lend your voices to women. Do not trod on them. Encourage them and not only that, recognize that women are strong. So, when you see a film like “Justice League” that deliberately changed “Wonder Woman’s” beautifully rendered Themysciran armor to sexist trash, do not let it fly. Though to be fair, “Justice League” was a mess and did not do well at the box office, but still. The misogyny and sexism Zack Snyder displayed was enough to cause outrage. With good reason.
Girls need strong and positive representation on screen and behind the scenes. So far, the only tent pole films they’re getting next year are “Dark Phoenix” and “Captain Marvel.” Ask yourselves, men and women alike, will you stand for this type of entertainment that is deliberately skewed male? Or, will you support “Captain Marvel” and “Dark Phoenix” and demand more?