Joss Whedon Calls Out the "Intractable Sexism" of Superhero Movies

Thursday, 29 January 2015 08:50 Written by  iamrogue
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Joss Whedon Calls Out the "Intractable Sexism" of Superhero Movies

Joss Whedon doesn't mince words.

The loquacious filmmaker behind the biggest comic book movie of all time and its upcoming sequel, Avengers: Age of Ultron, has addressed the "old-fashioned quiet misogyny" implicit in cinematic superhero fare.

Let's put it this way: it'll be a full decade into Marvel Studios' dominance of the comic book blockbuster before a female-led super-movie, Captain Marvel, finally hits theaters on July 6, 2018, a full nineteen movies into the MCU.  Over at DC/Warner Bros., a Wonder Woman movie is set for June 23, 2017, but by the time Gal Gadot becomes the first Diana Prince in a live-action feature film next year, Batman will have been rebooted twice, plus she's making her big debut in a movie called Batman v Superman.

Whedon, who wrote an unused Wonder Woman script about a decade ago, commented on the lack of female superheroics to Digital Spy from the set of Age of Ultron.

"It's a phenomenon in the industry that we call 'stupid people'," said Whedon. "There is genuine, recalcitrant, intractable sexism, and old-fashioned quiet misogyny that goes on.

"You hear 'Oh, [female superheroes] don't work because of these two bad ones that were made eight years ago', there's always an excuse,” said the Buffy the Vampire Slayer creator.

The last two years, the biggest movies at the domestic box office have been led by a woman: Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen.  Whedon went on to say, "Hunger Games is a different structure and aesthetic to a certain extent, but these narratives where people are bigger than life and they're in these terrible, heightened circumstances, it's all part of the same genre," he said.

"Marvel is in a position of making a statement simply by making [a female-led] movie, which I think would be a good thing to do," Whedon said prior to Marvel's big Phase 3 announcement. "But it has to be a good movie, it has to be a good character, and most of the best characters in Marvel are owned by Fox, let's face it!"

He's got an interesting point there, since 20th Century Fox owns the movie rights to X-characters like Jean Grey, Storm, Rachel Grey, and Kitty Pryde, as well as Elektra and many, many more.

When Marvel Studios finally starts making movies about superheroes with two X chromosomes, Whedon almost certainly won't be around the MCU.  Not as a director, anyways.  It's an unofficial yet open secret that Captain America: The Winter Soldier helmers Joe and Anthony Russo will take the reins of Marvel's biggest franchise on Avengers: Infinity War - Parts 1 and 2.

Whedon, who very nearly didn't return after the first Avengers, told Empire (by way of Collider), “I couldn’t imagine doing this again.  It’s enormously hard, and it be, by then, a good five years since I created anything that was completely my own.  So it’s very doubtful that I would take on the two-part Infinity War movie that would eat up the next four years of my life.  I obviously still want to be a part of the Marvel Universe – I love these guys – but it ain’t easy.  This year has been more like running three shows than any year of my life.  It is bonkers.”

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