Over 100 comic book films have been made in America since 1990. Five have had female leads: Tank Girl, Barb Wire, Catwoman, Elektra, and Wonder Woman. That's going to change. Unjustly seen in Hollywood for years as poor investments, female superhero movies were never the problem. Bad scripts and bad movies were the problem. Last year, Wonder Woman proved a female superhero could own the box office and become a money-making force. The tide is slowly turning.
So what's next for female superheroes? We've got a few suggestions for Hollywood. These are four comic book characters who deserve their own standalone movies. They've been ignored thus far for having long hair and nails. No more.
1. Black Widow
Iron Man, Hulk, Captain America, Thor, Spider-Man, Ant-Man, Doctor Strange and Black Panther all have their own standalone Marvel movies. Black Widow? Not so much. (Hawkeye either, for the record.) In fact, Captain Marvel, slated for a 2019 release, will be the first female-led movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Wouldn't you think that honor would go to Black Widow?
As a member of the original team and the only female Avenger, Black Widow deserves her own movie. A script is currently in the works, but we're still a long way away from a box office debut. Scarlett Johansson is a huge star who's proven she can lead action films (Lucy, Ghost in the Shell). What's the hold up?
For many, Storm is the signature Marvel female superhero, and she may be the most well-known female comic book character as well. However, she's only appeared on the big screen as part of an ensemble (Halle Berry and Alexandra Shipp portray her in the X-Men films). That needs to change.
Aside from having a built-in fanbase, Storm also has a killer backstory, established by Marvel legend Chris Claremont back in the '70s. Like Black Panther, Storm descends from African royalty. Her mother was a Kenyan princess who came from a line of white-haired, blue-eyed witch-sorcerers. Her mother dies tragically, however, and Storm is left on her own. She becomes an expert thief before realizing her immense powers and she's eventually recruited by Professor X (whom she robs) to join the X-Men.
Black Panther is currently destroying the box office. Perhaps it will generate enough momentum for more African-American and minority-centered superhero stories. Storm should be first on that list.
This one is a natural fit considering the immense popularity of the Hulk. A female version could be just as popular. The Savage She-Hulk is not the greatest comic book character, but she could be amazing on the big screen. A lawyer by day, Jennifer Walters is the cousin of Dr. Bruce Banner. She inherited a lesser version of his Hulk powers during a blood transfusion, but she's still a walking wrecking ball when she turns green.
Imagine a She-Hulk movie where she teams up with her cousin and the two face off against some monster villain. Fans love the violent explosiveness of Hulk. Adding a female version seems like a no-brainer.
Marvel is currently testing the Rogue waters (along with her love interest Gambit) in a new comic called Rogue and Gambit. Could a movie be next? Gambit already has a 2019 standalone film lined up starring Channing Tatum. Rogue could appear in it, but no confirmation yet. Like Storm, Rogue (played by Anna Paquin) has only appeared in a supporting role in the X-Men films. She deserves better.
Rogue is one of the rare X-Men who consider their power to be a curse. She has an involuntary ability to absorb and sometimes remove the memories, physical strength, and superpowers of anyone she touches. Hence, her entire life has been a lonely struggle. Imagine not being able to touch anyone! After putting an early boyfriend in a coma with a kiss, Rogue embarked on a solitary life clothed from head to toe so she wouldn't hurt anyone. Her first mutant contact is with Mystique, who becomes a mother figure to Rogue. That means a standalone Rogue movie could feature Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique and Tatum as Gambit. That's quite a cast.