Though she was originally pencilled in to appear in “Iron Man 2” in the ‘Black Widow’ role which went to Scarlett Johansson, British thesp Emily Blunt is none too keen about showing up in a nascent superhero flick and playing ‘the girlfriend’. You know, I think she has a point there.
In an interview to promote her next, non-genre flick, Blunt’s comments on turning down the Peggy Carter role in “Captain America: The First Avenger”, and on the paucity of good roles for actresses in blockbuster flicks in general, have been somewhat misinterpreted as a slam on genre fare as a whole. And I don’t think that’s quite what she’s getting at.
Her point would appear to be that most of these movies function as wish-fulfilment, power fantasies for adolescent boys of all ages and there’s very little arguing with that assessment – women who enter the orbit of Marvel and DC heroes tend to get to look decorative, be placed in danger and then saved by the titular hero. Self-determination and pro-active action for women in the summer blockbuster is in short supply and always has been. What Blunt appears to be saying is that its time that heroines got a slice of the action which is the birthright of male characters.
You’ll note that Marvel Studios don’t appear to be in any hurry to green light a movie which features a strong heroine in the lead and DC similarly seem to be focussing more on getting a “Green Lantern” sequel sorted out than in having anybody make a “Wonder Woman” flick – those tantalising rumours of Nicholas Winding Refn directing Christina Hendricks don’t seem to have been borne out by actual trade paper announcements, which is a shame.
I’d love to see Wonder Woman get the kind of mythological action epic treatment which Marvel gave to “Thor” last year – the character deserves it and there’s at least as much potential for a multi-film and multi-media franchise there as there is in any other character in the DC pantheon. I know that it’s tough to launch these projects but it does seem somewhat weird that it’s usually the super heroines whose script-to-screen travails seem inordinately protracted in comparison to those of their comic book brothers.
So, Hollywood – is it just young dudes who get to explode things and kick bad guy arses or can the ladies have a shot at it, too? What, exactly, are they so afraid of?