The Avengers Black Widow

From Buffy to Zoë to Echo, Joss Whedon has long demonstrated an appreciation for kick-ass ladies. He brought that with him to last summer’s The Avengers, which offered Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s only major superheroine, ample opportunity to show off her skills. It also introduced another cool female character in the form of S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders).

It’s just too bad, then, that not all of his industry colleagues are as comfortable with powerful women. As ubiquitous as comic book superheroes are in cinemas nowadays, their distaff counterparts are still very few and far in between. And Whedon is getting pretty pissed off about it. Read his comments after the jump.

Whedon got into it in a conversation with The Daily Beast.

Toymakers will tell you they won’t sell enough, and movie people will point to the two terrible superheroine movies that were made and say, You see? It can’t be done. It’s stupid, and I’m hoping The Hunger Games will lead to a paradigm shift. It’s frustrating to me that I don’t see anybody developing one of these movies. It actually pisses me off. My daughter watched The Avengers and was like, “My favorite characters were the Black Widow and Maria Hill,” and I thought, Yeah, of course they were. I read a beautiful thing Junot Diaz wrote: “If you want to make a human being into a monster, deny them, at the cultural level, any reflection of themselves.”

Studios are notoriously risk-adverse, and to some extent that’s understandable since hundreds of millions of dollars are at stake with these projects. But as Whedon points out, there’s really no evidence that a superheroine movie couldn’t work — and plenty of evidence that the audience wants one.

Happily, there are some signs that the industry is starting to take note. The smashing success of The Hunger Games helped pave the way for other female-centric adventures like Divergent and The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones. And while Wonder Woman hasn’t made it to film or TV quite yet, it’s at least encouraging to know that Warner Bros. hasn’t given up on her completely. If only they’d had the opportunity to get Whedon on board for that one…

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