Natalie Portman as Jane Foster in Thor The Dark World

It’s not news at this point that there’s been a tragic dearth of female leads in the current glut of superhero movies. What is news, however, is Natalie Portman‘s suggestion that that could change soon.

The Thor: The Dark World actress hinted that a female-led film was in the works at Marvel Studios. Granted, it’ll likely be some time yet before any such movie hits screens, but better late than never, right? Hit the jump to read her comments on the matter — as well as Stan Lee‘s take on the same issue.

Portman dropped the intriguing detail while chatting with SciFiNow.

There are definitely many strong women, but it will be exciting when there is a central female character which I think is coming – I have heard is coming – and, of course, also a central non-white character will also be exciting. Title characters.

In the meantime, Portman points out, Marvel has some damn good female supporting roles.

But they do definitely have strong female characters in them, and I think it’s a testament to the people who run Marvel, their respect, their just normal human respect for women, the way they want to characterize them; you can tell when men talk to you, as just a person or as a “woman.”

Interestingly, Portman seems far more excited about the possibility of a superheroine movie than Lee does. The Marvel Comics founder touched upon in the same TooFab interview in which he discussed the Inhumans.

Well, probably at one time, they’ll make a movie of the Black Widow. I’m sure of it. But you see, the thing is, the women like these movies as much as the guys. So we don’t have to knock ourselves out to find a female. But we will.

Lee’s reasoning is rather disappointing. For years, execs have claimed that female protagonists wouldn’t work because comic book movies were aimed at males; now that women and girls are actually turning out in droves, Lee suggests, they don’t need to bother changing the formula. But hey, at least he’s open to the possibility of a Black Widow film.

In combination, Lee and Portman’s comments suggest that Marvel is seriously considering a female-led picture, but that there aren’t any firm plans in place. Knowing what we do of their upcoming slate, that means a lady hero pic is several years out at least.

Which is pretty odd, if you think about it. Marvel’s shown a willingness to take risks with lesser-known characters like Ant-Man and the Guardians of the Galaxy, so the argument that there aren’t enough iconic superheroines doesn’t hold water here. Even Warner Bros. is trying to make Wonder Woman happen, though they haven’t had much success so far.

Discuss: What do you think of Portman and Lee’s comments? Which Marvel superheroine would you like to see adapted first? Bonus points if you come up with someone other than Black Widow or Captain Marvel.

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