When I wrote last week about the “Wonder Woman” shake-up, I mentioned that I've had an evolution of thinking about that movie. I originally said that Warner should just hire the right director regardless of gender, but based on the last year or so of my own personal observations about the way the gender war is being waged in Hollywood, I no longer believe that. Now I think it's important… urgent, even… that whoever writes and directs “Wonder Woman” should be a woman, precisely because it is still considered unusual.
Any of the giant intellectual property machines currently in motion have diversity issues. “Star Wars” has taken some very interesting and promising steps to overcome that, and I don't think it was an accident that the first new character we saw in the first trailer for “The Force Awakens” is a young black man. If you're sending a message that this is a different era of “Star Wars,” that's one way to do it. Kathy Kennedy talked about making sure that everyone feels included in these films, and I think she's very serious about that.
For Marvel and DC, though, the race is on to see which of them is going to bring the first female superhero with her own giant budget movie to the screen. There was originally a plan to introduce Captain Marvel in costume at the end of “Avengers: Age Of Ultron,” but when the film's schedule was announced, it became apparent that they weren't going to have the role cast in time.
Today, Marvel made the official announcement that “Captain Marvel” will be co-written by Nicole Perlman and Meg Fauve. Perlman was the one who wrote the draft of “Guardians Of The Galaxy” that got the studio to make it a priority, and Fauve was one of the co-writers on this summer's “Inside Out,” which is shaping up as something very special. While many studios utilize the “parallel development” model, where they hire two writers (or more) and then pit them against each other to see who gets closer to whatever target it is that they're supposed to hit, this looks like a genuine collaboration.
As with “Wonder Woman,” I want to see Marvel fill as many spots above and below the line as possible with women on this film. I want to see them over-compensate dramatically. I want to push as hard as possible in this direction, because maybe… just maybe… if enough films overcompensate and enough films do well, Hollywood will begrudgingly change for the only reason Hollywood ever changes: money. If “Wonder Woman” and “Captain Marvel” can be the same kind of success as “Frozen” or the “Hunger Games” films, then maybe we really will see a shift in thinking.
It never happens overnight, but each and every choice like this one is a step towards making a change that Hollywood desperately needs.
“Captain Marvel” is set to hit theaters July 6, 2018.