Superman. Spider-Man. Batman. Iron Man. The superhero genre has been predominantly known as ‘boys’ club’, skewed toward a traditionally male demographic as they make their way to multiplexes.
But a shift has been witnessed in recent years, with studios banking on female characters — and seeing great returns for the investments.Earlier, famous female superhero characters were introduced on the big screen as part of a team.
Halle Berry, Famke Janssen and Anna Paquin were founding members of the X-MEN franchise, while Fantastic Four member Sue Storm was portrayed over the years by both Jessica Alba and Kate Mara for superhero adventures from 20th Century Fox.
Halle Berry also tried her hand at bringing Catwoman to life in a standalone DC villain movie. And Helen Slater broke serious ground when she played Supergirl in 1984, capitalising on the success of the Superman franchise from Christopher Reeve.
Warner Bros. was the first to bet big on a female hero when they spun Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman off of the Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice film and gave her a solo adventure in 2017.
Marvel Studios also introduced a major female superhero last year. Brie Larson played Carol Danvers in Captain Marvel, the first MCU movie to be led by a female superhero. Captain Marvel wasn’t the first female superhero in the MCU.
Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), the Wasp (Evangeline Lilly), Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) and more helped to blaze a trail for Carol Danvers to finally shine in her own film.
The success of Wonder woman and Captain Marvel at the box office seems to have empowered studios to roll the dice on even more female-driven superhero and comic book features now.