Captain Marvel may be the first solo female superhero to get her own Marvel Cinematic Universe movie — but she won’t be the last.
As part of EW’s cover story on the upcoming Captain Marvel, we spoke to Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige about the past and future of the MCU’s female lineup — and he revealed that the studio plans to announce more female-led Marvel movies.
“With [Ant-Man and The Wasp] and now with Captain Marvel and many movies to be announced in the near future, I’m anxious for the time where it’s not a novelty that there is a female-led superhero movie, but it is a norm,” Feige told EW. “And it is less a story of, ‘Oh, look, a female hero,’ and it’s more a story of, ‘Oh, what’s this about? Who’s this character? I’m excited to see that.’ And I think we can get there.”
At least one project is already in the works, with Cate Shortland signing on to direct a Black Widow film starring Scarlett Johansson. A number of Marvel actresses have also spoken out in support of a potential all-female Avengers movie.
But despite future plans, it’s taken a while to get here. The MCU has introduced a number of diverse, powerful female characters over the years, but until now, they haven’t always been the heroes of their own stories. This year’s Ant-Man and the Wasp was the first movie in the MCU to have a female title character, and Captain Marvel is the first solo film. When Captain Marvel hits theaters in March 2019, it’ll be the MCU’s 21st movie, and more than a decade will have passed since Iron Man launched the franchise.
So, um, what took so long?
“I think there are a lot of reasons,” Feige said, “not the least of which was fighting for many years the erroneous notion that audiences did not want to see a female-led hero [film] because of a slew of films 15 years ago that didn’t work. And my belief was always that they didn’t work not because they were female-led stories — they didn’t work because they were not particularly good movies.”
Captain Marvel offers a chance to get it right, hopefully joining last year’s Wonder Woman as undeniable proof that female superheroes can carry their own stories and earn big at the box office, too.
“I’ve always said, I root for all genre movies because the success of those movies helps us,” Feige says. “Because not everybody knows the difference between what studio makes what movie or what comic book company what character comes from. So I’m very pleased when any film in our genre [does well] — not just superheroes, but action or sci-fi or anything. The success of Wonder Woman made me very happy because as I’ve said before in the press, I’d much rather the question be, ‘Oh gosh, what did you think about that successful female-led hero that came out a few years ago?’ Rather than the question I used to get, which was, ‘Are you afraid that people don’t want to see a female hero?’”