Wonder Woman And Women In Film

In 2016 being a nerd is desirable, comic books and memorabilia are raved about and the superhero industry is booming. Marvel and DC are pumping out movies at an alarming rate but a superhero who was sorely missed is about to have their time in the limelight.

Wonder Woman is being released next June and it looks amazing. Why has it been so long for the two comic empires to focus on a female superhero? Especially when Wonder Woman is so close to millions of people’s hearts!

The inclusion of female superheroes has been something that has been missing from the genre for far too long. The inability to find a female superhero action figure for children has caused controversy for years.

Of course, there have been female superheroes in hugely successful movie franchises. Black Widow, Peggy Carter and everyone’s favourite villain Harley Quinn, graced our screens over the past few years. They were and still are amazing characters but they’ve been mistreated and used as an object for men to pine over, or as a plot point for man pain or simply objectified in tight catsuits and digitally shortened booty shorts.

When not playing Bruce Banner's love interest ,Black Widow is actually a superhero.
When not playing Bruce Banner’s love interest, Black Widow is actually a superhero.

We’ve seen three different incarnations of Spiderman and not a single standalone female superhero movie.

Now after years of waiting, we have been treated to a Wonder Woman trailer. A trailer in which she saves the burly man, she fights and she definitely shows that she can play with the boys. Girls no longer need to wait for the five minutes of lone screen time a female character might receive with the new Wonder Woman film.

It may seem like something so small but for so many women this is a huge deal. We are finally being represented in this intensely male industry in a positive way. Wonder Woman is a character that young girls can look up to. The 1970s television show was hugely successful and the character of Wonder Woman was such a positive role model for young girls during this time.

Lynda Carter played DC's number one woman in the 1970s.
Lynda Carter played DC’s number one woman in the 1970s.

The lack of strong women in the comic book world is something that has been highly criticised. To show young girls that they can be their own hero and be just as strong as the boys is something that we must strive towards in the 21st century.

So if she was such a huge success forty years ago why did it take so long for her to return?

It’s not as if Hollywood is rejecting reboots, almost every film in the cinemas now is a reboot or a sequel. The return of characters is greeted with fanfare. Except if they are female it seems.

The Ghostbusters remake was one of the most divisive topics across the world this year. (Yes, the same year that Donald Trump successfully ran for president. But who cares? We can’t have female Ghostbusters it will ruin my childhood!!!) The trailer is the most disliked video on Youtube and the comments below highlight the hatred that a female cast can cause. Yes, of course, this could be because the original was a group of men running around catching ghosts. But honestly, do we not have enough movies with four men running around?

Ghostbusters (2016) is the most disliked film trailer on YouTube.
Ghostbusters (2016) is the most disliked film trailer on YouTube.

The movie wasn’t great but neither was its predecessor. However, it certainly did not deserve such immense hate! It was honestly shocking. However, the amount of young girls who dressed as a Ghostbuster for Halloween was enough for this film to be made.

It’s time to allow females to lead movies that aren’t just about struggling writers trying to find a man. So let’s make Wonder Woman and Captain Marvel and the all-female Ocean’s Eleven reboot. If it makes one little girl happy and proud of her gender then that’s enough for me.

Bronwyn O’Neill

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