It looks like Sony just beat Marvel and DC to the punch in the (tortoise vs snail) race to deliver a female-led superhero film.
Deadline is reporting that after moving The Amazing Spider-Man 3 back to a date after Sinister Six, they are now moving forward on a new Spider-Verse project with a female lead character. Lisa Joy Nolan will pen the screenplay, but no details have emerged as to which character will front the film — Black Cat, Spider-Woman, Silver Sable, and Firestar are all contenders, though it’s likely Black Cat would get the nod, given that Felicia Hardy was introduced in The Amazing Spider-Man 2.
This comes at a time when fans are clamoring for a female lead in the pantheon of superhero films. Since Iron Man 2, there’s been a call for a Black Widow movie, a call that got stronger after The Avengers, when Natasha and Hawkeye discussed Budapest. The addition of Jessica Jones as one of the Netflix TV show leads only underscored the absence of females in starring roles in the movies.
Here at SciFi4Me, we’ve speculated that Marvel was waiting to see how Lucy performed at the box office before announcing plans for a solo superheroine film, and it appears Sony was thinking along the same lines, as an anonymous source told Deadline: “What other movies we could do was something everyone started talking about when shooting the last movie … With Salt, Wanted and Lucy, there is a huge appetite for this right now.”
Especially since there were no announcements as to the titles of projects in connection with the unexpected new dates in the Marvel Cinematic Universe lineup. Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige told Comic Book Resources:
I think it comes down to timing, which is what I’ve sort of always said, and it comes down to us being able to tell the right story. I very much believe in doing it. I very much believe that it’s unfair to say, “People don’t want to see movies with female heroes,” then list five movies that were not very good, therefore, people didn’t go to the movies because they weren’t good movies, versus [because] they were female leads. And they don’t mention Hunger Games, Frozen, Divergent. You can go back to Kill Bill or Aliens. These are all female-led movies. It can certainly be done. I hope we do it sooner rather than later. But we find ourselves in the very strange position of managing more franchises than most people have — which is a very, very good thing and we don’t take for granted, but is a challenging thing. You may notice from those release dates, we have three for 2017. And that’s because just the timing worked on what was sort of gearing up. But it does mean you have to put one franchise on hold for three or four years in order to introduce a new one? I don’t know. Those are the kinds of chess matches we’re playing right now.
Many have misconstrued this to mean that a female lead is not part of the immediate plans for Marvel, when in fact, Guardians of the Galaxy co-writer Nicole Perlman told Time magazine that she was given a choice of projects to pitch, and without saying which were available, she strongly hints that certain of those projects were centered on superheroines. Which ones, we have yet to learn.
But it’s interesting to note that Sony has made these changes in what appears to be direct response to fan demands.
The next question: will Sony’s move force Marvel’s hand and impact the plans for announcements on the new films? Katee Sackhoff has posted Twitter clues about a new project, but she says it’s not a Marvel project. Could it be a Sony project? Or something completely disconnected to the superhero universe?