With Hollywood churning out a flux of remakes and reboots it seems they’ve come up with a unique way of making their constant re-treading fresh, How? Simple, by adding a female dynamic. Now before I’m instantly berated for that opening line sounding cynical and that I’m against feminism this is not what I’m saying, so I ask please bear with and all will become clear. The reason for my cynicism is when such a property as The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, a fantastic series of comics by Alan Moore and after a single terrible movie that has since slipped into obscurity is announced to have a reboot but wait Hollywood have a twist on how to make it stand out this time by announcing the potential for an all female cast. Seriously. An all female cast for a property entitled The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. A property that is highly revered outside a cinematic universe and endeared in many memories, granted the original premise itself was female driven by the leadership of Mina Murray but the bulk of the team was male, and so to make the team female simply feels like an injustice to the property itself. And then there is the all female re-boot of Ghostbusters’ many are praising it already for Hollywood pushing an empowered female driven movie. But the sceptic inside of me only sees a chance for the studio’s to make money by exploiting the ‘fresh’ idea of a female take on a classic. My issue isn’t that these premises are female driven it is the premises themselves. Executives are pushing endeared and beloved franchises and by adding the ‘fresh’ element of a talented cast of female personalties is getting away with selling you second hand popcorn covered in fresh butter.
Let me explain my grievances a little more, as I’m not coming off at all well in that opening paragraph. It currently feels a little more like tokenism then empowerment or a heroine I can root for. It goes without saying and even to the casual observer it is obvious Hollywood is lacking creativity, and I don’t want a rehashed existing premise, I want an original heroine. Gone are the likes of Buffy Summers, Sarah Conner and Ellen Ripley and many of these characters I have come to realize have no impact as the empowered heroines they once were. As I recently watched T2 with a group of friends and many of my female friends found Sarah Conner to be annoying rather then a figure they could connect to. As a male there are an abundance of figure heads and role models to look to in the world of film from Indy to Luke Skywalker and even now there are the likes of Star Lord but there is a strong lacking of such female heroes. And this is the trick Hollywood is missing, there has been a strong push in comics of late to create more female centric storylines and heroes. With the likes of Starfire recieving their own run, a female led team in the Gotham Academy series and then takes on characters like Spider-Man with the likes of Spider Gwen and SpiderWoman, where Marvel have taken a famed character and put an original twist on the character, not simply in the sense of making them female, but by giving them a rounded story and one of their own filled with their own trials and tribulations. And there is a continued multitude of original concepts and characters within the world of comics that could easily be transported to the silver screen, what with the idea of Ronda Rousey as Captain Marvel gaining momentum something I would be excited to see but only of Rousey can muster the acting chops to really round the character out, as she definitely has the looks and the muscle to pull it off. While their are other fantastic premises out there such as A-Force, Starfire, Wonder Woman, or Silk to mention a few, while some of these may not be logistically possible there is a lot of content out there to be used, either directly or simply for inspiration but it’s there. Comics and many other formats such as games have already heavily embraced the heroine and it just seems like the silver screen is far behind them and it’s starting to show. So many female led pictures have failed to make an impact from Angelina Jolie’s Lara Croft or Halle Berry’s Catwoman, even to mention them is painful for the scars they have left on such rounded and fantastic characters.
But it’s not over for the potential heroines of the cinematic universe, as while many Hollywood executives have tried to appear ‘fresh’, by re-boxing an old premise with a difference, and with the likes of Catwoman behind us which now look more like exploitation flicks then anything else, there are a wealth of recognised writers pushing for great original heroines. As the drip feed of information continues on The Force Awakens, it looks like such a heroine is round the corner, with Daisy Ridley’s; Rey looking like the main focus of the film. This isn’t to say with haven’t had our fair share of Heroines in recent times but it is a struggle to name as many to their countless male counter parts, and while this will take time I just hope that if I were ever to have a daughter should could happily pick from a diverse array of heroines for her role models. Obviously she will as she’ll be reading Bat-Girl before she is even forced to read the adventures of Biff, Chip and Kipper, but it would be something else to see such heroines on the silver screen. Or dare I say it an original one.
So Hollywood… Let’s see what you can do now.