The Marvel Cinematic Universe is a tricky place. While installments in the MCU consistently reap glorious reviews and tons of money, it hasn't always been the best place in terms of visibility and diversity. Marvel is clearly trying to rectify this with their future projects like Spider-Man: Homecoming, Black Panther, and Captain Marvel- featuring more women and people of color in prominent roles. But not too long ago this seemed an impossibility; Iron Man 3 was supposed to feature a female villain that was ditched when the powers that be decided this casting would detract from toy sales. Rebecca Hall's Maya Hansen was still in the movie in a vastly reduced role, and she's recently spoken about how she felt about the whole ordeal.
Rebecca Hall recently sat down with the good folks at The Wrap to talk about Iron Man 3. She described her MCU experience as follows:
I signed up to a role that played to the end of the film, and had a big part in the ending, a significant role. But halfway through filming, that all changed. It was quite shocking. It happens more than you think.
I mean, this is pretty crazy. Considering Rebecca Hall isn't exactly a household name, it's a shame that her emotions were toyed with so much during the development and shooting of Iron Man 3. Hall surely felt like she was getting her big break in a blockbuster movie in a giant serialized universe, so her demotion to a tertiary character was definitely a let down.
In fact, Hall went on to say that the experience was,
... heartbreaking, but that was a few years ago now. They have to be able to sell female action figures now if they are putting women in lead roles. I hope everything will trickle down accordingly.
What a class act. While Rebecca Hall isn't able to enjoy the change in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, she hopes her strife helped to open some eyes and ensure that other female actors are able to portray exciting and layered characters.
Visibility and diversity have since had a spotlight largely due to the success of Star Wars: The Force Awakes and the recent #OscarsSoWhite controversy. The Force Awakens starred a female and two men of color in the leading roles, changing the dynamic and expectations of what casting in blockbusters can (and should) be. Marvel's new focus towards diversity can be seen in their Netflix shows, with Jessica Jones featuring strong female characters and Luke Cage portraying the black experience in America while highlighting a stellar cast made up of almost exclusively black actors.
We'll just have to wait and see how Marvel continues to diversify and feature strong female characters through the rest of Phase Three and beyond. Captain Marvel and Ant-Man and The Wasp will feature female superheroes in leading roles for the first time, and Doctor Strange has already been praised for Rachel McAdams'Christine Palmer being so dynamic.
Now we just need Scarlett Johansson to finally get her own movie. Black Widow: It's About Damn Time will be in theaters hopefully very soon.