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Marvel Studios and its Marvel Cinematic Universe has dominated superheroics on the big screen for the better part of a decade. Although Marvel laid the blueprint for building a cinematic universe, and has set the standard for quality in these films, Warner Bros' DC universe was actually the first to have a female-led superhero film with this year's Wonder Woman. People have been calling for Scarlett Johansson's Black Widow to get a solo film for years, but we're still over a year away from Marvel's first female fronted solo film, Captain Marvel. Yet, there is already a clamor for the badass ladies of the MCU to team up to snap some necks and cash some checks. Nebula actress, Karen Gillan spoke about why an all-female Marvel movie makes so much sense now, saying,
Now is the time, more than ever. Look at the success of Wonder Woman. It's clear that we all want that.
Idealism can only get you so far, but what Karen gets at in her interview with IndieWire is what really makes things happen: money. Wonder Woman more than proved the viability of a female-led comic book film, becoming the highest grossing superhero film of the year domestically, surpassing MCU favorites Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, the MCU solo debut of Peter Parker in Spider-Man: Homecoming, and the God of Thunder reinvention Thor: Ragnarok. What was once a financial risk is now a proven option. Karen Gillan's comments actually come after a bunch of Marvel's actresses pitched the idea of an all-female Marvel movie to Kevin Feige, and while that once seemed unlikely, it is now looks like it could be a matter of when, not if.
Although there is no all-female Marvel movie currently on the schedule, the ladies are getting a larger share of the spotlight going forward in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.. You will see many of Marvel's most fierce females doing battle with Thanos in next year's Avengers: Infinity War. Next year also sees the release of Ant-Man and The Wasp, where Evangeline Lilly's character gets co-billing with Paul Rudd's Scott Lang in her costumed debut. After that, Marvel will finally catch up with its aforementioned first female-led superhero solo film, Captain Marvel in 2019. One imagines if Brie Larson's Captain Marvel plays a role in defeating Thanos in Avengers 4, she will inevitably become a leader in the future of the MCU in Phase 4 and beyond.
It is clear that, as Karen Gillan says, audiences are ready for an all-female Marvel film, but it isn't quite so simple as that. For one thing, Wonder Woman is far and away the most popular and recognizable female superhero in history. Building a universe with her origin film as one of the pillars just makes sense. DC has a young universe and \when a character is popular like Wonder Woman or Harley Quinn, they can lean on that and quickly try to capitalize on that interest. Marvel isn't going to just do a bunch of female-led films on a whim. An all-female team film would have to feature proven female characters and fit within the framework of the larger cinematic universe, while contributing to the overarching Phase stories. It's that kind of planning that has led to Marvel's success so far, and there's no reason to derail that train.
Between Gamora, Black Widow, Scarlet Witch, Nebula, Valkyrie, The Wasp, etc., Marvel has an embarrassment of riches when it comes to amazing female characters and fantastic actresses portraying them. It's only a matter of finding how to tell the right story at the right time, and I have little doubt an all-female Marvel movie will find it's way to the big screen eventually. In the meantime you can see Karen Gillan sans alien makeup in Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, in theaters now.