Let’s face it: female-led superheroes aren’t in great abundance, as far as cinema goes – particularly given mainstream cinematic disasters of the past. However, in my modern times, the success of the female superhero can’t really be ignored: Black Widow in the Avengers movies and Catwoman in The Dark Knight trilogy to name a few. Yet, there is still that niggling doubt that a female-led superhero movie or TV show would be an undoubted disaster, and that those already in existence aren’t strong enough to stand on their own two feet.
Luckily, with Wonder Woman appearing in both Batman vs. Superman before appearing in her own standalone movie in 2017, and Supergirl who will air later this year, look set to squash critics’ early doubts, and hold great promise for the future of female-led superheroes.
So, in celebration, I’ve decided to make a list of female superheroes who would make great protagonists in their own standalone movies!
While this has already been confirmed by Marvel, it is still worth mentioning – with movies perpetually being put on hold to make way for others, I’d imagine this would be an option to push back.
Further confirmed is that this adaptation will focus on the Carol Danvers story, which further opens the Marvel canon, as well as new directions for storylines for both The Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy, given that she has been a crucial part of both teams throughout her history. Her powers are equally important too, given their Kree origin and her extreme abilities; superhuman strength, absorbing/releasing energy bursts etc.
Not only could Captain Marvel kick some serious ass – she could restore her comic-canon moniker as leader of the Avengers, and it would certainly be interesting to see her dynamic with current leader type, Iron Man.
Who could play Captain Marvel?
There have been a lot of names thrown about, including that of Rhonda Rousey, but I really think that Natalie Dormer of Game of Thrones could play her really well – given her performance in The Hunger Games. I also think Emily Blunt would be a decent choice, given her perpetually excellent performances in roles such as The Edge of Tomorrow alongside Tom Cruise.
Rumours have suggested that Natasha Romanoff should never be anything more than a sidekick to her male team mates in The Avengers – given her limited backstory as a result of Age of Ultron, for example. While it is undisputed that the movie removed a great deal of amazing content for a standalone Black Widow movie, there’s no denying that she is still the most interesting and engaging female characters that Marvel have to offer, with a far more interesting story arc, that could still be rescued following the Ultron scandal – more so than, The Hulk, for example, who has had two terrible standalone movies.
There’s still some great direction to go with Black Widow, for example, post-WWII, she was recruited to be a part of the Black Widow programme – a potential movie title alone that offers so much more promise than, let’s say, Ant-Man maybe? There’s also the potential to make reference to her character in The Avengers comics, where she ultimately betrays them all and goes into hiding – a superhero turned villain is a great idea for Natasha Romanoff, and further perpetuates the idea that she’d be an amazing standalone movie lead.
Who could play Black Widow?
Scarlett Johansson, of course! Who else could do her role justice?
Why not? Let’s face it, the 2004 Warner Bros. flop was barely about Catwoman at all; it was simply an excuse to see Halle Berry in latex. Catwoman was a saccharine chick flick, with no reference at all to the DC Comics at all. Selina Kyle was entirely replaced by a meek graphic designer, Patience Phillips, and the main storyline revolved around an evil moisturiser… it made no sense at all.
A proper Catwoman movie would see Selina Kyle at the forefront, and let’s face it, she has a fantastically dark back story that would make an amazing movie: a tumultuous childhood, prostitution, training as a ninja at a martial arts academy, and an eventual run in with Batman who inspires her to become Catwoman. The aforementioned alone sounds like a fantastic introduction to a really interesting film that I’d watch, for sure.
Who could play Catwoman?
In my opinion, Ann Hathaway portrayed her extremely well in The Dark Knight Rises and has been quite vocal about her desire to make a standalone movie with Christopher Nolan, so I’d pick her!
Again, I scream, ‘why not?!’ – there’s an enormous allowance for male superheroes to be given perpetual regurgitations within the comic book movie circuit, so I think it’s only fair to include Elektra too.
While there’s no denying that the original Elektra movie was terrible, and everything truly excellent about her was ignored to focus on the blossoming love story between she and Daredevil (a gargantuan mistake, if you ask me), there’s still plenty of content there to create a really great re-boot of an ultimately, extremely interesting character.
Elektra is, first and foremost, a wilful and deadly assassin, controlled a great deal by her own corruptions, and her pre-established history is far more interesting than a love affair with a male superhero. Through her mother’s death and later, her father’s death when attempting to escape a hostage situation, it’s easy to assume that it messed Elektra up. She goes off the rails and joins The Hand – the same group of ninja types that targeted Natasha Romanoff, which would have made for an amazing female superhero movie cross over – before eventually escaping, and becoming an assassin in her own, independent right – not a man in sight!
Who could play Elektra?
I can’t think of anyone other than Eliza Dushku to play her, she’s a bit of a bad ass and plays ‘messed up’ quite well, I’d say.
Jessica Drew has never been seen before, even though her own story is infinitely more interesting than her male equivalent, Spider-Man. Created accidentally by her father, Jonathan Drew when trying to save her life, she was injected with the traits of a rare spider, giving her the ability to discharge electrical venom blasts from her hands. She was put in cryostasis, her age slowed dramatically and upon her awakening, she was entirely alone.
She spent a lot of time in turmoil, accidentally murdered her boyfriend when trying to blend in to humanity, and eventually ended up in the hands of Hydra, forced to do their bidding, before rebelling and spending time trying to figure herself out and running into super friends and foes along the way.
This story is a great alternative to those who find the Peter Parker rhetoric a bit… well, awful, and for people who would love the idea of a spider superhero with a proper backbone. Her origin story and history is so vast, that it could be a successful trilogy in its own right.
Who could play Spider-Woman?
For me, it would have to be Olivia Munn – I think she looks a bit like a spider, and I mean that as a compliment.
This could become quite confusing, given the sheer amount of story involved – as well as the ultimate bastardisation of her character by DC Comics in 2011 – but I think a focus on the original Batgirl/Oracle story-arc could work well.
Barbara Gordon, daughter of Police Commissioner Gordon, is Batgirl and enjoys a pretty successful career before her retirement from crime fighting. Somewhat later on, she is shot through the spinal cord by the Joker, in a classic case of ‘fridging’ in The Killing Joke, paralysing her from the waist down. Undeterred, later she returns as Oracle, a phenomenally talented hacker who helps others in the DC Universe to take down the bad guys.
This story alone, as a standalone movie would open up so many other possibilities, including a Birds of Prey movie and could see her being included in the upcoming Justice League and Suicide Squad movies. Depending on how the movies pan out, it could re-join the current comic book canon and see Batgirl return, just to be in keeping with DC Comics terrible company rebranding.
Who could play Batgirl or Orcale?
I’d say Emma Stone would make an amazing Batgirl, but I’m not sure if I can see her as Oracle.
I could have gone on all day discussing female superhero movies, because there really are a great deal of them out there. Let me know what you think, and if you have any ideas or suggestions yourself, leave a comment!