jane-foster-la-9-23-13

Natalie Portman is one of the few actresses currently enrolled in Marvel’s superhero boys club, where female characters, especially superheroines, are almost nonexistent. (Just look to Portman, her Jane Foster is far from being super.) But lately there’s been a lot of talk about changing that, and there have even been some female characters added to developing projects (Scarlett Witch is one who’ll appear in the forthcoming The Avengers: Age of Ultron). Now Portman has also spoken up about the subject, suggesting that a Marvel female-led superhero movie is coming.

Portman told SciFiNews that she’s heard movies are coming where the lead character is non-male and non-white.

“There are definitely many strong women, but it will be exciting when there is a central female character which I think is coming – I have heard is coming – and, of course, also a central non-white character will also be exciting. Title characters.”

But she also praised Marvel’s efforts, so far. She mentioned that the people at Marvel have done a good job with the female characters, showcasing them as strong women.

“But they do definitely have strong female characters in them, and I think it’s a testament to the people who run Marvel, their respect, their just normal human respect for women, the way they want to characterize them; you can tell when men talk to you, as just a person or a as a “woman.”

Stan Lee also recently touched on the subject matter, but his view wasn’t as, shall we say, exciting. Here’s what the Marvel legend said:

“Well, probably at one time, they’ll make a movie of the Black Widow. I’m sure of it. But you see, the thing is, the women like these movies as much as the guys. So we don’t have to knock ourselves out to find a female. But we will.”

As Slashfilm points out, Mr. Lee is suggesting that now that superhero films are as popular with women and girls as they are with boys and men, that there’s no need to tweak the formula. It is true that these movies are very popular, and even if there’s no supporting superheroines in the developing/forthcoming movies, audiences (both male and female) will show up to see them. But the mystery still remains. Why has it taken so long to make a superheroine movie? If it’s because movie executives think female-led superhero movies will bomb at the box office, they should take a serious look at the scifi genre, where most of the central characters are female (and those movies are making tons of money). Perhaps it’s time for Marvel to take a risk, and quick, before they actually do lose that female audience.

What do you think? Should Marvel speed it up with a superheroine film? Or should they just keep the same formula? Also, what female character would you like to see onscreen?