Marvel’s Phase Three is full of speculation. There have been rumors and reports of a Black Panther movie in the works, but they always get brushed aside. Fans screaming for a Ms. Marvel or Black Widow standalone project get placated with hems and haws. The Marvel Cinematic Universe was and is still dominated by white males kicking ass with magical hammers and high tech armor while the one girl hides behind wreckage, shooting at super aliens with bullets. Everyone saw that coming and accepted it when Phase Two expanded on that foundation. Phase Three was the hope for forward movement. Yet, with ‘Ant-Man’ beginning production just yesterday and ‘Doctor Strange’ being the new flavor of the month, the likelihood of any minority representation taking the lead gets slimmer every day. But these concerns don’t fall on deaf ears. They’re just being worked on with idle hands.
It’s cut and dried: Marvel has ideas and plans and visions and nothing is going to stand in the way of their grand schemes. They’ve got a whole list of future aspirations and that wheel began turning long before this news was even mentionable. When Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige addressed the issue of a female leading her own movie, he basically said “I think it comes down to timing.” Meaning, Marvel planned a party and didn’t invite these ladies to it. I think it’s safe to say that it’s a “white dudes only” shindig. If there’s any room for minorities whatsoever at this fiesta, it’s “unannounced.” Here’s a list of Marvel’s confirmed studio release dates:
- May 1, 2015 – The Avengers: Age of Ultron
- July 17, 2015 – Ant-Man
- May 6, 2016 – Captain America 3 (Untitled)
- July 8, 2016 – Doctor Strange (Unannounced)
- May 5, 2017 – Unannounced
- July 28, 2017 – Unannounced
- November 3, 2017 – Unannounced
- May 4, 2018 – Unannounced
- July 6, 2018 – Unannounced
- November 2, 2018 – Unannounced
- May 3, 2019 – The Avengers 3 (Unannounced)
That’s a lot of not announcing to announce. And as Phase Three loses its grip on fan hopes and expectations, the disgruntled just make more noise. And let’s face it, if somebody’s standing outside your house banging trash can lids together, you’re gonna hear it sooner than later. Feige heard that racket and addressed it when IGN spoke to him at SDCC14 about the Black Panther and Ms. Marvel getting their own flicks.
“They’re both characters that we like, that development work has been done on and continues to be done on and certainly the public… it’s a question I get asked more than anything else. More than Iron Man 4. More than The Avengers 3. And that’s sort of the fist time that’s really happened to us so I think that makes a difference. I think that’s something we have to pay attention to.”
Okay, let’s go over that. Somebody’s in your yard making a ruckus. You open the door and stand on the porch, watching peace go to shit and you say…
“I’ve always said we have our plan and it served us very well and there hasn’t been anything that has made us deviate or change from that based on opinion because opinions online change and they alter, and they’re based on sort of limited information they have towards what’s going on behind-the-scenes. But in this particular case I think it is a groundswell. I think it does. I think it means something substantial.”
Nothing. You say nothing. Might give a thumbs up, maybe a smile. A little nod of the head. But the bottom line is: bang lids all you want – we’re not changing our minds.
Marvel is following a coda that was well-established in the 60’s: make awesome white male superheroes, and an Invisible Girl. Over the years a Luke Cage would sprout, or a Black Panther, or Storm – but the overwhelming ratio of white males to minorities was never adjusted unless they played second fiddle to the white male hero. See Falcon. See Wasp (who was an Ant-Man offshoot). See War Machine (another guy in armor, yay). It’s 2014 and little change. What does that leave you with? Nothing. When you want to make superhero movies with a little diversity, you find yourself turning the Kingpin and Johnny Storm black because hey wait…we don’t actually have that many black people in the comic book world! Thanks to the 60’s I have to watch ‘Thor’ and bullshit myself into believing Germanic pagans worshiped a black Norse god. And if that’s not bad enough, the few times minorities get a little play on film, there have been instances of them being played by white actors – see Jubilee and Silver Fox. Still in the minority, but still an ugly practice.
The weird thing is, Ms. Marvel could’ve been an easter egg during the credits of Guardians Of The Galaxy. She was passed over for a duck. The Black Panther is the African Batman! Who the hell doesn’t want to see that?? He’s just as important to that world as Doctor Strange.
What am I doing? I’m hoping for a surprise announcement from Chad Boseman and Katee Sackoff. I’m banging some trashcan lids in Kevin Feige’s front yard. He’ll come out, smile and nod. And go right back inside and finish reading the scripts for Sentry and Doc Samson.
Source – IGN