Joss Whedon Clarifies Comments About Superhero Movie Sexism

"It's a struggle"

Following the release, earlier this week, of an interview conducted last year where he condemned Marvel Studios’ lack of female-led superhero movies, Joss Whedon has opened up about his current feelings on the matter, and whether to not he could see himself directing 2018’s Captain Marvel.

Saying that he’d known that Captain Marvel — set to be Marvel’s first female-led movie upon its release three years from now — was in development when he made his original comments, Whedon admitted to Buzzfeed that he was “not expecting it to get any traction, honestly.” The success of this summer’s Guardians of the Galaxy “might have helped it,” he continued, joking “Well, let’s put it this way: if a raccoon can carry a movie, then [Marvel executives] believe maybe even a woman can.”

Pushing action movies with female leads is “a struggle” given industry antipathy, Whedon continued, but he pointed to the success of The Hunger Games franchise and Scarlett Johannson’s Lucy as signs that things are changing.

“I think the success of the young-adult trilogies that are usually not only female-driven but have a romantic bent — and are not necessarily about the spectacle of action but contain it — is great. Because, you know me, I love a bouillabaisse of genres. I like to throw everything in the stew,” he said. “The superhero story — and I do consider [the YA adaptations] to be superhero stories — it doesn’t have to be about one tortured billionaire. It can be a girl and her community, her crushes, her fears. We can evolve the genre more quickly if we come at it from different ways.”

Despite that, however, perhaps we shouldn’t expect Whedon to volunteer to bring Captain Marvel to the big screen. “I would never rule anything out, because I like working [at Marvel],” he said, but he repeated that “the biggest thing for me is that I need to do something that I create myself. It’s been way too long since I created a universe.” Plus, it turns out, he’s not even a big fan of the character. “Captain Marvel, I don’t know as well,” he said. “There have been a few [versions] of her. I have the first issue of [1970s series] Ms. Marvel, back when she was that, and had the Farrah hair.”

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