Joss Whedon confirms that 'Avengers' will only have one superheroine

Iron-Scarlett-JohanssonImage Credit: Francois DuhamelSorry, Scarlet Witch fans: Avengers director Joss Whedon was recently quoted in Australia’s Sunday Herald Sun (via Moviehole) saying, somewhat definitively, that the upcoming mega-spinoff will be the bro-iest movie about a bunch of dudes duding it up since Ocean’s 11-13. “It is true that the movie is only going to have one female Avenger,” says Whedon, although he hedges that “she will not be the only female character.” That could mean that we’ll see a female supervillain…but if I were a betting man, I’d wager that it’s more likely that we’ll see an appearance by one or more of the main superheros’ love interests, like Gwyneth Paltrow’s Pepper Potts or Natalie Portman’s Thor-loving Jane Foster. Now, as excited as I am by the prospect of a scene featuring the Super-Galpals sitting around at their favorite trendy cafe talking about the respective bedroom merits of super-strength vs. super-intelligence, it’s just a squeensy bit depressing to find out that the Buffy auteur couldn’t figure out a way for Avengers to pass the Bechdel Test.

Still, this new information does at least give us a better indication of the kind of movie Whedon is looking to make, and although I weep for Ms. Marvel, is anyone else kind of excited by the fact that Avengers is basically going to be Animal House with superpowers? Consider: Iron Man is Otter, the smooth-talking ladies man; Captain America is Boon, a basically upstanding dude who often has to make moral compromises; Thor is D-Day, a taciturn dude with bad facial hair who is much older than he seems; and Hulk is Bluto, a mindless being who destroys everything around him. Throw in Nick Fury as Dean Wormer, and you’ve got the most expensive movie the National Lampoon never made.

PopWatchers, are you sad to here that only Scarlett Johansson gets to play with the boys? Does this make the Hawkeye-Black Widow romantic subplot even more inevitable?

Comments (17 total) Add your comment
  • MWC

    Does that make Hawkeye Flounder?

  • jmo

    I don’t know a lot about the Avengers comic series but if they’re going to have Henry Pym as Ant man, it’s going to be a 2 dimentional character without Jane Van Dyne as The Wasp.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      I don’t believe they are having Antman in the movie.

  • Kat

    This makes me :(. I like a fun rowdy boys’ club movie as much as anyone, but it really does bother me that off the top of my head I can’t think of a single superhero movie featuring a lady hero (already a small number) that didn’t turn out to be a pop culture joke. (Don’t kill me if there is one – I’m saying “off the top of my head”.) The women are ALWAYS the girlfriends of the heroes, in their thin rain-soaked shirts and ridiculously tight skirt suits and impractical heels (hey, Pepper Potts – isn’t your sexy lady’s wardrobe great? So what if it almost literally hobbled you so that you could barely run away from danger? It caught the eye of Tooooony!) Anyways, here’s hoping Black Widow gets to kick a lot of butt and prove her worth as a crime-fighter more so than as T&A. And maybe the inevitable sequel will bring in some more superpowered ladies?

  • Luke

    I just hope there are still some women who want to see it even though it’s gonna be mainly be “Testosterone Assemble!!!”

  • paige

    i guess we are waiting for the sequel to add some much required female supes

  • Madd

    If they were only going to have one superheroine, they should’ve picked a better actress to play her.

  • Tara

    That stinks. The worst thing about Iron Man 2 was Scarlett. She posed way too much–not enough butt-kicking. And I was looking forward to this movie :(

    • Tara

      And I’m a chick.

  • thin

    As you yourself pointed out, one superheroine does not mean only one woman. There’s no reason the movie could not still pass the Bechdel Test.

  • Zoe

    I can’t believe there aren’t more female superheroes in this movie! Come on, Joss, we deserve better from the creator of Buffy. The equality and depth of female superheroes in the X-Men is the main reason it’s one of my favorite comics. At least the X-Men movies tried to get that right. We’re tired of women just being token characters in most superhero movies!!!

  • therealeverton

    I don’t see how this is a suprise. Even with Marvel’s clever build up of the heroes and villains in what amounts to 5 prequels (Iron Man I & II, Thor, Captain America & Incredible Hulk), There’s already a large number of characters to give screen time to, and to intrfoduce for the first time. Any more and the film would be in danger of collapsing under the weight of too many cooks. T he best thing about The avengers is that differrent heroes drop in and out all the time so more female Avengers, including many time leader The Wasp will be seen.

    If there’s a complaint try bemoaning the absence of War Machine, Captain Marvel or Black Panther; making this film, by Marvel always the more culuraly diverse of the major comic book companies) suprisingly light on colour too. The Marvel Movieverse sequels, more Avengers movies and stand alone S.H.I.E.L.D &Black Panther movies will give us many more female and “non-white” heroes and villains; so no need to complain now.

    • george

      You make it sound like a crime to be a white male.

      • therealeverton

        How? I make the point that Marvel are a racialy and sexually diverse publisher of mainstream comics and as such a film where there are 7 main characters and only 1 is female (the point, however poorly made, of the article) and only 1 is black. That’s a little dissapoiting, from a certain point of view. From the point of having a movie that isn’t overloaded with characters I don’t think it would have been right to put any more major characters in just to fix an invisible quota. It isn’t a crime to be any sex or any colour but Marvel were always aware that there’s more than just white males out there and put characters of varying background and sex in their comics from the beginning. That said there was always the thought that they could / would have done even more if it wasn’t such a “big” risk back in the creative days of the 1960s. That people refuse to accept that is a figurative crime.

        I’m black and my 2 girls are mixed race (black & white) and whilst what we always want first and foremost is good entertainment we do like it when we see more people like us in our entertainment. That’s more people of varying races and more females. That doesn’t stop us enjoying films with few of either and I have to wonder what your issue is; given that my post was hardly some Public Enemy / Spike Lee style polemic on white men in entertainment. Merely a, sure there’s only 1 female hero, but there’s only 1 black hero too and don’t moan about it as we’ll see more of both in future films.

  • therealeverton

    ..”..the bro-iest movie about a bunch of dudes duding it up since Ocean’s 11-13″. So Star Trek, Inglorious Basterds & The Expendables never happened for you? I know it’s a little tongue in cheek but still.

    Also if Wolverine is stuck in movie rights hell at Fox, even though he’s not an X-Men original character you can be pretty sure that Scarlett Witch, who IS an X-Men original character is going to have her movie rights over at Fox; despite her, and brother Quick Silver, being major parts of Avengers’ history.

    Of course there’s always the unlikely thought that Fox and Marvel could team up and give us a movie version of the Ultimate War series, where in Nick Fury’s Ultimates (Avengers) are tasked with capturing mutants, specifically the X-Men. Apart from the obviious action delights (Including a live action mega-bout Hulk vs Wolverine) there’s whole mess of drama, civil rights, predjudices and what’s really the most indestructable, Wolverine’s claws, Thor’s Hammer or Captain America’s shield?

  • Me Fail English?

    EW, it’s “sad to ‘hear'”. Ugh, I’m That Guy now.

  • John Derrick

    Definitely disappointed in this. I expect Joss to bring in some great female supporting chars, the movie could even pass Bechdel, but one woman Avenger and one black boss running around with a bunch of white dudes is still some epic diversity fail. The Avengers are supposed to be the best of the best, and they should reflect the real spectrum of our world. People and especially kids of all genders and races should be able to look at this group and say, “I could be there, there could be a place for me.”

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