Once upon a time, moviegoers could count on heroes like Captain Jack Sparrow, Tom Cruise, and the Transformers to swoop in and save them from the summer movie doldrums. This year, though, those guys are the ones in need of rescuing. As many have noted, it has been a brutal season for established movie stars and franchises, with Transformers: The Last Knight being the latest entry in a previously unstoppable series to underperform expectations (domestically, at least). But one — actually, make that two — women have fought back against declining grosses. Patty Jenkins’s Wonder Woman, starring Gal Gadot as DC Comics’ iconic Amazonian warrior, has emerged as the hero of the summer, setting new records for both comic-book movies and films helmed by female directors.
Clearly, the future of comic-book cinema is female, and Marvel Studios head, Kevin Feige, couldn’t be happier that the DC Universe has shattered that glass ceiling. “The success of Wonder Woman is awesome, and just puts to rest the fallacy that people don’t want to see female superheroes,” the architect of the Marvel Cinematic Universe tells Yahoo Movies. And the MCU will be responding accordingly; even before Wonder Woman lassoed the number one spot on its opening weekend, Feige had put the long-gestating Captain Marvel film on the fast track towards production, with Brie Larson as future Avenger Carol Danvers, and the filmmaking team of Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck directing.
In addition, Peyton Reed’s Ant-Man sequel will be titled Ant-Man and the Wasp, reflecting Evangeline Lilly’s more prominent role, and Scarlett Johansson has made it clear that she, along with most Marvel fans, would love a Black Widow solo adventure. “[Wonder Woman‘s success] sets up very nicely not only for Captain Marvel, but also a lot of things we haven’t announced yet and are planning going forward,” Feige teases.
Leaving aside its larger impact on the superhero genre, Feige says that, first and foremost, he enjoyed Wonder Woman as a movie. “I’ve always been a fan of the character, and I thought what they did with the film was perfect,” adding that he particularly appreciated the World War I setting, pre-dating Marvel’s own World War II-era Captain America: The First Avenger.“To see another period superhero film was awesome.” The film also stirred memories of his formative childhood years watching repeats of the iconic Linda Carter Wonder Woman series on television. He even tried out some of Carter’s moves in real life. “I remember pretending to deflect bullets off of my wrists and spinning around to get a costume on!”
Watch: Wonder Woman‘s Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Patty Jenkins on the Invisible Jet and Jumpa the Kangaroo:
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