“We live in a capitalist culture. What makes money is valued. I want this to make a lot of money, because it will change the way that people think about women.”
The morning after ‘Captain Marvel’ premiered in LA—but before the Brie Larson blockbuster hit the global bigscreen —Carol Danvers’ creator, comic-book writer Kelly Sue DeConnick sat down with Vanity Fair.
‘Captain Marvel’ has delivered the benjamins, officially becoming the first female-led superhero film to join the billion-dollar box-office boys’ club.
For years a team of women have labored to create Carol Danvers, and ‘Captain Marvel’ is liftoff. These talents want to make sure ‘Captain Marvel’ is only the beginning when it comes to women busting open doors in the traditionally no femmes allowed world of action and genre stories.
In 2014, Marvel approached writer Nicole Perlman (Guardians of the Galaxy, Detective Pikachu), who went to work on cracking Carol’s story with Meg LeFauve(Inside Out) throughout 2015 and 2016. Geneva Robertson-Dworet joined the project in June 2017, and worked for six months to put the puzzle pieces together, along with Captain Marvel co-directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck. DeConnick herself was brought in to consult during the last year of the project.
In this new era where women are increasingly candid about the workplace, Robertson-Dworet and Perlman have joined forces with Lindsey Beer (The Kingkiller Chronicle) in new production company called Known Universe Perlman tells Vanity Fair’s Joanna Robinson, that the entire Captain Marvel team rowed in the same boat, with credits deserved all the way around. Known Universe will combine clout the women have combining the clout the women earned on past projects to “exponentially lift up storytellers and less heard voices.”
“Women are refusing to fall into the trap of being set against one another as though there’s only one seat at the table,” DeConnick said, “and we’re all competing for it. There’s an incredible Ruth Bader Ginsburg quote where she was asked how many women on the Supreme Court would be enough. She’s like: ‘I don’t know, maybe nine?’ It’s just the tiniest shift in perspective. What if we didn’t ask permission?”
“We didn’t want her to just be Sylvester Stallone, but with breasts. We wanted her to be a strong woman.”
The ‘Captain Marvel’ team made it a priority to create a character whose strength was embedded in the female experience. “We didn’t want her to just be Sylvester Stallone, but with breasts. We wanted her to be a strong woman, which, of course, led to wonderful conversations with Meg about what that means. We wanted to make sure that our version of what it meant to be powerful wasn’t just a hard, unyielding, never-emotional person,” Perlman said. “Meg and I don’t believe that that is what it means to be strong.”
Now Hollywood is scrambling to put more female-led action projects in the pipeline. Sony has several Spider-Women and villainess projectsin the works. ‘Wonder Woman’ director Patty Jenkins reportedly more than tripled her salary when she was tapped to direct that film’s sequel. Star-turned-producer Margot Robbie has put Cathy Yan at the helm the upcoming ‘Suicide Squad’ spin-off ‘Birds of Prey’, centered on the villainous Harley Quinn. Robbie’s refusal to compromise on her desire for a woman director makes Yan the first Asian woman to direct a DC superhero film.
AOC writes regularly about Hollywood women with upcoming pictures, and the narrative is always the same: Time’s Up.