Image Credit: IndieWire
Is now the right time for Marvel to release their first female-led film? Captain Marvel is long overdue. For as long as the Marvel Cinematic Universe has existed, there have been calls for a female-led film, but it has taken us over a decade to get here.My first real introduction to female superheroes was Susan Storm in the 2005 film Fantastic Four,where her purpose was clearly to act as sidekick and love interest to Reed Richards. Following that the MCU introduced Black Widow as its first female superhero in 2010,but only as a supporting character. Though her role has increased in the Avengers films, she has still been playing the sidekick in the Iron Man and Captain America-films, and only now are Marvel listening to the fans' desire to see her in a solo film.
Then the DC Extended Uni-verse (DCEU) set the bar in 2017 with their first female-lead super-hero film; the critically-acclaimed Wonder Woman. It became the sixth highest grossing film that year and is arguable among the best of what the DCEU has produced so far. For me, as a hardcore MCU fan, we've waited too long to get a female-led Marvel film.They have a lot to prove with their next release, but if they pull it off Captain Marvel will be one of the defining films of 2019.Or will it?We can assume from Samuel L.Jackson’s end-credit scene infinity Wart hat Captain Marvel will play a significant role in rectifying the events of the last movie and bringing back many of our beloved heroes, but will her role in Endgame undermine her solo debut?
Captain Marvel was originally scheduled to be released in late 2018, but was pushed back to March 2019, meaning it will be re-leased approximately one month before Endgame. This doesn’t give the film as much room to shine on its own before the much hyped second act to Infinity War will grace our screens. Many commented that Marvel didn’t give Black Panther very long before they released Infinity War,but even then, there was a gap of two months between the two films. While Infinity War ranks above Black Panther on the highest grossing films of 2018, the latter did pickup an Oscar nomination for 'Best-Picture'. Whether Captain Marvel can replicate that critical success is yet to be seen, but I am worried about what Marvel’s scheduling says about its approach to female led films. Having Captain Marvel be released so soon before what is arguably being set up as the cinematic event of the year almost under-mines the effort.Infinity War clearly set up the hype for Captain Marvel in the end credits but tying the release of her solo movie in with Avengers: Endgame suggests that Marvel don’t have as much faith in Captain Marvel as they’ve had in other origin movies. Endgame doesn’t need an origin story like Captain Marvel to build up hype for it, and it’s more likely that the Avengers film will overshadow Captain Marvel’s debut.Maybe it’s an unusual marketing tactic designed to boost Captain Marvel’s profile, but to me it just seems like badly planned scheduling that could ultimately end up hurting Marvel's box office revenue.