Where Are The Superheroine Movies?

Van Jensen

Van Jensen is a former crime reporter turned comic book writer. In addition to ComicMix, he contributes to Publishers Weekly and Comic Book Resources. He lives in Atlanta, and his blog can be found at graphicfiction.wordpress.com.

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23 Responses

  1. mike weber says:

    They need to make a "Power Girl" movie.Cast the right actress and you don't need a script; ask the fanboys what the script was like after the film and they'll go "There were words?"

  2. mike baron says:

    What about "My Super Ex-Girlfriend?"

  3. Tom Fitzpatrick says:

    Didn't they make Elektra awhile ago?

  4. mike weber says:

    Errr- "Super"

  5. mike weber says:

    I believe so, and – as i recall – it got (deservedly so, apparently) worse reviews then "Super Ex-"

  6. Keith R.A. DeCandido says:

    Wonder Woman was on a faster track than Thor right up until Joss Whedon turned in a script the producers didn't like very much and they parted ways. That's not sexism, that's Hollywood inaction (sic), and it happens to films all the time.The ratio of male-centered hero movies to female-centered ones is about the same as it is in the comic book world, sadly. It doesn't help that the two we have had were Elektra and Catwoman….

  7. russ carreiro says:

    The answer is simple: Catwoman.

  8. Peter David says:

    All I know is that a number of studios have displayed interest in "Fallen Angel" and DC/Warners, which holds the movie rights, have shot down every comer. They continue to hold onto the dramatic rights for themselves…but meanwhile do nothing to develop the property. PAD

  9. Mike Gold says:

    Still, it's pretty annoying that of all the dozen or so solo superhero movies currently in production or in pre-production, all of them (with the perpetual and arguable exception of Wonder Woman) feature males stars. You'd think by now they'd learn: people want to see good movies, and Elektra, Supergirl and Catwoman were not good movies.Oh, wait. We're talking about Hollywood. Never mind.

  10. Otaku-sempai says:

    Hollywood executives are like the Sandpeople of STAR WARS, "They are easily frightened. But, they will soon be back; and in greater numbers." Unfortunately, CATWOMAN seems to have poisoned the waters for the time being.

  11. Russ Rogers says:

    How far back are we looking? You mentioned "Electra" and "Catwoman," but you didn't go back to "Barb Wire" or "Vampirella." If you go back 25 years, there's "Supergirl," "Sheena" and "Red Sonja." Those three were all 1984 and 1985, the BOOM years of the super-heroine. Does "Brenda Starr" count in this category? Were any of these considered a success?On TV there has been "The Bionic Woman," (or do we limit our discussion to super heroes from comic books), "Witchblade," "Birds of Prey," "Painkiller Jane," "Dark Angel," "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," "Xena," "Cleopatra 2525" and "Charmed." You can make the argument that "Medium" and "Ghost Whisperer" are both about heroines with super powers. "Sabrina the Teen age Witch"? She's super and from comics, not really a heroine. Recently "Smallville" added "Supergirl." "Heroes" has the Cheerleader. I probably forgetting many. Obviously super-heroines have had greater success on the small screen.I think Mike Weber should check out the Blinky's "Powergirl" fan films. I think there is more to recommend them than just their star, Tawnya Manion's curves. And I think that "Catwoman" and "Barb Wire" definitely answers the question, "Do Super-heroine movies need more than just a "hot" woman in the title role?" YES. You can't expect drooling boys (no matter what age) to carry a film to box office success. Although I admit, it doesn't hurt to have some drool-factor in your movie. Other than Wonder Woman, what female comic book characters are deserving of a big, Hollywood screen treatment? Personally, I would rather have seen a "Ghost" movie than "Barb Wire." I would like to see a movie adaptation of Chuck Dixon's, "Evangeline." "Whisper" would make a good movie. "Rose and Thorn," would make a REALLY cool movie or continuing series TV show. IF the next "Hulk" movie is a bigger critical and box office success, is there room for a "SHE-Hulk" movie? It's not just a lack Super-heroine Movies, I think Super-heroines in general are under represented in comics. Oh, oh, oh …. "Ms. Tree" would ROCK as a movie! Maybe not a super-heroine, but "Ms. Tree, the Movie" would kick butt on V.I. Warshawski! THAT movie was a turd-burger!Here is one Super-heroine movie that I was unfamiliar with: "Zsazsa Zaturnnah Ze Moveeh" (2006). It's a Super-heroine movie based on an award winning Graphic Novel! Here is the trailer:

    I've only seen the trailer and read a bit about the production on Wikipedia, but this looks SPECTACULAR! Totally bizarre. It LOOKS entertaining, like an "experience" to experience. For gosh sakes, it's a MUSICAL! In other words, Rick Marshall, "Oh, My. God!" (Does Zaturnnah qualify as a super-heroine even if her secret alter-ego is a gay, male hairdresser?) I just need to find out where I can get a DVD copy with English subtitles! And I need to find an English translation of the Graphic Novel. From what I've read, the book is a spoof on a classic Filipino hero named "Darna." The author, Carlo Vergara, wonders if some of the jokes and cultural references will translate into English. ComicMix NEEDS to do an article about Zsazsa Zaturnnah. (I'm willing to write it, if somebody is willing to not pay me! Otherwise, Martha, Elayne, Rick, John, Mike? Somebody, RUN with this idea!) If nobody else has published the English translation of Zsazsa Zaturnnah … ComicMix? Please?

    • Mike Gold says:

      Sadly, most of the superheroine movies you noted suck, IMHO. I'm not sure Ms. Tree counts (one of my favorites, obviously) as a superheroine, but damn, she should. There's an option out for a teevee movie/pilot; it's not my place to reveal details but I know more about it than I should.I hate to tease like this — well, you've got me, that's an outright lie — but please stay turned to ComicMix for more Ms. Tree news. And be patient.

  12. russ carreiro says:

    Honestly though, how many great Superheroine comics are out there? Even Wonder Woman seems silly as a movie to be honest. Even in the pages it comes off cheesy. Maybe if comic books werent stuck in the whole high heel and swimsuit look then it might work but really what self respecting actress is going to take on a role like that after Halle Berry could not even pull it off? The comic book movies that are working out for Hollywood are the ones that lend themselves to CGI type movie making and there aren't any female roles jumping to mind that would be done like that to me. How many female lead movies get made period? Its an issue outside of the comic adaptions I think.

    • mike weber says:

      You might want to look back at the teevee series with Lynda Carter before you voice such a sweeping put-down of "Wonder Woman" in a visual medium.

      • russ carreiro says:

        I grew up in that era and was probably the target audience for it. That being said, it was terrible then and looks even worse at this point. If they do WW then they need to change her look drastically. No actress with any self respect is going to wear and american flag bathing suit with red high heel boots. It works to some degree in a comic, but in live action its way too campy.

  13. Alan Coil says:

    I would argue that Catwoman wasn't THAT bad a movie, but it was a terrible interpretation of DC's Catwoman. I would rate it at 'C', which means it is a movie I would watch again, but definitely not every year.

  14. Chris Ullrich says:

    Hollywood studios like to make money. Actresses don't open movies. Actors do. Therefore, you won't see very many movies (especially big-budget superhero action films) featuring females as the main character — particularly after recent disasters like "Catwoman" and "Elektra. It just isn't cost-effective for them and no studio exec. wants to take the chance of being the one who green-lit a female-driven "Superheroine" movie that fails to perform. Careers are ruined that way.

  15. zee rose says:

    I really dislike most superheroines. Either they're ill-proporitoned or they're unrealistic. In short, they just don't represent me and what I stand for. Catwoman came pretty close to what I like but that got screwed in the worst way possible, which on a level, screwed other superheroine movies. You know whon was awesome? She-Ra. Barbarella. Dazzler. Cat Claw. Boom Boom. The new Batgirl is good too. Troia. Zatanna. Okay, Cat Claw is a villain but still.

  16. Anonymous says:

    How about a film about the second Grendel, Christine Spar? Getting a bit obscure p'raps.

  17. Anonymous says:

    You guys are talking about big blockbuster films. There are loads of superheroine fans that have taken on the mantle themselves.Someone above mentioned Blinky and his Powergirl series, but there is also SuperheroineFilms.com, ProjectSuperwoman, New-Goddess, and a few Japanese superheroine websites (although they seem to always feature graphic nudity).So, whilst we may be holding our breathe for the big screen Wonder Woman, in the meantime there are lots of small-screen and web-based superheroines.