Joss Whedon wants more female superheroes. Who would you pick?

June 08, 2013 | 6:00 a.m.
superheroines2 Joss Whedon wants more female superheroes. Who would you pick?

Superheroes may be dominating at the multiplex, but there's a scarcity of superheroines who get their own movies. Click through the gallery for a look at some female heroes who could headline their own feature films. (CBS; Marvel; Warner Bros.)

wonderwoman Joss Whedon wants more female superheroes. Who would you pick?

Superman and Batman have both seen several big-screen incarnations. Isn't it time that the third member of DC's power trio got her own movie? Wonder Woman (A.K.A. Diana Prince) possesses super speed, strength, stamina and reflexes. The Amazon warrior woman can deflect bullets with her bracelets and discern the truth with her lasso. She can even fly. Lynda Carter, above, embodied the role for the late-1970s TV series "The New Adventures of Wonder Woman," but the Amazon deserves a chance at the big screen. (CBS / Los Angeles Times archives)

blackwidow Joss Whedon wants more female superheroes. Who would you pick?

Scarlett Johansson has twice portrayed Natasha Romanoff, also known as the Black Widow, on the big screen, first in 2010's "Iron Man 2" and again in 2012's "The Avengers." She'll don the black again for 2014's "Captain America: The Winter Soldier." But the gun-toting redhead could be the fantastic star of her own super spy thriller. (Zade Rosenthal / Marvel)

shehulk Joss Whedon wants more female superheroes. Who would you pick?

She-Hulk could be the star of her own movie, especially if it were part superhero flick, part legal drama. Jennifer Walters possesses some of the Hulk's powers after receiving a blood transfusion from her cousin Bruce Banner. She's also a skilled lawyer. Her clients? Superheroes. (Greg Horn / Marvel Comics)

catwoman Joss Whedon wants more female superheroes. Who would you pick?

So she's not exactly a superhero, but Catwoman deserves another chance at her own movie beyond the much-maligned 2004 Halle Berry version. Anne Hathaway's turn in Christopher Nolan's 2012 "The Dark Knight Rises," above, and Michelle Pfeiffer's performance in Tim Burton's 1992 "Batman Returns" brought to life the slinky burglar Selina Kyle fans know and love from the comic books. A Selina Kyle Catwoman movie could be as much a caper as an action film. (Warner Bros.)

supergirl Joss Whedon wants more female superheroes. Who would you pick?

Helen Slater, above, played Clark Kent's cousin Kara Zor-El in 1984's "Supergirl," which faced a lackluster reception from critics and moviegoers. It's been nearly three decades since Supergirl has flown out of theaters. The right director could help restore this daughter of Krypton from Razzie status. (Richard Blanshard / Getty Images)

captainmarvel Joss Whedon wants more female superheroes. Who would you pick?

Carol Danvers (also known as Captain Marvel and formerly Ms. Marvel) is a "crackerjack pilot" for the U.S. Air Force. She's endowed with powers, including flight and enhanced strength, after being caught in the explosion of an alien device. Who doesn't want to see this butt-kicking aviatrix on the big screen? (Ed McGuinness / Marvel Comics)

mariahill Joss Whedon wants more female superheroes. Who would you pick?

Maria Hill may not possess superpowers, but she bosses other superheroes around. Cobie Smulders, above, played the character in "The Avengers." Her tough military background and her position as a high-ranking S.H.I.E.L.D. agent could make for a compelling stand-alone tale of action and espionage. (Zade Rosenthal / Marvel)

jeangrey Joss Whedon wants more female superheroes. Who would you pick?

Jean Grey, and her more powerful alter-ego Phoenix, could (probably) destroy the rest of the Marvel Universe. This telepathic and telekinetic mutant can read minds, alter people's thoughts, emit energy blasts, generate force fields, fly through space, manipulate atoms to rearrange or disintegrate matter and more. Her powers put the likes of Iron Man and Spider-Man to shame. Famke Janssen, above, portrayed Jean Grey in the "X-Men" films, but in the end, she gets used as a weapon. Phoenix deserves to reign over her own film. (20th Century Fox)

marvelwomen Joss Whedon wants more female superheroes. Who would you pick?

Speaking of mutants, Marvel's new all-women "X-Men" comic, starring Storm, Rogue, Jubilee, Kitty Pryde, Rachel Grey and Psylocke, could provide the lineup for a classic Joss Whedon ensemble production. The first issue, released in May 2013, beat out Batman to be the month's top-selling comic, according to Diamond Comics. These deadly women could be a winning team at the box office. (Olivier Coipel / Marvel)

birdsofprey Joss Whedon wants more female superheroes. Who would you pick?

Another team of superwomen who could headline a Whedonesque ensemble film is the Birds of Prey -- a group of crime-fighting gals in Gotham City. "Birds of Prey" was a short-lived TV series in 2002, but the Birds might be the perfect combo for a buddy-cop superhero movie. The team is led by Oracle, the wheelchair-bound former Batgirl Barbara Gordon, who uses her information network and hacking skills to direct the team remotely. Core members include martial artist Black Canary, former mafia princess Huntress and pilot Lady Blackhawk, also a weapons expert. (Stanley Lau / DC)

It comes as no surprise that Joss Whedon, who created one of fandom’s most beloved superheroines in “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” thinks Hollywood should make more movies about female superheroes.

Whedon is credited with writing strong women in genres where female characters often fall victim to cliched, two-dimensional portrayals. With so many comic book heroes dominating the multiplex, “The Avengers” director is upset at the scarcity of women in leading roles.

“Toymakers will tell you they won’t sell enough, and movie people will point to the two terrible superheroine movies that were made and say, ‘You see? It can’t be done,’ Whedon told the Daily Beast this week. “It’s stupid, and I’m hoping ‘The Hunger Games’ will lead to a paradigm shift. It’s frustrating to me that I don’t see anybody developing one of these movies. … My daughter watched ‘The Avengers’ and was like, ‘My favorite characters were the Black Widow and Maria Hill,’ and I thought, ‘Yeah, of course they were.'”

PHOTOS: Superheroines with some kick

The Black Widow, of course, is Scarlett Johansson’s black-clad S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, introduced to the big screen in “Iron Man 2” but fleshed out in “The Avengers.” Maria Hill, portrayed by “How I Met Your Mother” actress Cobie Smulders, is second in command to S.H.I.E.L.D. director Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson). Hill, a relatively new character in the comics, was added to the script when Whedon felt the story was a bit heavy with musclemen.

“I wanted someone there for Fury and [Agent Phil] Coulson to deal with, and I wanted another woman in the movie,” Whedon told Hero Complex last year. “There’s a lot of boys, and I felt the movie definitely needed another strong female presence just to balance it out, and someone at Marvel suggested that we use Maria Hill…. I was like, ‘That’s perfect! That makes sense, because she’s always had a bit of a beef with Fury, so we’ll have some tension there.’”

Whether or not Black Widow and Maria Hill get their own feature films, Whedon thinks Hollywood should do more to represent women in the superhero genre, even if it means taking matters into his own hands.

PHOTOS: Will Wonder Woman get her own TV show?

“I’m not going to let nobody do it,” he told the Beast. “It doesn’t have to be me, but it could be.”

With that door open, Hero Complex couldn’t resist compiling a short list of superheroines who deserve to be spotlighted on the silver screen. Click through the gallery above for a look at the potential leading ladies and let us know what you think in the comments.

— Noelene Clark | @NoeleneClark


Clark Gregg plays Agent Phil Coulson in "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." (Bob D'Amico / ABC)‘S.H.I.E.L.D.’: Whedon, Gregg on Coulson return

Joss Whedon, Clark Gregg talk ‘Much Ado’

‘Avengers’: Cobie Smulders up for sequel duty

‘Firefly’: Sean Maher wants ‘Serenity’ sequel

Jewel Staite: ‘Firefly’ was ‘the one that got away’

Whedon thanks fans at tearful ‘Firefly’ reunion

Mal, River are among TV’s top 50 sci-fi characters

Joss Whedon’s favorite ‘verse? Firefly.

Summer Glau reflects on Whedon, sci-fi women

Mark Ruffalo says the Hulk has ‘found his family’

‘Iron Man 3′: Don Cheadle open to ‘Avengers 2′


34 Responses to Joss Whedon wants more female superheroes. Who would you pick?

  1. Patrick says:

    Mark my words. If Man of Steel is a smash, Wonder Woman will be flying her invisible jet into theaters before long.

    • Don Ferus says:

      Well, After seeing the posted pic of Kimberly Kane, a Porn Star, as Wonder Woman .. I would pick Kimberly Kane to play Wonder Woman. She looks like a Very Beautiful Younger Version of Linda Carter. Plus Kimberly Kane is 5'9". The Wonder Woman Costume she posed in was/is right up there with Christian Bale's Batman n Henry Cavill's Superman Suits.

    • Matt says:

      Nope. You need a script and a director and the right actress and someone who isn't incompetent producing. WB has none of those things.

  2. Sheldon_W says:

    Since Catwoman was established so well in The Dark Knight Rises, if Christopher Nolan were to produce a Catwoman movie, starring Anne Hathaway, written by a credible writer and directed by a credible director, I have no doubt it would be a success. And, of course, there's always the faint hope that someone will put together a great Wonder woman movie at some point.

    Personally, I'd love to see a noir-ish Black Canary film,or an explosive She-Hulk movie – but a Maria Hill/Black Widow movie could be pretty awesome, too (what a team they'd make!).

  3. Henry says:

    Captain Marvel! Her current series and status in the main Avengers book is fascinating and a great read!

  4. casey says:

    definitely wonder woman

  5. HappyKitten says:

    I think it should be done, and how long till they do "Karma Girl" like I have begged them to do. The other problem is, is they don't have enough male writers like Whedon writing scripts or even novels for that matter. Joss is a huge writer inspiration to me. I agree with him, I agree with Iron Man 3 too, they should make more female superhero movies. But have women do the wtiting and costuming designs; not men, then the heronie movies would make much better movies. That way what you get in comics and novels translates to screen better.

  6. mark says:

    ill piack darna!

  7. rIQ says:

    obviously WONDER WOMAN

  8. hawk says:

    Big Barda, Hawkwoman or Hawkgirl, Firestar, Rogue with her superpowers from Ms. Marvel just to name a few.

  9. SUPERMAN & THOR says:

    Joss Whedon should Replace Hawkeye & Black Widow for QuickSilver & Scarlet Witch, Also if Joss want more Females then SpiderWoman or Ms. Marvel can be added to The Avengers 2 Movie…

  10. Hero says:

    Batgirl, Hawkgirl, Power Girl, Supergirl, Wonder Woman and Catwoman.

  11. Avengeress says:

    Well isn’t there already some rumours flying around the Marvel Entertainment Industry of characters such as Scarlet Witch, Ms.Marvel and Spiderwomans appearance in the Avengers 2? Personally if they actually are introducing Falcon, Black Panther, Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch, Antman, Guardians of the Galaxy, Ms.Marvel and Spiderwoman…it would be Fantastic.

    Falcon has been an Avenger in the comics before and also he was Captain Americas side-kick at one point.

    Black Panther could work in the movies because if you all remember in Captain America: First Avenger, his shield was explained to be made of Vibrainium. Vibrainium in the comics is a rare metal capable of absorbing kinetic energy (impacts) and in the comics its found in Wakanda. Home of T’challa, the Black Panther.

    Ms.Marvel (Carol Danvers) was a pilot for Shield who was captured by the Kree, as well as many others and experimented on. Since, in the comics she has been a valid addition to the Avengers. Also the Kree and Skrull are rumoured to make a movie cameo in Guardians of the Galaxy, so her story could work.

    Scarlet Witch/Quicksilver are mutants that actually belong in the X-men world but for some reason are making an appearance in the Avengers 2. Why? I have no idea but I’d love to see how Josh Whedon and the others explain mutants in a different universe than the previous X-men movies.

    Guardians of the Galaxy are ment to have there movie released in Febuary 2014. The Kree/ Skrulls are ment to make appearances in those movies so that should be interesting.

    Spiderwoman (Jessica Drew) well she was experimented on in her mother womb by her father. She was raised by Hydra (introduced in Captain America: First Avenger) as there spy. She then joined S.H.I.E.L.D. Undercover, until she was convinced to switch sides by Nick Fury and work for him as a double Agent. Eventually she harnessed her powers and joined the Avengers as Spiderwoman.

    Antman (Henry Pym) is a scientist that discovered new particles (Pym particles) which could morph is matter and mass in size and strength becoming Antman. He is scheduled to have a movie 2014-2015.

    The woman I’d also like to see in the next Avengers is She-Hulk. She’s a Lawyer (for superheroes) that needed a blood transfusion from her Cousin (Bruce Banner) which ended in her turning into a perminant green “She-Hulk” who in the comics has been an Avenger in the past also.

    So my answer is that Ironman, Captain America, Thor, Hulk, Hawkeye, Black Widow, Nick Fury, Maria Hill should return for Avengers 2. The cast added to the Avengers should be Warmachine, Falcon, Black Panther, Antman, Guardians of the Galaxy, Ms.Marvel, Spider-woman and She-Hulk. Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver should stick to the Xmen universe.

  12. Michael Jimenez says:

    I want to see wonder woman, black widow, and a solo hit girl movie!

  13. Michael Jimenez says:

    But, I would also like to see a more non-caucasian female superheroes. We see alot of caucasian female heroes, and some black female heroes. But, what about Native American, or asian, or australian aboriginal female heroes? I would definitely love to see that!

  14. Marcus says:

    We want Wonder Woman!

  15. Juan De La Cruz says:

    She Hulk could be a TV show, motion picture or Tv movie

    • Tim Kramar says:

      When I saw the question, She Hulk was actually one of the first I thought of. Strong like the Hulk, but without his surly disposition.

  16. howard says:

    as the black widow is magnificently portrayed by scarlett johannson, the obvious superheroines to add to the marvel cinematic universe are the wasp and the scarlet witch. joss whedon already voiced his intention to use them in upcoming movies, if marvel and disney are let him. both have complicated backstories and powers. the wasp (janet van dyne) is a partying socialite with no personality for battle but a boundless good heart and a lot of common sense. the scarlet witch is an uncertain desperate soul who can be clinging depressive but stands up against any threat no matter the odds. let it be so.

  17. Tim Kramar says:

    I don't agree with Catwoman as a "hero", but Batgirl or Batwoman wouldn't be a bad idea. Or Huntress, who've they've done on "Arrow". I also like Black Canary, but not sure how you would translater her "power" to the screeen.

  18. genjigem says:

    i remember this dark comic book of a superhero chick i bought at the 7-11 and my brother stole it and burned it. but it was a dark setting so i was instantly attracted to it. this is back in the 90's.

  19. Daniel Delago says:

    Go see Joss Whedon's indie film, 'Much Ado About Nothing.' Shot in luscious black and white. It really shows off his talents more than a huge comic book blockbuster. He casts talented actors from his popular television shows too. I'm a fan now because he still finds the time to make passion projects instead of just commercial Hollywood fare.

  20. bob kane says:

    Harley Quinn …. I want crazy.

  21. Jason says:

    I'll go off the rails and suggest a far less mainstream option. Keepsie Branson, from Mur Laffertys "Playing for Keeps" Book. I would love too see someone like Whedon take on that project.

  22. says:

    Rogue (Anna Marie) has the best story arc. From a baddy to a goody, she could hold 120-140 minutes a film goer's attention.

  23. says:

    Aunt Ester from "Sanford and Son" was a great super-villian. Does that count?

  24. julez says:

    She Hulk Movie!!

  25. NoFirst NoLast says:

    I agree with the OP re: Black Widow and Maria Hill, both established, interesting, could be do-able and successful. Looking forward to Scarlett Witch in The Avengers 2
    Hathaway's CatWoman under a visionary like Nolan is the only way that could work
    Wish list: BatGirl / Huntress (unfortunately a last minute $$ and ratings ploy by WB in 2002 on the coat-tails of a then successful Smallville, my girls failed miserably. It was thrown together and did not showcase the talents of the actors Meyer & Scott, at least we got 13 eps on DVD)

  26. Brett says:

    Personally, I'd like to see Black Orchid as a film.

  27. joel says:

    Wonder Woman would be my first choice but since no one seems to be able to get their act together on a story line and actress to play her, then my second choice would be She Hulk. She has a back story worth telling. Plus if the female has no real super human powers, then she is just lame.

  28. Debra says:

    I believe Halle Barry's CATWOMAN was the best portrayal ever!! She was strong, sassy, & sexy. Not to mention her portrayal of STORM. Let's give black actresses a chance!!

  29. tom says:

    Your so right, their has been in Hollywood no black females playing action hero's. The only one has been Halle Barry. It"s a real issue in Hollywood for it least 20 years or more. Their not that many roles for black young males as super hero's either. Their a lot of discrimination going on in Hollywood studios. They feel audience won't buy a black or female character as a hero type but they will not known because they don't feed the pubic with the idea. I'm sure over time people will get use to the it and they will make a lot of money.

  30. Suzy says:

    Birds. Of. Prey. It would make my year if CW did a spin off!

  31. Adolph Briscoe says:

    The two best Female Superheroes of the future are definitely Queen Solainia and her Warrior sister, Nomni . Both of these characters are in the novel, GREEN GLORY The Adventures of Retro Rahnee. If you read any book I this series, you will understand.

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