When I first heard about the reboot of Fantastic Four, I was ecstatic. Unlike everyone else, Fantastic Four was one of my favorite movies growing up. As a child, it was my introduction to the Marvel Universe. Sue Storm was the first female superhero I encountered on the big screen (not that many more have shown up since) and my nine-year-old self thought she was just so COOL. Granted I have not seen the movie in years, I remember the movie showed little me a girl could actually kick butt.
We now jump almost 10 years into the future to tonight, the night I watched the new Fantastic Four. I heard the reviews so my expectations were low. The movie was bad. I doubt even nine-year- old me would dispute the critics on that. It felt like a huge prologue. The only fight was five minutes. The characters were paper. But like the title of the post alluded, those reasons aren’t why I hated the new Fantastic Four.
I walked into the reboot pumped to see Kate Mara as the Invisible Women take out some baddies. My excitement for the leading lady (and disappointment at the astoundingly terrible movie) distracted me from noticing a nagging feeling in my brain until about fifteen minutes from the end—Sue Storm was the only female in Fantastic Four. Marvel was so excited about providing a female superhero they forgot to cast other women.
We have the rest of the Fantastic Four team members who have always been dudes. Then our “villain,” Dr. Doom, another male. Then our mentor, the Storm’s father, another male. The shady person trying to sell them to government (or something), did you guess? Yeah, another male. What about the dream crushing teacher? I think you get the point by now. Every person with more than two lines in the movie was a man.
I pointed out my revelation to my male companion and he thought for a moment before merely shrugging. During the credits, I ranted my frustration. His response, “It’s wrong but that’s just how it is.” I looked around the theater at multiple little girls and contemplated his words. Why can’t Black Widow have her own movie? “That’s just how it is.” Why is almost every superhero male? “That’s just how it is.” Why are only 18% of engineers women? “That’s just how it is.” Why are only 4% of Fortune 500 CEO’s women? “That’s just how it is.”
I for one say, that’s not good enough.
Wondering how Marvel can help? It’s simple. Movies not only reflect culture but influence it as well. Women deserve representation. Cast more women.