Spider-Man, Thor, Iron Man, The Hulk, Batman, Superman,Ant-Man; Doctor Strange. What do all these names have in common? They’re all superheroes who have had stand-alone films with budgets over $100 million in the past few years. You may have also noticed they’re all men. The list for female superhero films of the same scale you ask? Wonder Woman. That’s it. Seriously. And that was only in the past week. Whilst female superheroes like Black Widow, Cat-Woman and the Invisible Woman have all appeared in recent blockbusters, they’ve always played a supporting role (dressed head to toe in leather bodysuits, might I add.) So, now that we’ve seen the success and importance of films like Wonder Woman, here is my list of female superheroes that truly deserve the big screen treatment. Be warned, this list is long – but fantastic!
Since 2010, Scarlett Johansson has been the sole thread of estrogen within the Avengers. Fans have been clamoring for a Black Widow film since the first Avengers. While some naysayers point out that she’s not the sole avenger to be denied a stand-alone film (Hawkeye has yet to receive the honor), she is one of the most constant characters within the Avengers‘ branch-out films, appearing also in Captain America: Civil War, Iron-Man 2 and Captain America: Winter Soldier. This decision to overlook the character has drawn a lot of attention seeing as the character is already established within the Marvel Cinematic Universe and is portrayed by an A-list starlet, even prompting Saturday Night Live to make a spoof trailer when Johansson hosted a few years back.
NB: Marvel Studios has expressed interest in a stand alone Black Widow film since 2010 but nothing has been confirmed. Their first female stand alone film will be Captain Marvel starring Brie Larson and set for release in 2019.
First appearing in the 1940s when Marvel was still Timely Comics, Miss America was revamped in 2011 by Joe Casey and Nick Dragotta. This new Miss America is a Latina LGBTQ+ teenager named America Chavez. So with Miss America you don’t only have a female superhero but you also have a woman of color who just happens to be part of the LGBTQ+ society. Miss America was given her first solo comic book in March of 2017 so it may be a while before we see her on the big screen but I personally can’t wait for that day to come.
Possible cast: Diane Guerrero (Orange is the New Black); Seychelle Gabriel (Falling Skies); Christian Serratos (The Walking Dead). Stephanie Beatriz (Brooklyn Nine-Nine) and Gina Rodriguez (Jane the Virgin) have already expressed interest in the role.
Magician, homo magi and occasional Justice League affiliate, Zatanna’s story makes for the perfect superhero film in the noir vein. The character has already appeared in various DC Universe television series including Young Justice and Smallville. She is set to appear in Justice League Dark penned by Guillermo del Toro and still in pre-production. However, the film was never announced in DC’s line-up through 2020 so it’s unsure what the future of the film and Zatanna will be.
Possible cast: Alexandra Daddario (True Detective); Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones); Maiara Walsh (The Vampire Diaries).
My personal favourite member of the Teen Titans, Raven encompasses the perfect moody teenager. An empath and total badass, this teenage superhero deserves a shot at the big screen. Half-demon and half-human, Raven is the epitome of dark superheroines and would be a lovely foil to the overtly positive and bubbly superheroines that are more likely to grace screens. The Titan is set to appear in an upcoming live action Warner Brothers television show but the series is still in its initial phases.
Possible cast: Bex Taylor-Klaus (MTV’s Scream); Hailee Steinfeld (Pitch Perfect 2); Odeya Rush (The Giver).
We have the CW series but I’ve always felt that Supergirl deserves to be on the big screen. Supergirl/Kara Danvers was first introduced to readers in 1959 and physically embodies the classic girl next door. In reality, she is much more than that. Strong, passionate and smart, it’s only fair that Supergirl get to grace the big screen – in the end her cousin Superman has been doing it for decades!
Possible cast: Nicola Peltz (Bates Motel); Evan Rachel Wood (Across the Universe); Teresa Palmer (Warm Bodies).
This African superhero with the power to mimic the abilities of any animal who has ever lived on Earth is currently portrayed by two actresses on two different television series. The classic Vixen, also known as Mari McCabe, is the star of the CW’s web-series Vixen while DC’s Legends of Tomorrow features another iteration of Vixen that is made to be Mari’s grandmother. Nonetheless, Vixen deserves a shot on the big screen and thanks to her powers, I can only imagine how awesome the visual effects would be!
Possible cast: Freema Agyeman (Sense8); Rutina Wesley (True Blood); Samira Wiley (Orange Is the New Black).
Silk’s origin story may sound familiar: she was bitten by a radioactive spider during a demonstration of functional radioactive rays. Yes, Cindy Moon, or Silk as she comes to be known, was present when Peter Parker was bitten by the spider. In fact, she was bitten as well. The newest character on this list, Silk was introduced to the world in 2014 and is set to appear in Spider-Man: Homecoming.
Introduced in 1992, Squirrel Girl is a human mutate with squirrel DNA. She has a lot of squirrel properties and can communicate to the animal as well. Quirky and fun, she isn’t taken seriously by Tony Stark despite her prowess in combat so she joins the Great Lakes Avengers, a group of somewhat outcast superheroes. A Squirrel Girl film would be fun and different, breaking up the pace of so many superhero movies with some humor. Anna Kendrick has expressed a desire to play Squirrel Girl – a brilliant idea.
Possible cast: Anna Kendrick (Pitch Perfect); Shannon Purser (Stranger Things); Saoirse Ronan (The Grand Budapest Hotel).
Introduced in 2013, Kamala Khan is a Pakistani-American superheroine, making her Marvel’s first Muslim superhero. Ms. Marvel’s costume is far more modest than the standard superheroine’s and was influenced by a shalwar kameez. Kamala possesses the ability to stretch or shrink her body at will. The character’s creator, Sana Amanat, set out to create a character who could educate the world as well as be a role model for young boys and girls.
Possible cast: Sophia Taylor Ali (Faking It); Summer Bishil (The Magicians).
So this isn’t an independent superhero but rather a team of badass superheroines. Debuted in 2015, the A-Force was cancelled due to bad sales despite positive critical reception. The story line and characters are ‘decidedly feminist’. The team takes place in the ‘Secret Wars’ timeline, a Marvel crossover in which all superhero teams have been disbanded. Cue the A-Force. All women, all badass, all the time. Is it really too much to ask for?
HONORABLE MENTION-SPIDER GWEN
Debuting in 2015, the alternative universe in which this story takes place shows Gwen Stacy getting bit by a spider instead of Peter Parker. Young actresses like Chloe Grace Moretz and Dakota Fanning would be perfect for what could be the film with the most potential on this list.