With the MCU on the brink of a giant change, fans around the world are looking to the future. Without a doubt, Marvel Studios is also deciding where to go after the dust clears on Avengers: Endgame. Behind closed doors, decisions are being made about what to do to keep up with the changing climate of film and pop culture and how to do it in the best means possible.
The easiest way for the studio to be progressive on a worldwide scale is through more inclusion of women. The MCU is vast and intricate, so although the ratio at this juncture may not be 50/50 just yet, as the film franchise meets the 10-year mark, Marvel has made several steps toward gender parity both onscreen and behind the scenes.
In a list compiled earlier this year, all 20 of the previously released MCU films have been ranked and measured by female screen time. At the bottom of the report is Captain America: The First Avenger, which featured only 17 minutes of female presence in a two-hour film. Without explaining each movie, the list shows that the franchise’s later films have provided significantly higher screen time for women, in addition to a rise in female characters.
Unsurprisingly, the entry with the highest amount of female screen time is Ant-Man and the Wasp, which also made history by being the first Marvel film to feature a female titular character. This movie introduced the Wasp as a valued member of the good side, though a little too late, but there’s still hope that she will return to defeat more baddies once again someday.
Just below Ant-Man and the Wasp in the number two spot is Black Panther, which boasted many scenes featuring strong female characters, some of whom fans have raved about even more than T’Challa himself. A robust womanly presence was not the main reason why Black Panther became a cultural phenomenon, but it was certainly a contributing factor.
Rounding out the top five films is Avengers: Infinity War in third, Thor: The Dark World in fourth, and Guardians of the Galaxy in fifth, with Gamora appearing as one of the first female leading superheroes.
Changes are also being reflected behind the camera at Marvel Studios, starting with the long-awaited announcement of a standalone Black Widow film. While the movie is still in development, it has secured not only a female screenwriter, Jac Schaeffer, but a female director, Cate Shortland, as well.
The direction of the MCU’s phase 4 is still relatively unclear, but it has been stated for a long time that the future is female, especially if Kevin Feige continues to oversee the hiring of creatives and the types of projects Marvel Studios works on. The president has been advocating for gender parity for a while, and it seems the world is finally catching up.
Next on the docket, debuting next March, is Captain Marvel, which also carries the distinction of being the first solo female-starring MCU film. From there, we can hope that the ratios will be getting closer and closer to 50/50.