Supergirl Animated Movie

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Admiral_Young, Jul 16, 2012.

  1. Out Of My Vulcan Mind

    Out Of My Vulcan Mind Vice Admiral Admiral

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    It's not just movies with female leads they've abandoned. They decided not to make any animated movies other than those centred on Batman, Superman, and/or the Justice League. For now the only way another character gets an animated movie is if they get a live action movie for the animated release to slipstream on (as was the case with Green Lantern: Emerald Knights).
     
  2. Gotham Central

    Gotham Central Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Perhaps, but as a business decision it makes sense. Think about it, the audience for superhero films is overwhelmingly male. Men, in general, tend not to consume genre products with female leads and there are usually not enough female fans to pick up the slack.

    A good example of this was SuckerPunch. Most of the people that loved and appreciated what was done in that movie were women. Men, by and large, hated it. This is probably why it took so long for the WW video to make back its money. Wonder Woman is the most famous female superhero in the world...and still she struggles. I doubt a Supergirl or Batgirl film would fare any better. As long as female led properties struggle to get a male audience its going to be harder to convince the studios to fund these films.
     
  3. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    No, it doesn't. The point is, how do they know that it failed because the lead was female? There could be a lot of other reasons, so automatically jumping to that conclusion is not sensible in the least. It's just assuming that the movie's failure is confirmation of their existing prejudice against female leads.


    I don't think that makes sense at all. Why wouldn't men want to watch female leads? Speaking as a heterosexual man, I'd much rather watch women than men in just about any context. I love stories with female leads.

    Not to mention that we've had plenty of successful genre products with female leads, such as the Alien franchise, the worthwhile parts of the Terminator franchise, Xena and Buffy, the Underworld and Resident Evil franchises, etc. The Legend of Korra is one of the biggest genre hits of the year, judging from how much attention and cosplay it got at Comic-Con. And those had plenty of male fans as well as female ones. So I say that party line about men not liking female leads is a myth.

    I think it's also a myth that "the audience for superhero films is overwhelmingly male." Comic-Con attendees this year were forty percent female. There's a huge audience of women out there who love comics and animation and want material that represents them more and better, but the industry is unwilling to give it to them because of these outdated and ignorant assumptions about the gender makeup and preferences of their audience.
     
  4. Gotham Central

    Gotham Central Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I'm sorry Christopher but you're wrong about this one and its a well researched phenomenon.

    First of all I did not say that they had no male fans. There is a subset of the male fan base that does enjoy female led stories, but its a small portion. Its not that men don't want to women, its that they tend not to identify with them as the lead heroic character. This is a trend that has been identified across the spectrum of mass media and is well documented. You run across the same phenomenon when it comes to non-white lead characters.

    Buffy is a bad example since the overwhelming majority of its fan base was female.

    As for female fans at comic-con, if you look closely, most of them are not fans of the superhero genre. Comic-con features a wide array of sub genres many of which do have a stronger female fan base (vampires, anime, fantasy etc). Again, I'm not saying that there are not any female superhero fans, its just that they are usually not enough to make up for the lack of interest by male fans.

    The point though is not that a females superhero film won't make money. It clearly will. The WW film did ok. The thing is that it did not do as well the counterpart Batman and Superman films did...and it took longer for it to earn that money.
     
  5. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^Even if that's true, and I'm not at all convinced it is, it remains a vicious cycle. Superhero media will never attract more female fans until they stop consciously excluding and alienating them. I've read a number of essays and blog posts online by female comics fans who love superheroes in principle, who want to support and participate in the genre, but who feel excluded by the pervasive attitudes of the industry, the insistence on reducing female characters to oversexualized caricatures and women in refrigerators, the reluctance to give female-led titles an equal chance. There are quite a lot of female writers and artists in the industry now -- yes, including on superhero comics -- but there's still an uphill battle.

    So defending the problem is just perpetuating the problem. If enough people stand up and say "This is not acceptable," then it can change. So I'm not interested in listening to your rationalizations and excuses for a practice that is simply wrong. And you shouldn't be either. You should be standing up and insisting on a change. We all should.
     
  6. Ian Keldon

    Ian Keldon Fleet Captain

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    Preaching to the choir. The Green Lantern sequel was also messed up because of the edict, as was the Teen Titans project.

    Based on how the books go, maybe or maybe not. WB's conclusion was that female-lead projects don't "sell", which is why they selected S/B: Apocalypse as their "Supergirl" inaugural project.
     
  7. Ian Keldon

    Ian Keldon Fleet Captain

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    As I noted, it also torpedoes the GL sequal and Teen Titans: The Judas Contract.

    It's not sexism. It's what marketing has determined sells the most units in the shortest amount of time.
     
  8. Gotham Central

    Gotham Central Vice Admiral Admiral

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    You're making a social argument and I'm talking business. Warner Brothers will support cultivating female characters as it does via DC comics, but its less willing to risk millions on a video production that history has shown makes less money than a similar concept for a male character.

    I suspect that the real test of all of this is to see what happens if Marvel makes a Black Widow film. It will be interesting to see how well that does compared to Captain America: TWS, Iron Man 3 etc.

    Given that WB is pushing for a JL movie, that might also serve as a catalyst for the ressurection of a WW film. But again, those female led superhero films will have to perform at levels equal to their male counterparts. If they don't expect the same blackout to happen all over again.
     
  9. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    And that's still a circular argument. As I said, there's no proof that it's specifically the gender of the lead that made the movies do badly. People are just assuming that because it fits their prejudices and expectations.

    I mean, come on, how many DC Universe movies have there been with female leads? Exactly one, Wonder Woman. It is impossible to prove a pattern with only a single data point. If there were multiple movies that had nothing in common except having a female lead, and if they'd all done badly, then a legitimate statistical argument could be made that there's a correlation between the sex of the lead and the success of the movie. But that is not the case. There is one movie that performed below expectations and also had a female lead. There is no possible way to prove that there's a causative relationship between those two factors, not with only a single example. It could have done poorly because of some other factor, like its storyline. Maybe audiences weren't as interested in Greek mythology as they were in science fiction or crime stories. Maybe they were interested in Wonder Woman in principle, but didn't think the star of Felicity would be a very interesting choice in the role. And even if they had a problem with Wonder Woman specifically as a lead, that doesn't translate to having a problem with all female leads. It is simply impossible to prove that with only a single example to go on.

    So to claim that the poor performance of a single female-led movie, the only one they've ever even tried, is proof that audiences don't like female leads at all is an incompetent argument at best, a grossly dishonest one at worst. It's complete and utter crap. It's not good business sense; in fact, it's completely senseless from a business standpoint because it's not based in any kind of legitimate statistics or body of evidence, but just pulling guesses and assumptions out of a hat.


    Unfortunately, Marvel Studios doesn't seem to show any interest in doing a solo Black Widow movie even though it's a no-brainer. Because they're trapped by the same preconceptions and circular reasoning as the entire industry, letting good business sense be trumped by antiquated gender assumptions.


    Which is still not good business, not if you don't have enough examples to prove the lead characters' gender actually is the reason for their different performance. And if studios pull the plug the moment a single female-led film bombs, that means we'll never get enough examples to test that hypothesis in any statistically valid way. And it will just remain a self-reinforcing prejudice that could be hurting the studios' business because they're pre-emptively alienating an audience that could embrace the studios' output if the studios wouldn't keep giving up on them so hastily.
     
  10. Ian Keldon

    Ian Keldon Fleet Captain

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    ^You have to remember, Christopher, that the marketing people for these animated projects ALSO look at the sales performance of the comics themselves as guides. Female-lead comics aren't selling, for whatever reason.
     
  11. Out Of My Vulcan Mind

    Out Of My Vulcan Mind Vice Admiral Admiral

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    There aren't any female-led ongoing titles in the Top 30 at the moment, but Wonder Woman and Batgirl are currently outselling Daredevil, The Incredible Hulk, The Fantastic Four, and Captain America.

    The DC animated line is sticking to Batman, Superman and/or the Justice League because those titles deliver the kind of fast sales their retail partners are looking for. The chances of DC's female characters getting on screen in a starring capacity is actually a lot better in a live action movie or television series where you have the advantage of a big marketing campaign and casting stars to draw attention, while the animated movie line has to generate sales with a very small marketing campaign.

    That's not to say it's easy to get them on screen in a live action capacity, as demonstrated by the failed attempts to get a Wonder Woman movie and/or TV series made, but I think we'll see a DC heroine in a live action starring role before we see one in an animated starring role.
     
  12. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    The reason, according to the comments I've read from female comics fans online, is that the big publishers tend to marginalize and objectify female characters in a way that alienates female readers. Remember the controversy over the demeaning portrayals of Catwoman, Starfire, and Voodoo in their first New 52 appearances? There are high points like Batwoman and Renee Montoya and the Birds of Prey, well-portrayed female characters that women readers really respond to, but there are still far too many female characters that are just softcore pandering to teenage males.

    So it's not right to say that the industry is just responding to a lack of interest from the female audience. It's the other way around -- the audience is driven away by the decisions of the industry. There's plenty of female readership and creative participation in independent comics, but they don't find the top publishers' product as inviting because of the way it treats female characters.

    And I should add that there are surely plenty of men, including myself, who would rather see well-rendered, respectfully treated female characters than just ones that pander to adolescent fantasies.
     
  13. Gotham Central

    Gotham Central Vice Admiral Admiral

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    You still seem to be missing or minimizing the point. Its not just that women don't read those titles...men don't either. The key is that there have to be enough women to buy the title to offset the fact that men won't. You seem to reject the idea that men generally do not buy titles with female leads despite the fact that there is ample evidence to prove this. Hell Wonder Woman is one of the most famous comic characters out there and the feedback about her new 52 title has been overwhelmingly positive....and she STILL sells WAY fewer issues than her male counterparts. The same is true of Batwoman, Supergirl and Batgirl...and none of them faced the controversey that dogged Catwoman.

    To DC's credit they have stuck by those titles, but you cannot ignore the reality that men typically don't buy those titles and there are not enough women to pick up the slack.

    If you're Time Warner/DC or Disney/Marvel you might take a risk on making a comic that will have a small readership, but there is no way you're going to sink millions into a project that won't have much of an audience.
     
  14. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^I'm not ignoring the reality -- I'm refusing to settle for the reality. Discriminatory realities never change unless people stop being complacent apologists for the status quo and instead stand up and fight to change the status quo. It's been done many times in the past, like back when it was assumed that no black actor could ever carry a mainstream movie, or that no black man could ever run for president. For generations, people settled for the status quo and fell back on the same old tired arguments for why things were the way they were. But there were others who were braver and stronger and more determined than that, who actually made an effort to change things, and they succeeded. I don't care if audiences now aren't responding to female-led titles -- they can learn to respond to them if they get enough good ones, if creators really make the effort to show them something new. Audiences are not immutable, and their tastes can be broadened. It's happened before. It happened in movies with Ripley and Sarah Connor. It can happen in comics and animation, if the will and the inspiration are there.
     
  15. USS Kongo

    USS Kongo Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I'd always rather see female superheroes--as well as female characters overall--in films and TV. I've preferred films where women were the lead characters, like Salt, Haywire and Smilla's Sense Of Snow, to name but a few.

    I loved the Wonder Woman animated film, and hoped to see sequels from it. Now I see why nothing more came of it. It's a shame that the only way we can get to see Supergirl these days is only if she's guest-starring in a Superman animated movie. I'd love to see Supergirl--not to mention Batgirl--in her own adventure.

    Sean
     
  16. Ian Keldon

    Ian Keldon Fleet Captain

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    Aren't you one of the people always minimizing the importance of on-line posts by fans?

    I've seen plenty of non-objectivizing portrayals of female characters such as Ms Marvel, Rogue, Sue Richards, Silver Sable, etc. For that matter, even characters like Moonstone and Emma Frost. They may be a b-word, but they're strong, confident, empowered and multifaceted

    Can't comment as I haven't read them.

    I disagree...see above.

    Again, does not square with the facts.

    And we have had them. And they don't sell. For that matter, blatantly pandering comics like Tarot:Witch of the Black Rose don't sell all that well either (at least by Big Two standards).
     
  17. Ian Keldon

    Ian Keldon Fleet Captain

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    It's not "discriminatory", "mysogynist" or any of the other Womynist labels that get thrown out there. It's about what sells.

    Trust me, I know what it's like to have favored characters get screwed because they don't sell. I have the majority of the Byrne WW run. I love good strong female leads like Silver Sable, Widow, Spider-Girl (the real one, aka May Parker).

    But they don't sell, and in this climate neither Disney nor Marvel is going to risk much on them. Not because they're women, but because they are, unfortunately, a bad investment.
     
  18. Admiral_Young

    Admiral_Young Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Okay to return discussion to the actual movie, I have unable to find very many details. I did find this:

    http://superheroshows.blogspot.ca/2012/07/superman-to-battle-brainiac-in-lost.html

    It has a speculated title for the DTV. "Superman: The Lost City of Krypton" and contains a plot synopsis as well. As well as being an emotional focal point of Geoff Johns run, it also was the catalyst for the start of the New Krypton story which immediately followed this arc. So perhaps this means we will get an animated version of New Krypton which would thrill me.
     
  19. Ian Keldon

    Ian Keldon Fleet Captain

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    Geoff Johns is overrated. I HATE his Green Lantern stuff with a passion.
     
  20. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    Ok, those are all Marvel characters, so would you they handle their women better, or do you just read Marvel?
    EDIT: As for how comics with a female lead comics sell, I was just looking on Comixology and 7 (Captain Marvel, Wonder Woman, Before Watchmen: Silk Spectre, Ame-Comi III: Duela Dent, Supergirl, Batwoman, Catwoman) female led comics are in the top 70, and if they are in popularity order (it doesn't specify the order) Captain Marvel is #12. No to mention that there are several ensemble books that feature female characters in prominent roles in the list.
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2012

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