Everyone is talking about the Vanity Fair Marvel Studios piece, and there are some fun bits of information in there. One thing that isn't there, however, is an explanation for why it has taken 10 years for Marvel to add a movie headlined by a person of color and/or a woman.
Critics have been taking Marvel to task for their lack of diversity for years. If you look at these covers, there are a lot of white men in there. The studio is looking to change that in the coming years with Black Panther in 2018 and Captain Marvel in 2019. But this will be 10 and 11 years, respectively, since the beginning of the Marvel Cinematic Universe — more than 15 movies into the franchise. Vanity Fair had the option to talk about this to Kevin Feige, but decided not to push the issue. Feige was asked about the fact that Warner Bros. beat Marvel to the punch with Wonder Woman, so they weren't first. His response?
"Yeah," he answered carefully. "I think it's always fun to be first with most things."
That isn't really a defense or an explanation as to why it's taken so long. The article also seems to go out of its way to lay some of the blame on Ike Perlmutter while also not blaming Perlmutter. It says he was the reason we didn't have any Black Widow toys, but doubles back to point out that Captain Marvel and Black Panther were greenlit while Perlmutter was still in charge.
As for Feige, he doesn't seem too worried about it when it comes to female representation because he's confident in Captain Marvel.
"Everything's going to work out," he said cheerfully. "Captain Marvel is a very different type of movie."
It's not that we're worried the movie is going to be bad. We know it's going to be at least decent, because that's what the Marvel Studios formula does at this point. What we're asking is why it took this long and how the franchise will deal with the issue moving forward. There is no excuse for it in this environment. The audience is there — it's always been there — but they failed to take advantage of it for 10 years. People are paying attention to this sort of thing now; they want representation, and if Wonder Woman's box office and the hype within the black community for Black Panther are anything to go by, brushing it off isn't going to please people for long.
They're Marvel Studios. They sold the general public on Iron Man (a B-list hero pre-2008), Thor, and the Guardians of the Galaxy. The bottom line is that it shouldn't have taken this long, and when people ask why it did, they need a better answer.
Avengers: Infinity War, directed by Anthony and Joe Russo, stars Robert Downey Jr., Josh Brolin, Mark Ruffalo, Tom Hiddleston, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Jeremy Renner, Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Olsen, Sebastian Stan, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Bettany, Chadwick Boseman, Benedict Wong, Zoe Saldana, Karen Gillan, Vin Diesel, Dave Bautista, Pom Klementieff, Scarlett Johansson, Don Cheadle, Tom Holland, Bradley Cooper, Sean Gunn, and Anthony Mackie. It will be released on May 4th, 2018.