It seems like every few weeks these days something happens that reminds me once more that my beloved Joss Whedon won’t be directing a movie about my beloved Wonder Woman. In this case, it happened while I was considering the roles of women in comic-based movies. While watching The Dark Knight the other day, I found myself hoping that Chris Nolan would make it far enough into Bruce Wayne’s story that we might see his take on the original Batgirl: something that would take the foul taste out of my mouth from the Schumacher-era Alicia Silverstone performance.
Now granted, there have been a couple of films released in recent years about some of the leading ladies of the superhero world, such as Elektra (tripe) and Catwoman (also tripe, which is probably the reason Halle Berry was able to get away with also playing Storm in the X-Men films), but there hasn’t been anything compelling. I find myself wondering if this isn’t indicative of the industry as a whole; beyond the female X-Men and Wonder Woman herself, there aren’t as many leading ladies who make a compelling enough draw to bring audiences into the theater.
I will cotton to being absolutely in love with Laura Vandervoort’s performance as Kara Kent / Supergirl on Smallville, but being a character so thoroughly entwined with Superman’s story, it would be almost impossible to make a Supergirl movie that wouldn’t end up actually being a Superman movie.
What does that leave us with, then? Is Birds of Prey well-known enough to bring in the kinds of audiences that would justify making a film? Could comic-shy moviegoers going into such a film expecting a big superhero action movie be satisfied by a team of women led by a paraplegic computer hacker?
As much as I’d like to see a BoP movie, I find myself fearing that the answer is, “no.”