DC beat Marvel to a female superhero movie, but the MCU doesn’t mind

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Just imagine that’s Kevin Feige lining up to thank Diana for saving the day.

Despite the fact that superhero movies have been all the rage for the past couple of decades, female superhero movies have been a more recent phenomenon.

Indeed, DC’s Wonder Woman marks the first major female superhero movie since Catwoman and Elektra back in the mid-aughts. And the competition has taken notice.

Speaking with Mashable at a recent press day for Spider-Man: Homecoming, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige offered his thoughts on Wonder Woman’s groundbreaking debut.

The MCU is currently hard at work prepping its first female-led movie, 2019’s Captain Marvel, with Brie Larson set to star and Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck confirmed to direct. But if Feige’s feeling the heat from the competition, he’s not showing it.

He pointed out to us that Captain Marvel has already been in the works for years:

Well, for us, you know, our Captain Marvel plans have been set for a long time and a lot of things we’re doing with the characters in the announced movies and what we have planned in the movies we haven’t announced yet have all been pretty set.

That said, Wonder Woman has definitely changed the context into which Captain Marvel is being released, and Feige was quick to credit the competition for breaking that barrier.

"What it does do is go, ‘Oh, thank God," he continued.

Because what the question would have been on this junket before that is, ‘Do you think people want to see a female superhero movie? Do you think audiences are ready to go see a big … Are you nervous about Captain Marvel being a big, the first female hero?’

And I would always say no, because there hasn’t been a good one in a long time. There were, you know, 15 years ago, a bunch of bad ones. Did they fail because they were female lead movies? No. They failed because they were not good movies.

I don’t have to say that anymore. Thanks to Wonder Woman. Because it just blows that fallacy out of the water.

Which is true enough, and we’re with Feige in celebrating Wonder Woman’s win. However, the fact of the matter is that Marvel Studios could’ve shut that conversation down a long time ago, if they’d wanted to – they’ve definitely had the time, the money, and the clout to make that happen. They’ve just chosen not to.

But Feige’s right that Wonder Woman’s taken some of the pressure off of other female superhero movies to succeed. Wonder Woman and Captain Marvel may technically be competitors, but Captain Marvel has Wonder Woman to thank for doing a lot of the heavy lifting of "proving" female superhero movies could work.

Now Captain Marvel’s job will be to help Wonder Woman relieve some of the burden for the next female superhero film, and the one after that, and the one after that – and on and on, until the day that female superhero movies become as unremarkable as male ones.