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In June 2017, the first female-led superhero film of the current era was released. Not only did Warner Bros. and DC's Wonder Woman break barriers, but the film also exceeded expectations earning critical acclaim (and tons of money). But after ten years and 20 films, Marvel Studios has yet to produce a female-led superhero movie of their own. Until now.
While visiting the set of Captain Marvel last May with a group of journalists, Executive Producer Jonathan Schwartz was asked whether or not the Marvel Studios team looked at Wonder Woman for guidance or inspiration when approaching Captain Marvel.
"You know, what was so great about Wonder Woman was talking to female audience members afterwards about how they felt watching the movie," explained Schwartz. "And a lot of the people I talked to just said, 'I've never felt like that watching a movie before in my entire life. That character resonated [with] me in ways I didn't even know a character could resonate with me.' Which was great to hear, and kind of an amazing thing… I think it helped us understand how important movies like this are."
And they are important. Films which are the "firsts" of an era, like Wonder Woman or Black Panther, make strides for representation in major ways. Do they solve every problem within the industry and culture? Of course not. There's still a long way to go when it comes to representation within all types of films and within genres themselves, but it's certainly helping change the narrative of what audiences want to see.
Despite both being female-led superhero films, Schwartz says Captain Marvel is its own film.
"We don't want to make a movie that people have seen before," he said. "But I think that means making the movie feel distinct, not just from other female-led movies, but from all the other Marvel movies as well, which I think we try to do on every movie. It wasn't a new challenge, necessarily, but it was one I think we were extra-excited for because of the nature of what this movie means to people."
Captain Marvel hits theaters March 8.