"Captain Marvel" star Brie Larson says she's determined to make sure the Marvel movie's upcoming press junket is diverse and female-led, pledging to Marie Claire UK that she will keep the tour from becoming "overwhelmingly" white or male.
Larson is starring as Carol Danvers in the Marvel universe's female-led superhero blockbuster, due out the first week of March. The hotly anticipated "Captain Marvel" draws on the character's long history, and should be a key element in the Marvel universe's next generation of films, but feminists — including Larson — are determined to make the movie a landmark for women.
“About a year ago, I started paying attention to what my press days looked like and the critics reviewing movies, and noticed it appeared to be overwhelmingly white male,” Larson told Marie Claire UK's Keah Brown, according to Fox News. “So, I spoke to Dr. Stacy Smith at the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, who put together a study to confirm that.”
"They put together a study that found that of the 100 highest-grossing movies in 2017, 67 percent of top critics were white males, less than 25 percent were white women, while 10 percent were men of color and 2.5 percent were women of color," the New York Post reports.
As a result, Larson says, she's started handpicking the journalists she works with, giving preference to journalists of color who, she believes, may not get the same opportunities as other entertainment reporters. She selected Brown, for example, because Brown is a freelance reporter who writes “about pop culture, disability, blackness and womanhood" (Brown has cerebral palsy).
Although Captain Marvel herself isn't an overt feminist (though she is a very powerful, accomplished woman before and after she gains superpowers), Larson confirmed recently that she has plans to make "Captain Marvel" a “big feminist movie.”
Bounding Into Comics reports that Larson announced her intent to Entertainment Tonight, which visited the set of "Captain Marvel" back in May.
"I had a meeting with Marvel and what we discussed is they wanted to make a big feminist movie," she told the entertainment television show.
The film's director, Anna Boden, was less aggressive about the movie's intent. "The story lends itself to it," Boden said. “We’re not trying to make this movie about all women. We can’t make it about all women’s journeys, but just be really true to this woman’s journey.”
Although Marvel promises an epic superhero flick in "Captain Marvel," fans — and particularly female fans, including your fair reporter — of the genre, do fear that turning Captain Marvel into a feminist icon the way Wonder Woman was marketed will have a detrimental effect on the character herself. Often, characters that are repurposed to be typically "feminist" (or "feminist" in the modern sense of the word) become stereotypes, betraying the decades of character development that takes place in their respective comic books before a movie ever premieres.
"Captain Marvel" hits theaters March 8.