Olivia Wilde, in a recent interview, praised the Marvel Cinematic Universe but also suggested that the female superheroes in their films could be portrayed with a little more complexity. Wilde was responding to a fan’s suggestion on Twitter that she and her Meadowland director, Reed Morano, take up the helm on a Captain Marvel film.

Olivia WildeOlivia Wilde at the premiere of Meadowland at the Hamptons International Film Festival in October 2015.

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Captain Marvel A.K.A. Carol Danvers is a superhero skilled in hand-to-hand combat, flight and who possesses the ability to shoot energy balls from her hands. Last year, Marvel announced they are developing a Captain Marvel film which is scheduled for release in March 2019. Few details have yet to be released although two female writers – Meg LeFauve and Nicole Perlman – are currently working on the screenplay.

Both Wilde and Reed, speaking to CinemaBlend, expressed their interest in working on the project with Wilde starring as Captain Marvel and Reed directing. Wilde’s interest in working on the film is also in ensuring female superheroes are presented with as much complexity as their male counterparts and Wilde drew on Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man as an example.

“I’m a big fan of superhero films, and I have so much respect for the Marvel Cinematic Universe,” Wilde said. “The thing with female superheroes is that, in order to be powerful, they are flawless. The idea of kick-ass power lacks a certain nuance, at times. There is something to be said for a female director working to create a female superhero that perhaps [has] a little more complexity.”

“Marvel has been so smart about casting unexpected people for these roles,” Wilde continued. “Look at what Robert Downey brought to Iron Man. A real, dry sense of humor and a complexity to his hero balance. I think that the way these Marvel heroes are written, the female superheroes included, do have complexity and flaws. But I think when they are translated into film, the women can become these ultimate goddesses of perfection and I would love to create a female Marvel character who is just as unexpected and complex as some of the male characters as Iron Man. I think that would be really cool!”

Considering many of these comic book characters were created in the 40s and 50s, when gender equality was not the most pressing issue, there has been a shift in the recent films in attempting to present the female superheroes as strong characters. However, so far, the films Marvel has produced have primarily centred on male superheroes. Strong female characters are present in the films – consider Black Widow/Natasha Romanova – but even The Avengers films focus heavily on the male superheroes. Furthermore, more often than not, the strong female characters we encounter in the films are not superheroes at all but mortals like Agent Peggy Carter and Jane Foster.

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