200705310256Gah! Why do more interesting things keep coming in on that gender thing??? Damn you. Ike this story in THR about the difficulty in launching female action pics and how Robert Rodirguez is taking a flyer with his just announced BARBARELLA remake.

Rodriguez is dipping his laser gun into a subgenre where Hollywood has been traditionally gun-shy. Recent history has left a graveyard of tombstones reading such names as “Elektra,” “Catwoman” and “Aeon Flux,” while mausoleums house “Tank Girl” and “Barb Wire.” There are exceptions, of course, such as the “Tomb Raider” and “Underworld” movies, but their sequels failed to capitalize on any goodwill created by the first movies.

One manager says it doesn’t take X-ray vision to see studio sexism as part of the trouble. Female-oriented action movies, he reasons, take a hit when one fails, whereas a male-oriented action movie that misfires bounces off a studio’s back like a bullet off Superman.

“The studio translates those failures into, ‘It doesn’t matter if those were bad movies, female-led superhero movies don’t work,” says one manager, who has clients wanting to write those movies but says “studios won’t touch them with a 10-foot pole.”

But television is another story.

And while I don’t have the heart to write anything today, the 14th Carnival of Feminist Science Fiction and Fantasy Fans pretty much rounds everything up.

Oh and while it isn’t really woman related, the Icarus blog rounds up some disturbing manga-related news and runs a Nymphet post-mortem, which has officially been cancelled.


  1. Alien & Aliens. I’ve never liked a sci-fi movie more then those two, and I never thought twice about the fact that a woman was the hero. Maybe if these femail action movies would just have good scripts, we wouldn’t have this problem. I liked that A vs. P’s hero was a strong black woman, but the script was just bad.

  2. “Rodriguez is dipping his laser gun into a subgenre where Hollywood has been traditionally gun-shy.”

    Dipping his laser gun? Ewwww.

  3. I think the problem here is that the movies they list, Catwoman, Barb Wire and the others were terrible movies. Aliens was a great movie with a great script and a lot of care put into the characters through out the movie. Gives us a good movie first and foremost and people will come.

  4. There are plenty of bad male-led action films, too — it’s just that when one bombs, Hollywood looks at it and says, “Oh, this movie bombed,” not “Oh, male-led action films aren’t successful.” Their poor performance is blamed on the film itself, not on the genre.

    I wonder if it’s just that there are so many action films with male leads. Hollywood is notorious for having a short memory, where the only thing that matters is your most recent picture. But if there are 25 action films out this year with male leads, and 5 of them are reasonably big hits, they can look at those 5 and see that yes, people are still going to see action films with male leads. The ones with female leads are few enough that when one flops, the last success was last year, and therefore not (to the studios’ minds) representative of current audience tastes.

  5. people like that icarus blogger just anger me. yes, i think artistic license is necessary to protect and fund, but what is so disturbing about some of the stuff that comes out of places like japan, is that it treads the line of art or promotion.

    it’s really hard to defend some of those books when it remains a problem that actually occurs in their society. hey, if that kind of pressure is what it takes to make publishers realize that people are actually paying attention to what they put out there so that they don’t put out crap, then, I’m all for it.

  6. You know, people keep mentioning Underworld 2, or whatever it was called, as a box office failure compared to the first when it did a wee bit better.

    I wonder why?

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