The rest of Hollywood may be satisfied with the archetypal male-centric action hero, but veteran science fiction directors Ridley Scott and Joss Whedon have other ideas.
”It’s far more considered normal to have a female in the lead, and yet, studios will always look at the bottom line and the value of a female lead versus a male lead globally, because none of the budgets for these films are getting any smaller, so they have to take into account the bottom line from a business standpoint,” Scott recently told The Daily Beast.
“For Prometheus, it was already written in there that the lead probably ought to be female, and that the two central characters in it would have a relationship – Noomi Rapace and Logan Marshall Green. They have two headsets in terms of the way they look at life and evolution, in that: one believes in God and the other doesn’t and one believes we were a petri dish at some point in time, and another believes we were somehow created. That’s the yin and the yang of it.”
Scott also commented on the perceived similarity between Elizabeth Shaw of Prometheus and Ellen Ripley of Alien.
“The similarity is only by definition—that there’s a female in the lead. I wasn’t looking to repeat anything. I came across Noomi by accident when I was watching The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo about two years ago and was pretty taken with this little punk in the lead who seemed to own the street,” he explained.
“As a protagonist, she’s a very physical woman who’s almost as agile as an acrobat and keeps herself enormously fit. She’s also got a real brain in her head. No one’s going to be disappointed in this one. It’s odd because Sigourney is about six feet and Noomi is about five-foot-five, but you don’t notice the difference on screen! And she sure does kick some ass in this movie—again and again. Her character evolves in a very clever way.”
But Scott isn’t stopping with Elizabeth Shaw and Ellen Ripley, as Blade Runner 2 is “definitely” expected to feature a female protagonist, as well as a script (possibly) penned by Hampton Fancher.
Joss Whedon is another genre director known for his strong female leads and characters such as Buffy, Zoe Alleyne Washburne and Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow.
And Like Scott, Whedon has absolutely no intention of halting the active promotion of female protagonists in upcoming projects, superhero or otherwise.
“Studios will tell you: A woman cannot headline an action movie,” he told Entertainment Weekly.
“[Well,] after The Hunger Games they might stop telling you that a little bit. Whatever you think of the movie, it’s done a great service. And after The Avengers, I think it’s changing.”