There just aren’t enough female superheroes on the big screen for our liking. Since 2002, only 4% of Marvel and DC comic book movies have had a female as the main character. But there’s more to the problem: budgets are notoriously low in comparison to films that feature male superheroes, and female superhero movies are often directed by unknowns, who are always males. There also aren't enough female writers nor is there enough merchandise.
Even Mark Ruffalo complained about the lack of Marvel's Black Widow merchandise for his daughter. Upon further speculation, Black Widow (played by Scarlett Johansson) was not part of all merchandise, from t-shirts to toys. Marvel definitely dropped the ball on that one. Moreover, when women do appear in movies like Avengers or Iron Man, they make up a measly ¼ of the cast and are usually there to function as simple love interests.
A leaked e-mail between a Marvel Entertainment executive and a Sony executive last year listed a number of failed female superhero movies. Elektra, Catwoman and Supergirl, all made the list. Some have taken this as evidence of reasons why they shouldn’t do any more female-centric superhero films. Joss Whedon had this to say about female superhero movies: “There is genuine, recalcitrant, intractable sexism, and old-fashioned, quiet misogyny that goes on. There’s always an excuse. You hear ‘Oh, [female superheroes] don’t work because of these two bad ones [Catwoman and Elektra] that were made eight years ago.'” You get the point here. In the meantime, we do have two female-centric superhero movies to look forward to. Wonder Woman is set to be released in 2017, while Marvel’s Captain Marvel will be released in 2019. There is also talk that Angelina Jolie might helm Captain Marvel, but that is to be determined. But it is certainly a travesty that we have so many actresses who are cut out to play the roles of the iconic Emma Frost and Zatanna on screen, yet it just hasn’t panned out yet. If you don’t believe us, take a look at the list below.
15 Emma Watson
After a whopping total of 18 male-centric superhero movies a la Marvel, Captain Marvel finally awaits us. With Emma Watson being a warrior for women’s issues in real life - she is the UN Women Global Goodwill Ambassador - she is basically already a superhero in the flesh. The girl is hot, hot, hot. In fact, Emma Watson even sees herself as a warrior, saying, "I feel like young girls are told that they have to be a princess and fragile. It's bullsh*t. I identify much more with being a warrior — a fighter. If I was going to be a princess, I'd be a warrior princess. Definitely." Who could possibly be a better fit for the role of Carol Danvers, who is known as a “feminist icon,” than a real life feminist icon? Plus, Watson has already fought Death Eaters so what more do you need? Emma Watson was basically born to play a superhero.
14 Emma Stone
Emma Stone is her own brand of hot, which probably explains her widespread appeal and popularity. Furthermore, her diverse and award-winning performances are evidence of the fact that playing a superhero would be a piece of cake for her. She has experience doing action movies (Gangster Squad comes to mind) and even superhero movies, namely in the Spiderman franchise where she played Gwen Stacy. It is only a matter of time before the headstrong Emma Stone stars in her own superhero movie. While a lot of names have been linked to the role of Carol Danvers in Captain Marvel, Stone has been one of them. Perhaps we won’t have to wait too long before we see her saving lives on the big screen.
13 Kaley Cuoco
We all know Kaley Cuoco as The Big Bang Theory's Penny, whose function on the show is to play the role of the “dumb blonde” type of character - especially in the early seasons. In any case, Cuoco has a lot of ogling fans, which is why she has earned a spot on this list (lucky her).
However, Cuoco's nine seasons on The Big Bang Theory is enough time to create an image around her. And that image is basically the 'not-so-smart-pretty girl' combined with the 'damsel in distress' type because that's what shot her into the forefront of pop culture. In other words, Cuoco doesn’t strike us as a super believable superhero, at least presently. Is she too big of a household name? That is also a concern. She hasn’t proven herself on the big screen yet, either; her movies have mostly been flops, from the poorly received Burning Bodhi in 2015 to The Wedding Ringer, and to 2014’s Authors Anonymous. Perhaps Cuoco would do better in a superhero spoof for the time being (we have no doubt a lot of people would be into this - imagine the outfits she could pull off). At least, that is, until she can show us she can do more than just be a pretty blonde.
12 Felicity Jones
Felicity Jones, nominated for an Oscar for her gripping performance in 2014’s The Theory of Everything, where she played Stephen Hawking’s wife, and she was put on Maxim’s Hot 100 list last year in 2015. Her pretty face would definitely make her easily believable as a superhero, but obviously, her acting abilities should not be overlooked. She is not a stranger to comic book movies, either, for she played Felicia Hardy in The Amazing Spiderman 2. Jones could have easily played the part of Wonder Woman and done the character much justice (no pun intended).
11 Olivia Wilde
Olivia Wilde strikes us as being a very believable superhero: she has a fierceness about her that would allow her to play both a superhero or even a supervillain. Plus, she’s on a lot of “sexiest and most desirable women type of lists,” which is another prerequisite she checks off for such a role. She’s also acted in some action movies, including Tron: Legacy, which shouldn’t be overlooked.
Wilde has made some interesting points about female superheroes in the past. Hear her out: “I’m a big fan of superhero films, and I have so much respect for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. 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.” Is Wilde the girl to do it? Quite possibly.
10 Amber Heard
It seems that DC Comics agrees with the hotness of Amber Heard, as it was just announced that she will take on the role of Mera, Aquaman’s love interest, in Justice League to be released at the end of 2017. She is a fairly recent face in Hollywood (even if she did get a lot of recent media attention in a viral video in which she and Johnny Depp apologize for illegally bringing their dogs into Australia, as well as the recent messy breakdown of her marriage to Depp), known for her breakthrough roles in 2008’s Never Back Down and Pineapple Express. She has also appeared on the big screen in a few diverse roles - in other words, her acting skills would just be another point in her favour. Although she's not Depp's superhero anymore, she could very well be the public's.
9 Emily Blunt
The beautiful Emily Blunt is known for her roles in 2015’s Sicario and 2014’s Edge of Tomorrow, both of which involved her playing strong characters. These films are evidence of the fact that she could quite easily take on the role of a strong, female superhero. Plus, action movies are clearly known territory for her. She would have made a great Wonder Woman.
Blunt was actually previously approached by Marvel to play the roles of both Natasha Romanoff (now played by Scarlett Johansson) and Peggy Carter (played by Hayley Atwell), but due to timing issues, Blunt’s opportunity to play a superhero in two major blockbusters didn’t quite pan out. However, Blunt’s name has been repeatedly mentioned when it comes to the part of Carol Danvers in Captain Marvel. While she has yet to be officially approached to play the role, she said she would take it on.
8 Megan Fox
Obviously, vixen Megan Fox could easily take on the role of a superhero - she has the good looks to be able to do so, as well as a fierceness. She also has a number of action movies under her belt, including all of the Transformers films. But listen: just because Fox is hot enough to play a superhero (Kate Upton and countless other women might also fall into this category), doesn’t necessarily mean that she should. After all, playing the part of a superhero requires that you are able to convey a sense of inward strength or power. Unfortunately for Fox, she is considered by most to be a sub-par actress at best, only snagging roles because of her looks. Not that anyone is complaining or anything.
7 Charlize Theron
Charlize Theron is definitely hot enough (and borderline downright frightening) to play a superhero. In fact, it wouldn't be anything new for her, as she has played several of them before (in 2008’s Hancock and in 2005’s Aeon Flux). And, as expected, she made a pretty bad a** superhero, reviews aside. So, we are calling for a revival. Theron is currently winning fans as the very talented warrior as Furiosa in Mad Max: Fury Road, meaning that a lot of people would probably also love to see Theron take on another round as a superhero.
In fact, there is talk that Theron is one of several actresses in consideration to play the role of Captain Marvel or Carol Danvers in Captain Marvel. Needless to say, we’d love to see Theron take on another powerful female superhero. Plus, she definitely looks like Carol Danvers.
6 Marion Cotillard
Oscar-winning, French actress Marion Cotillard, known for her roles in Inception and La Vie en Rose would perhaps make one of the best superheroes out there. Not only is she an incredible, critically acclaimed actress who could truly act the part, but she also has the undeniable beauty to play a superhero as well. She’s also already played the villainous comic book character Miranda Tate in 2012’s The Dark Knight Rises, which went over quite well with critics and fans alike. She would have made a particularly great Wonder Woman, especially with her curvy assets (the lack of which Gal Gadot was criticized for), although arguably she’s kind of better than Batman v Superman.
5 Constance Wu
The gorgeous Constance Wu, known for her role as Jessica Huang on Fresh off the Boat, may seem like an unlikely candidate given that we don’t typically associate her with the idea of an action-star, but Wu does, in fact, have some action movies to her name, including 2015’s Parallels and 2014’s Electric Slide. Moreover, she plays the feisty Jessica Huang on television, which garnered her a lot of critical acclaim, so it isn’t a stretch to think that she could handle a weapon or two quite well and make it believable (her acting chops are clearly on point). It might even be a good thing that Wu isn’t super recognizable given that big name stars often cause a lot of controversy for being too much of a household name. Did we mention how pretty Wu is? She definitely checks off all the superhero boxes.
4 Mila Kunis
Mila Kunis definitely has the looks to be able to play the role of a superhero. Although she has taken on some damsel in distress roles in the past, she strikes us as being very believable in the role as a powerful, fierce and independent woman (we saw what she could do in Oz The Great and Powerful). We could see her taking on the role of DC Comics’ Zatanna. After all, no one is going to mind seeing Kunis in fishnet stockings and knee high boots, right? A lot of people also think that Marvel’s Wasp would be a good fit. Kunis has already talked about how she would love to play a “really awesome” superhero and is definitely the girl to do it.
3 Emilia Clarke
Emilia Clarke has already played a superhero - just a different kind. After all, she is the mother of dragons on everybody’s favourite show at the moment: Game of Thrones. In any case, she’s powerful and has a certain kind of inner strength that few can tap into. After all, she didn’t win two Emmys for nothing. Of course, when it comes to Clarke’s looks, she obviously has that going for her as well (again, we bring in the evidence: she was Esquire’s “Sexiest Woman Alive” in 2015). With the popularity of Game of Thrones, she would quite possibly “break the Internet” if it were announced that she was going to star in her own superhero movie.
2 Shay Mitchell
Shay Mitchell, known mostly for her role on Pretty Little Liars, has the exotic looks and dark features to play the Amazonian goddess Wonder Woman - not to mention the fact that Mitchell is drop dead gorgeous. Although, let's be honest: with those looks, she could play just about any superhero. Again, it is no wonder that this beautiful specimen ended up on Maxim’s Hot 100 list. Although Mitchell’s list of acting credits is rather modest, she recently starred in 2016’s Mother’s Day alongside some pretty big name actors, including Jennifer Aniston, Julia Roberts and Timothy Olyphant. Give her a chance.
1 Margot Robbie
It made complete sense that Margot Robbie, known for her role in Wolf of Wall Street, would be cast to play one of the hottest comic book characters, Harley Quinn, in Suicide Squad, to be released this year. That’s right - Harley Quinn came in 16th place on Comics Buyer’s Guide’s “100 Sexiest Women in Comics” list in 2011. With her gorgeous, blonde bombshell good looks that got her a place on Maxim’s Hot 100 list in 2015, Robbie could have easily taken the role of the hot Emma Frost for her looks alone. Just take one look at the girl and tell us you haven’t started drooling. We knew it. In any case, you will likely be hearing a lot more about her in the upcoming months.