Avengers: Age of Ultron may have been one of the most successful movies of 2015, but it didn’t sit well with critics and audiences—particularly the characterization of Black Widow. And its press tour, which normally runs smoothly, became more about Jeremy Renner’s PR fiascos and director Joss Whedon commenting on how exhausted the movie made him than buzz for the movie itself.
In an interview with the Wrap, Whedon discussed a new screenplay he’s working on, but he also said that he would definitely be interested in “directing a female-driven Avengers franchise.”
This isn’t to say he’s slated to direct a female-driven Marvel film right now. The only female superhero film Marvel has planned is Captain Marvel, which has been pushed back twice to accommodate Spider-Man: Homecoming and Ant Man and the Wasp into Marvel’s packed schedule. That standalone Black Widow movie might happen one day, but it’s not yet slated.
“Kevin Feige fought a mighty fight to get [Captain Marvel] on the schedule. So it’s a start. You could say that should be a middle, but it’s a start,” Whedon said.
His comments are directed more toward Hollywood than Marvel itself, but it’s something that could just as easily apply to Marvel; after all, it’s not the first time he’s commented on the subject. At this rate, it will have taken 11 years for a female superhero to get her own movie in the MCU, and Marvel is still getting criticism for how it handles the few female characters it does have, like Sharon Carter in Captain America: Civil War.
And sure, Whedon would probably be a good director for something like a Black Widow movie, which might be thematically more in-line with Jessica Jones. Though he was criticized for Black Widow’s treatment in Age of Ultron, people still love him for many of the female characters he’s brought into pop culture. But bringing a female director on board for a movie in the MCU, no matter the gender of the hero in question, may be just as big of a step. Another thing that should be a middle but is only a start.