Stephen Colbert loved "Captain America: Civil War" as much as the next fan, but he's not giving the Marvel Cinematic Universe a pass on its lack of interest in female characters.
He made it a focus of a new "Late Show" segment:
"I could not help but notice when I watched ['Civil War'], sitting there in the theater, absolutely thrilled by the movie, so many of the characters had something in common: Iron Man, Ant-Man, Spider-Man, Black Panther Man. The Marvel Cinematic Universe is kind of a sausage fest, and I gotta say, all that spandex really showcases the sausage."
"There was an early draft of 'Iron Man 3' where we had an inkling of a problem. Which is that we had a female character who was the villain in the draft. We had finished the script and we were given a no-holds-barred memo saying that cannot stand we've changed our minds because, after consulting, we've decided that toy won't sell as well if it's a female. So we had to change the entire script because of toy making."
Colbert's reaction: "This is shocking. 'Iron Man 3' had a writer?!" But he joked that it made sense that they had to change the villain for the toys, since, "Girls don't play with dolls."
Colbert added, "This is so disappointing. Back in the '80s, we weren't so hung up on the gender of our action figures. I collected Hannah and her Sisters. I mean everyone had to have Meryl Streep from 'Sophie's Choice.' I really struggled with whether to open that one or keep it in the box. It was a real ... quandary."
He further joked that Darth Vader was first written as Darlene Vader, "a talented, powerful woman who struggled to balance her imperial ambitions with raising her rebellious twins." plus, "Doctor Doom: Why does he have to be a man? Are you saying a woman can't be a doctor, or be an evil techno-sorcerer? They better fix this in the next 'Fantastic Four' movie, and there better not be another 'Fantastic Four' movie."
It does seem strange to change a character's gender out of fear that not enough people will buy the toys, but that's marketing for you. At least Marvel is now committed to giving Black Widow her own solo movie, which would presumably follow Captain Marvel's 2019 solo film, which will be the MCU's first female superhero solo film. Meanwhile, "Wonder Woman" is coming out for DC next year, and there's a Harley Quinn and company film in the works.
Want more stuff like this? Like us on Facebook.
Plagued with worry and insomnia since saving New York from destruction, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), now, is more dependent on the suits that give him his Iron Man persona -- so much so that every aspect of his life is affected, including his relationship with Pepper (Gwyneth Paltrow). After a malevolent enemy known as the Mandarin (Ben Kingsley) reduces his personal world to rubble, Tony must rely solely on instinct and ingenuity to avenge his losses and protect the people he loves. Read More
Political pressure mounts to install a system of accountability when the actions of the Avengers lead to collateral damage. The new status quo deeply divides members of the team. Captain America (Chris Evans) believes superheroes should remain free to defend humanity without government interference. Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) sharply disagrees and supports oversight. As the debate escalates into an all-out feud, Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) must pick a side. Read More