Hollywood seems to have finally realised that powerful women make for compelling movies. Recently, there has been a string of successful female-fronted films, including Wonder Woman and Captain Marvel. Atomic Blonde rocked cinemas, Black Widow is on the way, and we now know there are even genderbent versions of James Bond and John Wick on the way.
All of this represents meaningful progress toward further female empowerment, but at the same time there are still so many women - both real and fictitious - whose stories belong on the big screen. In the hopes that the titles listed above help to establish a lasting trend, here are seven bad-ass female figures who deserve their own films.
In 1975, Junko Tabei made history by becoming the first woman to climb Mt. Everest. The feat is incredibly inspirational, especially given the fact that women in Tabei’s time, in Japan, were expected to be nothing more than homemakers - as she herself acknowledged in a 1991 interview.
"Most Japanese men of my generation would expect the woman to stay at home and clean the house," said the mother of two. She certainly sounds like Hollywood protagonist material in our book. Here's hoping her story is adapted - and adapted faithfully - sooner rather than later!
Going a more fictional route, isn't it about time Princess Zelda had a film of her own? Despite being the titular character of the wildly popular and apparently timeless Legend of Zelda video game series, Zelda herself gets very little love next to sword-wielding male protagonist Link. Given the current trend toward female cinematic heroes though, a gritty reboot of Princess Zelda’s story - whether in animation or, possibly, live action - could make for an incredible blockbuster.
Sylvia Rae Rivera
Sylvia Rae Rivera was one of the most important LGBTQ+ activists in history, and yet we can't shake the assumption that many people don't know her name. The gender-nonconforming Latinx was a leader during the 1969 Stonewall Riots, which eventually sparked the “Gay Pride” movement. While she passed away in 2002, her legacy lives on, and would do so even more effectively with a powerful, true-to-history drama.
Despite Greek myths being excellent source material, we see very little of Athena in today's entertainment. She's alluded to now and then in an historical epic, but otherwise seems to appear only in games. Ireland's free digital slot reels include a few games based on Greek mythology, including one devoted to the "Goddess of Wisdom," and Athena is also a playable character in the mobile game Gods Of Rome. But really, the freaking spear-wielding Goddess of Wisdom deserves better in the tough-girl era. We'd love to see her on the big screen, even if it basically turned out to be a more historic, less super version of Wonder Woman.
Admittedly, Marvel has been stepping it up in terms of highlighting its female comic book characters, even if it took years for it to happen. But the addition of America Chavez, aka Miss America, would make the Marvel Cinematic Universe even more powerful from an inclusivity and equality standpoint. Miss America, who possesses the powers of super strength and flight, happens to be one of Marvel’s most diverse characters, given that she's not only a woman protagonist, but also Latina and a proud member of the LGBTQ+ community.
For those who don't know this name, Chien-Shiung Wu was a brilliant Chinese-American physicist. Unfortunately her incredible achievements, including helping to prove the theory of the law of conservation of parity, have been largely forgotten. A film could help Wu get the recognition she deserves - and it never hurts to expose more audiences to science!
While The Carpenters are now considered a little bit cheesy, the band’s frontwoman, Karen Carpenter, was a role model for so many female musicians to follow. Not only did she have a beautiful voice, but her drumming skills were unparalleled. In fact, a 1975 issue of Playboy magazine named her best rock drummer of the year, which ruffled some feathers at the time. Unfortunately, the singer-songwriter lost her battle with anorexia in 1983. But since Hollywood is in the midst of a trend of highlighting important musicians through cinematic portrayals, now may be the perfect time for her story and talents to go on display on the big screen.