Stephen Colbert Has Best Response to Backlash Over Marvel Movies' Lack of Female Villains

by John Boone 12:35 PM PDT, May 18, 2016
Photo: Marvel Studios

Marvel is working to correct their lady problem: the studio hasn't released a film centered on a female superhero yet, but Evangeline Lily was promoted to title status in the upcoming sequel, Ant-Man & The Wasp, and Captain Marvel will fly into theaters in 2018.

Now, what about female villains?!

Backlash began when Iron Man 3 director Shane Black revealed the big bad of the movie was originally supposed to be a woman.

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"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," Black told Uproxx while promoting his new movie, The Nice Guys.

"We were given a no-holds-barred memo saying, 'That cannot stand...because, after consulting, we've decided that toy won't sell as well if it's a female,'" he continued. "So, we had to change the entire script because of toy making."

Black made clear that the note came from Marvel's corporate side and not Marvel Studios head honcho Kevin Feige. "The woman was essentially Killian [ultimately played by Guy Pearce] and they didn't want a female Killian," Black explained. "I liked the idea, like Remington Steele, you think it's the man but at the end, the woman has been running the whole show."

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Stephen Colbert had the best response to the controversy, arguing for more female villains in comic book movies during Tuesday's episode of The Late Show. "The Marvel Cinematic Universe is kind of a sausage fest," he said. "And I gotta say, all that spandex really showcases the sausage."

It isn't just the MCU that Colbert targets, hilariously concluding his rant by asking, “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."

The good news: Marvel had already set in motion plans to fix the female villain problem, before any of this drama began. Cate Blanchett was cast as the "baddie" opposite Chris Hemsworth and Mark Ruffalo in Thor: Ragnarok, which the latter actor told ET is "really exciting."

See more of Ruffalo's reaction to the epic Thor 3 casting in the video below.