Female superheroes have no problem kicking ass in ensemble movies, but when it comes to pitching their own solo ventures, they can’t stand up to rampant Hollywood sexism about what does and doesn’t sell. That’s the premise of this funny-but-also-too-real video from the web series Adventures of Angelfire. In Angelfire’s first adventure, the redheaded crimefighter tries to pitch her life story to the big studios, only to come up against more resistance than a vengeful rogues’ gallery.
For all that the feminist studio execs say they’re dying to do a female superhero movie, Angelfire’s only options are to be a co-lead, a victim, a love interest, or a bitch. And to add insult to injury, she isn’t even as cool as Miley Cyrus.
Angelfire’s unmasked alter ego is Alison Vingiano, who co-wrote and starred in a Her parody. The fact that it replaced Scarlett Johansson with Seth Rogen shows her knack for commenting on how men and women are portrayed differently. To that end, I got a kick out of the shot of her glumly eating a cupcake while wandering the streets of New York City.
Vingiano explains the short’s impetus, starting with her friend Jordan’s time working with a production company catering solely to female filmmakers:
Meanwhile, I had just seen Godzilla and was angry about the non-roles for women in that film. I thought Jordan’s idea was a clever, funny, feminist parody of Hollywood, so I worked with him on the script and producing the video. We filmed it before Sony announced their woman-led Spider-Man spinoff, but I imagine if Spider-Woman was a real person, this is what many of her pitch meetings would be like.
And sadly enough, Spider-Woman would probably get called “sweetheart” and “toots,” too.