As Disney, Warner Bros. and Sony take a slow walk toward putting a female superhero back onscreen, writer Jordan Zakarin, director Jeff Kornberg and star Ali Vingiano have taken matters into their own hands. The trio is responsible for "A Female Superhero Pitches A Movie," a new short film about the Sisyphus-like journey of Angelfire, a female do-gooder in search of her own development deal in a world of codpieces. Released last week, the short has already racked up more than 120,000 views on YouTube.
"The response has been remarkably predictable -- really supportive and kind from bloggers who have written it up and commented on those posts, and incredibly (laughably!) sexist in a number of the YouTube comments," Zakarin, a reporter at TheWrap and former editor at HuffPost Entertainment, wrote in an email. "Lots of knuckle-dragging anti-feminist garbage, really defensive arguments about why there shouldn't be women superheroes, and some real delightful remarks about the actors involved. Aside from being sad for the commenters, we actually don't mind the comments, because they really prove our point."
Throughout the five-minute short film, Angelfire is stymied by Hollywood executives who want her to take a back seat to a male protagonist. The outlandish situation is played for laughs, but it's not that far from a reality where Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige has spent the better part of two years side-stepping questions about the studio's lack of female-led blockbusters.
"We're not dissing the Marvel movies -- they're often great! -- we just think that there's room for diversity, and that those movies would do very well," Zakarin wrote. "We think the studios will probably slowly start moving toward women superheroes because they're going to need something new. It won't be because they suddenly become progressive feminists; they're just gonna run out of tragedies to give Batman to overcome, and Wonder Woman is a better bet than a third tier DC hero."
Angelfire's attempts to score her own movie don't work, but she's not going away: Zakarin said the plan right now is to continue the character in a web series. "We're still developing it, but we think it will be a running series of fun shorts about her everyday life, as a woman and a superhero," he wrote.
Watch "A Female Superhero Pitches A Movie" below.