The fact that this is newsworthy probably means that The Avengers will fail the Bechdel Test, but director Joss Whedon informed Sunday Herald-Sun [via Moviehole], “It is true that the movie is only going to have one female Avenger. But she will not be the only female character.” The femme Avenger is, of course, Black Widow, seen in Iron Man 2 in the form of Scarlett Johansson. It could be a relatively innocuous comment, if it turns out the ensemble superhero film will borrow one of the female leads from a prior Marvel film. For instance, Iron Man‘s Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow), Betty Ross (Liv Tyler) of The Incredible Hulk, and Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) from the upcoming Thor are all in play here.
There is room for those more knowledgeable than myself to theorize more adventurously, though. More after the jump:
A recent rumor suggests that Marvel wants Alice Eve (She’s Out of My League) for a villainous turn in The Avengers — allegedly a character lifted from the Thor storylines. If true, the prevailing theory is that Ms. Eve would be a good fit for Enchantress (pictured, right). Heck, one of the character’s aliases is Helen Eve! Coincidence? Umm… yes.
But that info is far from definitive. So if we toss it, ScreenRant makes a compelling case for Sharon Carter (pictured, below), a “kick-ass” S.H.I.E.L.D. agent linked to Captain America. She is the descendant of Peggy Carter, the love interest played by Hayley Atwell in Captain America: The First Avengers. If Atwell is good enough in the Captain’s solo film that we don’t want to leave her behind in the past, maybe we could recast her as her own niece Sharon. (Too Zemeckis?)
It’s worth noting that, out of all the men in Hollywood, few have quite the feminine touch of Whedon. His Buffy the Vampire Slayer was so rich with feminist exploration that there is a entire subsection of gender studies (“Buffy studies“) devoted to the show. You wouldn’t find me complaining if there was suddenly a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent by the name of Faith (weapon of choice: the stake).
I’ll leave you with Whedon’s follow-up remarks on his approach to adapting the comics:
“It will be a new story that has many things from different arcs of the comics in it. There is no one Avengers story that you can just do the way that you can do the origin of Spider-Man. You really have to cull from the original and The Ultimates, which is one of the Avengers titles.”