Who run the world? Girls. This is becoming more evident as time goes on, with the resurgence of third wave feminism and strong female pop albums. Outside of the realm of the pop music scene, girl power is also standing out in a major way in the movie world. Films that were once led by famous male actors are now being remade to star female actors and comedians, which brings a new perspective to something that is already known to and loved by a different audience.
One of the movies that established this as a trend is the “Ghostbusters” remake that premiered in 2016 starring Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones. The remake, directed by Paul Feig, drew mixed reactions from fans and critics alike. Those who had a negative take on the movie felt that the inclusion of females in the leading roles of the film didn’t contribute anything new to the plot.
Many fans disagree with statements like these, and this is where I fall with the movie as well. People who viewed the film in a positive light felt that the film showed young female fans that women could be empowered and be their own heroes. Three out of the four leads in “Ghostbusters,” keeping with the plot of the original, are scientists. Though this movie is by no means a main contributor to young girls being interested in the STEM field, it may have put the idea in their heads which is just as important.
Many superhero movies in the past, such as the old “Spider-man” films center around the old damsel-in-distress trope that moviegoers know all too well, and the female-centered movie trend starts to bring some of that power back to those who were powerless at one point. It brings the focus from women who are in peril and helpless to women who are strong and are sticking up for themselves.
After “Ghostbusters” was released, a reimagining of the “Ocean’s” franchise was announced. “Ocean’s 8,” set to release in 2018, features a powerhouse female-cast of traditional actresses and some surprising choices. The film is set to star Anne Hathaway, Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Helena Bonham Carter, Rihanna, Mindy Kaling, Sarah Paulson and Awkwafina in the lead roles.
Fans got a sneak peak of the film in January 2017 when a photo of the leading ladies of “Ocean’s 8” on a New York subway train was released, giving fans a taste of what is to come from the heist-film. Though a trailer has not been released, fans already have an idea of what the basic plot of the movie will be. “Ocean’s 8,” in the typical style of the franchise, will follow the leading ladies through a heist of the Met Gala in New York City.
“Ghostbusters” was not the first movie to feature a primarily female cast, and “Ocean’s 8” will hopefully not be the last. The trend of female-led movies is an important one, as it gives visibility and flips the script on what is typical in American cinema.