Appearing on the cover of British Vogue, Margot Robbie explained why she was passionate about getting women involved in action movies. That particular genre is where the big money is in Hollywood, she said. “And then also, the perception that women aren’t interested in action is ridiculous,” she added.
It is a notion that is being proved again and again in the real world, where superhero films led by female characters, often written and directed by women, are making lots of money at the box office. In the grand scheme of things, it remains a ripple, rather than a wave, but every time a Wonder Woman or Black Widow appears to great fanfare, it feels like a step forward, not least because these franchises are evolving and adapting as time goes on.
Take Suicide Squad, the 2016 film in which Robbie first played Harley Quinn. It was a grim, bloated mess and often misogynistic; I hated it so much that I only watched its sequel, Birds of Prey, because Robbie produced and it was directed by Cathy Yan. Birds of Prey turned out to be a…