Should women replace men in film?

men replace women in films

It has become a trend in recent years to remake films that are heavily-dominated with male actors, to include more  female characters. Sometimes the characters are just given to a female actor, such as Doctor Who or Ghostbusters.

The problem of remaking films to include women is that everyone inevitably compares it to the original. The critics scrutinise the film more harshly (potentially) as they view the project as female actors taking a risk by playing a “man’s part”. And then, out come the online trolls.

Instead I think we need to view these kind of films as a new piece of work that give a nod to the older film, rather than making a direct comparison. Ocean’s 8 is such a great example of this.

I went to see the film last week despite reviews saying it was slow, a let down, or one critic just said it didn’t make enough of the incredible actresses in the film.

There was nothing wrong with the film.

It was fast, gripping and had great acting. Yes the story was slightly rushed in places mainly because otherwise it would have been a 5 hour film going into the details of the heist. But was it a bad film? Not at all.

The film has some of my favourite actors in it and I was always going to support women in film, but it was a great film.

Did the film suffer because the cast was female? Not at all. If anything I found it was more interesting and exciting to watch as some of the best actors work together.

But it left me thinking, should we avoid casting women in men’s roles? Should women not replace men in their roles on film?

Definitely not.

We do need to change how we view these kinds of projects though.

It isn’t a risk to remake a film to include women. It also doesn’t need to be viewed as a feminist bra-burning project. It should be viewed a s homage to the original, but a great entity in itself. These films also prove that women do exactly what men do AND they do just as well.

For the female population it’s kind of reassuring, as we already knew we could do everything that men can, so thank you for reflecting that in the movies we are watching.

I obviously support the shift to have more women in film. There are millions of female actresses and a hefty lot of film and social stereotypes need updating or completely eradicating. We need to see women fight, run, sing, dance, swear as much, if not more than men in film, mainly because we’re establishing that women can fight, run, sing, dance, swear as good or as awfully as anyone else.

The first time I saw Wonder Woman I cried, at several different points, not because it was said, but I have never seen a woman lead an army of men into a battlefield. I have also not seen a whole army of men follow a woman into a battlefield. Yes she is almost naked and that is her “costume” but generally the film shatters some difficult stereotypes by satirising them, or simply by portraying the opposite to the stereotype to show women that are well rounded and believable. It’s made great headway to get to where we want to be with women in film, I just can’t wait to see other women with more clothes and no superhero powers achieve the same.

should men replace women in film
Wonder Woman outfit on display in LA.

I actually saw the WW’s costume at Warner Brother’s Studios Hollywood last summer.

I’m proud to be apart of a generation where women have more of authority and respect than previous generations – even if sometimes it really doesn’t feel like it. Nothing’s perfect, but I’m glad films & TV shows are becoming more female dominated with interesting and complex female characters.

I guess it’s all part of redefining what it means to be feminine, and this understanding relies heavily on the influence of the media, and the new films we all flock to go and see.

The Disney Princesses of my age were stick-like women with rosy cheeks that dreamt of falling in love, and then did. Whereas in Disney now spells are broken by the love of a sister, or a family. Their features and thoughts and morals are more realistic and relatable to society, portraying gay relationships, female insecurities, and the pig-headed men as opposed to solely a “charming” prince.

What’s missing for me though is the original writing of great female characters, which is difficult to get right, but it doesn’t mean it isn’t happening.

I loved Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri and Frances McDormand’s performance was spectacular. Black comedy is the greatest form of comedy, in my opinion, especially when it’s done well like August: Osage County or aspects of Silver Lining’s Playbook. It’s a great way to deal with the darker or more depressing aspects of life. All those scripts or plays and books have very unique complicated women featuring in them, all we need is more of them.

So let’s not stop at Ocean’s 8 or Ghostbusters or Doctor Who.

Let’s remake every sodding film if we want to, just for the fun of it, but let’s not forget to continue to write relatable honest pictures of femininity in complicated women in film, TV and Theatre.

Do you think women should replace men in film?

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