Movie director Joss Whedon is a fan of strong female characters. Whether or not you grew up watching the TV series, "Buffy: The Vampire Slayer," the child of a feminist has had no problem casting women as the lead.
But he does have beef with Hollywood not casting enough superheroes on the big screen that don't fit the box of man saves the world and gets girl.
In an interview with The Daily Beast, Whedon, was asked why he thinks there are so few female superheroes who have made the jump to film.
“Toymakers will tell you they won’t sell enough, and movie people will point to the two terrible superheroine movies that were made and say, You see? It can’t be done. It’s stupid, and I’m hoping The Hunger Games will lead to a paradigm shift. It’s frustrating to me that I don’t see anybody developing one of these movies. It actually pisses me off. My daughter watched The Avengers and was like, ‘My favorite characters were the Black Widow and Maria Hill,’ and I thought, Yeah, of course they were. I read a beautiful thing Junot Diaz wrote: ‘If you want to make a human being into a monster, deny them, at the cultural level, any reflection of themselves.’”
Whedon has become a bit of a superhero among Hollywood directors. In 2012, he directed Marvel’s "The Avengers," which grossed $1.5 billion worldwide.
And his new film, "Much Ado About Nothing," is a retelling of the classic Shakespeare play. It also features a strong female protagonist, Beatrice.
Whedon says he didn't consciously see Beatrice as feminist icon, but just a good character. The film opens Friday, June 7.
Yet, maybe Whedon was conditioned to naturally see the strength in women. As he tells The Daily Beast, "I was raised by a hardcore feminist. I was also much smaller than my brothers and bullied a lot, so I identify with the feeling of helplessness."
But from what he calls helplessness can turn into power. Here's a short list of some of Whedon's female characters, but it does go on.
SHIELD: Agent Melinda May is a pilot and weapons expert
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Buffy
Firefly: Zoe Washburne is the First Officer of Serenity
And here's the trailer for "Much Ado About Nothing." It's not about superheroes, but you'll notice some familiar faces from Whedon's small screen shows where the women kicked ass.