Are all-female remakes really the best way to address gender inequality in film?

Inequality is a hot topic in the film industry. From the growing pay gap to limited lead roles for women, it seems that Hollywood is not stepping up to the mark when it comes to transforming the industry.  Jennifer Lawrence is one of many female actors who have vocalised their anger about the pay gap for leading movie roles, and the backlash has begun. Hollywood seems to be addressing the inequality between men and women on film– but with all female remakes of previously leading male roles. While it’s nice that Hollywood now believes that women can bring in box office cash, this all-female remake trend is really getting on our nerves and isn’t really pushing the industry forward.

 

Ghostbusters

ghosbusters-3-reboot
(variety.com)

When we heard that they were making another Ghostbusters but with an all-female cast, we waited with bated breath. Big fans of the original, it seemed that Hollywood wanted to bring the movie into the 21st century with a dazzling new line up. However the doors have since opened and closed again – it panned at the box office with an estimated $70 million loss. The original is a well-loved cult classic that really shouldn’t have been messed with.

Oceans

ocean remake
(blacksportsonline.com)

Hollywood is now talking about an all-female Ocean’s remake to bring in the crowds, but the idea of bringing back a gang of con artists that worked so well in the original – but female only – really doesn’t feel that revolutionary.

The Expendables

expendabelles
(tumblr.com)

And yes, it’s happening, the all-female remake of The Expendables titled The Expendabelles (no that isn’t a typo) includes big names such as Sigourney Weaver and Zoe Saldana. It will be out soon for us all to criticise – fingers crossed we won’t be disappointed.

 

Why are we seeing women remake iconic male film roles? It seems Hollywood is just not quite confident enough to actually write new material for women.  The likes of Bridesmaids and Pitch Perfect prove that original productions with a leading female ensemble can be lucrative for film studios, but this recent trend seems to suggest that Hollywood still has limited confidence when it comes to writing new material for women.  Perhaps brands should look at the failing box office results of the most recent release – Ghostbusters – and wake up to the need for genuine female leads – rather than remakes of male roles, or lead females who fall at their male co-stars feet.

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