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terça-feira, 26 de julho de 2016
Why are the women in Suicide Squad half the age of the men?
Over 40, had enough of the day job and thinking of turning it all in to be a superhero –or a super-villain? There’s good news in store… if you happen to be a man.
The mean average age of the six cast members playing the male villains in David Ayer’s Suicide Squad, an adaptation of the DC comic books, is 41.6 years.
Lead actor Will Smith, who plays skilled marksman Deadshot, is 47. Jared Leto (who plays The Joker) is 44; Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Killer Croc) is 48; Adam Beach (Slipknot) is 43 and Jay Hernandez (El Diablo) is 38, while Jai Courtney (Boomerang) is the baby of the bunch at just 30.
If you happen to be a 40-plus female, however, it’s probably best to stick to the daily grind and put away your comic book-inspired dreams. The average age of the actresses playing the three female villains in Suicide Squad – Margot Robbie, Karen Fukuhara and Cara Delevingne – is just 24.3.
Robbie, who plays former psychiatrist Harley Quinn, is 26; newcomer Fukuhara, who plays Katana, is 24, and Cara Delevingne (June Moone/Enchantress) is 23.
Of course, if you’ve visited a cinema at any point in the last 10 years, you’re probably not entirely shocked by the averages above (cunningly worked out by us with a little help from an online calculator).
In Hollywood, exciting roles for older actresses are roughly equivalent to a Snorlax or Porygon in Pokémon Go: not impossible to find, but definitely worth celebrating when one crops up.
It’s also extremely common for women to share the screen with older male co-stars. Robbie, for instance, can currently be seen in Tarzan, playing the wife of the title character – who is played by 39-year-old actor Alexander Skarsgård.
And in Marvel’s latest ensemble movie, Captain America: Civil War, 31-year-old Scarlett Johansson and 27-year-old Elizabeth Olsen are the only female members of a superhero line-up that also includes Chris Evans, 35, Robert Downey Jr, 51, and Jeremy Renner and Paul Bettany, both 45. The presence of absent Avenger Chris Hemsworth, who is 32, would have evened things up, but only slightly (and let’s not forget that fellow absent Avenger Mark Ruffalo is 48). Factor in the film’s other male superheroes, played by Andrew Mackie, 37, Don Cheadle, 51, Chadwick Boseman, 39, Paul Rudd, 37 and Tom Holland, 20, and you end up with a mean of 40. The mean age of the (two) female superheroes is 29.
Take a look at some forthcoming Marvel titles and the future doesn’t seem all that rosy for older actresses either. Benedict Cumberbatch, who is 40, will be playing the lead in Marvel’s Doctor Strange later this year, while Boseman will be starring in the studio’s Black Panther in 2017. But Marvel only has one female-led superhero movie planned as part of its phase three line-up of movies – and it’s Captain Marvel, starring 26-year-old Brie Larson.
Refreshingly Gal Gadot, who plays Wonder Woman in Warner Brothers’s DC movies (including her own forthcoming standalone movie), won’t be the youngest member of the 2017 Justice League line-up. The 32-year-old will be starring alongside 33-year-old Henry Cavill, 43-year-old Ben Affleck (whose Batman is also in Suicide Squad), 36-year-old Jason Momoa, 23-year-old Ezra Miller and 27-year-old Ray Fisher.
But it’s still clear that, while modern comic book movies offer leading roles to men of all ages, only women under the age of 40 need apply for superhero positions.
In fact, out of all the current ensemble franchises, only Guardians of the Galaxy has a woman anywhere near the big four-zero as part of its core line-up (Zoe Saldana, who will reprise her role of Gamora in James Gunn’s planned sequel, is now 38).
True, Marvel did cast 55-year-old Tilda Swinton in Doctor Strange (fittingly enough, her character is called the “Ancient One”). Fifty-year-old Viola Davis, meanwhile, has a fairly meaty part in Suicide Squad, playing “badass” government official Amanda Waller, the brains behind the squad.
But why can’t film producers imagine women like Davis starring alongside Smith (who is only three years her junior) as part of a flamboyant super-villain line-up, and taking on a role equivalent to those played by Robbie or Fukuhara?
When asked about the way Suicide Squad’s costume choices sexualise the younger female cast members, in an interview with Collider,director Ayer even joked about putting Waller into a revealing costume, implicitly suggesting that such a thing would be both unlikely and/or ludicrous.
“I just wanted to see Waller in a bikini. I mean really that drove everything for me,” he said, when asked by the website’s Adam Chitwood why he chose to clad his female villains in a selection of midriff-baring/everything-baring numbers. (You can read the full interview here.)
“For me it’s, if you look at the aesthetic of comic books and you look at how the imagery of it and sort of what it means and what it drives, you have these hyper-masculine men and you have these very feminine women,” he added.
“I don’t think that it’s a contradiction to say that a woman can be traditionally attractive and feminine and very strong and a very tight dame, very aggressive. So I think that’s something you build into the characters and I think it’s also just, I think it’s a trope of the genre.”
As yet, no-one’s asked Ayer – or any of the filmmakers behind the latest batch of superhero movies – whether “attractive and feminine and very strong” is necessarily equivalent to “under 40”.
Perhaps it’s time someone did.
SUICIDE SQUAD Final Comic-Con Trailer (2016)Play!04:04