Recently, the trend in Hollywood has been to take an award winning and wildly popular movie and remake it with all of the male roles replaced with female characters instead. People are using these reboots as a battle cry for gender equality and women paving the way in film. But let's just call them what they really are: cop outs.
Think of your favorite childhood movie, just take a moment to think of the film you watch every weekend from the time you were eight until you were twelve, and now you watch it on rainy days. Now, imagine that they decided to remake that movie, the cornerstone of your childhood cinema experience.
You're going to feel a lot of things. You'll be excited, but skeptical. Probably really skeptical, because the first movie was great, at least in your mind, and anything other than the original probably isn't going to measure up.
Now imagine that reboot doesn't just have your childhood expectations weighing on it, but also it is supposed to prove simultaneously that women can be just as funny, tough, dynamic, etc. as men. That's a lot of pressure on an hour and thirty minutes.
And this goal, of showcasing women as capable of starring, is already side eyed by some people.
We've accepted for years that women will watch movies about men, but that men will not watch movies about women. So instead of challenging that notion directly, with great new material and scripts and premises to get lost in, we expect all women casts to scrounge up all of this from table scraps?
It's time to stop trying to force women into roles they weren't written for (yes, this is a side-eye at you, "Lord of the Flies" remake. The story is about how boarding school boys are socialized with aggression and violence) or spectacular films with cult like followings that couldn't recreate their initial popularity with the exact same characters, let alone female characters shoved into stereotypes to fit the roles.
I'm not saying that female characters shouldn't be written into already existing fictional worlds, because that would be great. But at this point, it's too little too late. Their stories are wrapped around the male centered original cast, they're standing alone in a galaxy of beloved men and their fans. The pressure of these characters is immense, and they are important, but they are a band-aid solution to a deep wound problem.
It's time to start writing stories about women that matter and then showcasing them like we have been with men since the dawn of cinema. It's time to stop assuming men won't watch movies about women, but women will watch movies just about men. It's time to give women a shot at Hollywood, with gourmet scripts instead of left overs. It's time to stop rebooting old films with all female casts.