Writer/director James Gunn promises that Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” will not merely meet the requirements of the Bechdel test for female representation but exceed them.
“I can’t wait for you all to see Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, with Gamora, Nebula, and Mantis in action,” he write in a Facebook post commemorating the International Day of the Girl. “[W]e not only pass the Bechdel test, but run over it and back up over it again and again in an eighteen-wheeler truck.” He also cautioned fans who might accuse him “of being an ‘SJW’ or ‘having an agenda’” that his only agenda is “telling FULL and TRUTHFUL stories, where all the characters are deeply realized.”
Named after “Fun Home” cartoonist Alison Bechdel, the rules for what’s become known as the Bechdel test first appeared in 1985 in her comic strip “Dykes to Watch Out For.” A movie passes the test if it meets the following three criteria: 1. It has at least two women in it (preferably named); 2. who talk to each other; 3. about something other than a man.
Originally intended as a joke, the test has become a part of mainstream film criticism and has been incorporated into the ratings system used by four Swedish cinemas, as well as that country’s Viasat Film cable television channel.
Gunn said he is “sick of stories where there are a bunch of fully realized male characters and one female character, whose primary characteristic is simply being ‘the girl’ or the personality-less object of some man’s affections.” He explained that his stance is not based on political correctness but “because it ‘s boring, and it’s b.s.”
The “Guardians of the Galaxy” filmmaker also critiqued the “perfect female warrior” trope as boring and one-dimensional, and said that he has done his best “as a male writer, with varying degrees of success, to bring female characters and female stories to the forefront.”
Opening May 5, 2017, “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Glenn Close, Pom Klementieff, Elizabeth Debicki and Kurt Russell.
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