When "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2." toys hit stores, fans won't be left asking, "Where's Gamora?" Speaking to ScreenRant and other reporters, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige promised that "Guardians of the Galaxy's" female characters -- including Gamora, Nebula, Mantis and Ayesha -- will be represented in the film's merchandising.
Asked whether or not the female characters of "Vol. 2" will be better represented, Feige said, “That was very frustrating for us, because we see it from the other side, right. When I say we, I mean the filmmakers, because we’re presented with the stuff that’s being made, and there’s, I don’t know if there’s an absolutely equal sampling, but Black Widow was all over that. Gamora was all over that stuff. What we don’t see is how much of it is in any given store. How easy is one piece of merchandise to find versus another piece of merchandise."
"So, we see the stuff and we go, oh great, these are all our characters, they’re all great represented, they’re all going to be sold, and then we find out, oh, you can’t find this, you can’t find that, or there’s lunch boxes or a backpack where a certain character is not on it, and I think the outrage was great, because that’s not going to happen anymore," he continued. "And that was one of our big things we set out to do and was very important to James [Gunn] as well, was putting, as we did in the first film, with a number of characters, even more so this time, putting women at the forefront of the story.”
“We can’t have sway over what a retail store, how many items of what they want to stock on a shelf, but when toy sets come over, or t-shirt designs come over, if they’re not represented properly or representative of the film, we’re not even saying is the equality of each gender specific, we’re going does it represent the movie we’re making, and if it doesn’t, we send it back until it does,” he added.
Last June, director James Gunn also addressed the topic of female characters in "Vol. 2's" merchandising. "I’ve been on this 100% from the beginning of Vol 2 making sure our primary female characters are represented in toys," he Tweeted at the time.
This all comes as a response to previous criticism that female characters are excluded from toy lines. The availability of toys for “Star Wars: The Force Awakens'” lead character Rey was a topic of discussion early last year. Similar conversations have centered on Marvel’s Black Widow, and the #WheresGamora tag became popular on Twitter and Tumblr when “Guardians” debuted in 2014.
Opening May 5, 2017, “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” is directed by James Gunn and stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Glenn Close, Pom Klementieff, Elizabeth Debicki and Kurt Russell.