There's an interesting turn happening in the superhero genre of movies. After years of films fronted by male heroes, women are finally getting their chance at the spotlight. With Wonder Woman being a massive box office success-and a sequel on the way--there is also a movie for Captain Marvel in production, while Ant-Man and the Wasp is elevating its female lead.
There's one superhero franchise, though, that is putting its female hero front-and-center, over her male counterpart. In Disney/Pixar's Incredibles 2, the roles have been reversed. While in the first movie, it was Mr. Incredible who was sent off to relive his superhero glory, this time, it's Elastigirl's turn. This movie finds her becoming the public face for all supers. It's important to the film, but also sends a powerful message to young viewers who still aren't used to seeing a female hero taking charge and leading the way.
"You would kind of go 'Wow, do we really need that message?' But yeah, we do," Holly Hunter, who voices Elastigirl, tells GameSpot. "We need that information, we need to see... we need those images. We need those stories of women doing this kind of thing."
Of course, a strong female hero is nothing new to the Incredibles franchise. The first film, released in 2004, was sure to show just how powerful Helen--Elastigirl's real name--and her daughter Violet were.
"We had strong women before strong women were cool," writer-director Brad Bird jokes. "It's not like [Helen's] character's changing. Violet was a strong character. [Edna] was a strong character. I think that that was just a natural extension. It wasn't like we were sitting here going, 'Here's a political statement that we want to make.' It was more like, 'This will screw Bob up. This will be fun to watch.' That's more the motivation of it. It's exploring the characters and having fun with it."
Producer John Walker agrees, adding, "Elastigirl says in the first film, 'Leave the saving of the world to the men? I don't think so.' There's nothing in the second film that wouldn't have worked completely fine in the first one 15 years ago."
However, there is one thing about Helen in the new movie that's very different from the first Incredibles. Viewers are going to see what Elastigirl the solo hero is like--much as they did with Bob's Mr. Incredible sting in the last film.
"They do it differently from, I mean, Helen does it very differently from Mr. Incredible," Hunter teases. "Their styles are totally, completely different problem in terms of solving problems. Helen is hired because she's gonna wreak less collateral damage, and I do think that's the thing that I like best about the portrait of her. Is how cool she is."
"She's jumping on her motorcycle and she's going up the sides of buildings, and doing these great... You hear the excitement for it, in her voice," Walker says. "She's getting to do this thing she feels she was born to do."
Incredibles 2 is in theaters on June 15.