The Man-gnificent 7: A Study of Reboots

Reboots and sequels have been dominating the box office since the idea of them first became popular, but with so many upcoming of these films featuring such female heavy casts, the outcry online about reboots became unavoidable. Most recently, this can be see with Mad Max: Fury Road (2015), Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015), and Ghostbusters (2016), which led to male “fans” of each respective franchise claim they would boycott the movie for whatever reason. Now, following this trend is the reboot of the Ocean’s Eleven franchise, Ocean’s Eight, starring Sandra Bullock and Cate Blanchett.

Cast of Ocean’s Eight

Ocean’s Eight is still on the very early casting stages, so we are yet to see any major protest, but there is no doubt it will come. Funnily enough, even with these movies causes men to boycott, they have all done shockingly well at the box office. The Force Awakens is the number three worldwide highest grossing movie, and Ghostbusters has almost made $200 million worldwide. Those are not the makings of unsuccessful movies, and if Ocean’s Eight follows the same trend, I look forward to watching yet another fantastic story filled with more than one female character — and more than one woman of colour.

Continuing the trend of reboots is the upcoming Magnificent 7. While the movie has an undeniably great cast, much like in the original the main seven characters are all still men. It’s 2016. There are millions of movies with a male dominated cast, and the original was made in 1960, of course there were minimal women in it. There is absolutely no reason why at least one woman couldn’t have been cast as a one of the magnificent seven. Am I asking for an entirely female cast of the most? Well, yes, but that’s not the point. While I don’t expect the movie itself to flop with the bare minimum of women in the cast, I do think they easily could have capitalised on the female reboots that are happening at the moment. Hell, even if it did flop, the outrage of the offended male fans would give it enough publicity that people would actually go and see the movie. In fact, that exactly what happened with Mad Max: Fury Road.

The men of the Magnificent 7

So many men complained about it, labelling it a movie that shoves feminist morals down your throat, that people actually stopped and thought, ‘hang on, what’s this movie about?’ or at least, that sure as hell what happened with me. I had zero interest in seeing it, having never seen a single Max Mad movie, a reboot meant nothing to me. When I heard that men were coming out of it furious, I immediately bought a ticket to see what the fuss was about. To this day, Mad Max Fury Road remains one of my favourite movies.

Furiosa from Mad Max: Fury Road

In 2015, only 10% of movies had women in lead roles. It’s easy for some people — from fans to studio executives — to jump up and down claiming that movies with lead women don’t sell tickets, but if they don’t exist, of course they can’t sell tickets. The Bechdel Test is a popular way of seeing how media handles its female characters, for a film to pass, there must be: at least two named, female characters, who talk to each other, about something other than a man. 10% of the 6,644 movies reviewed do not meet any of the criteria at all. Representation in the media something that is taken for granted by a lot of people, and despite the slow progression towards a change, people are still rejecting it with every step forward. Women make up over 50% of the population, it should be surprising that we want to see ourselves represented

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