With Wonder Woman blowing away box-office projections with a $103 million opening weekend ($240 million worldwide), other films with female leads lingering in development hell may be likely to get the green light from studio executives now happy to use the female-directed, female-starring tentpole movie for cover.
While the change won't be immediate - Marvel doesn't have a comparable female hero and some of the biggest male heroes from from Marvel and DC are already in the pipeline, there are plenty whose fortunes will be changed for the better.
"The Wonder Woman film will be huge...and will fast track many things - including my Painkiller Jane feature with Jessica Chastain," said Jane co-creator/comic book writer/artist Jimmy Palmiotti.
"The pendulum swings constantly, but it's not really a matter of a female-driven action film, but rather a 'good' film. It's a frustrating Hollywood stereotype to paint women heroes into a very confined corner. You have a strong lead, a good film and yes, word will get out and audiences will come," said writer/artist Billy Tucci, co-creator of Asian heroine Shi. "For Shi I seem to find myself in a constant battle to defend the idea that a modern-day samurai film should have an Asian lead and not be "too Japanese." But we are prevailing and I hope my sentiments were reinforced by the debacle of Ghost In The Shell.
So, here are the projects most likely to be greenlit soon - in order of likelihood.
1) Wonder Woman 2 - This may be announced by the time you read this. The only questions are "When is this being put on the schedule?" and "How many sequels will Gal Gadot and Patty Jenkins want to do?" Odds: 1-2
2) Batgirl - Though some rumors have this close to a done deal, in a world in which Shazam, Man of Steel 2, The Batman and The Flash have not been put on the schedule yet, nothing can be taken for granted. However, if there is one superheroine besides Wonder Woman that fans have been waiting for it is Batgirl, the daughter of Commissioner Gordon, who the public knows from the Yvonne Craig days to cartoons and multiple comic series through the ages. Toss in the fact that Joss Whedon, the man behind Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Avengers wants to helm the project - and the popularity of anything Bat-related - and this seems like a slam dunk. Odds: Even
3) Painkiller Jane is a badass who can heal from virtually anything and has already had a TV-movie and TV series, so she is a better known property than most. A film has been announced for a while now and Jessica Chastain was recently announced to star. Those who can push the project forward now have millions of reasons to make it a reality. Odds: 4-1
4) Female 'Expendables' - Sylvester Stallone, Paul W.S. Anderson and Adi Shankar all have expressed interest in bringing the "baddest" female action stars of the past few decades together for a film. Shankar, in particular, is passionate about such a project and even went so far as to cast Gina Carano and Cynthia Rothrock - before Shankar said investors wondered, "Where are the guys?"... Now, those same investors will likely ask, "Where's Gal Gadot?" Odds: 6-1
5) Black Widow - Fans have been clamoring for it. Marvel Studios head honcho Kevin Feige has even said he gets asked about a Black Widow film more than Iron Man 4. The Russo Brothers and Joss Whedon are just two big-time directors that have expressed interest in the project. Plus it has one of the biggest stars in the world, Scarlett Johansson, playing her. The one big drawback is that it has been revealed that Marvel Studios changed the villain in Iron Man 3 from female to male because of a fear that female toys wouldn't sell. So buy those Wonder Woman toys if you want a Black Widow movie! Odds: 7-1
6) Witchblade - This comic is one of only a handful that have starred a female heroine and have had 100 issues published - and is the only one besides "Wonder Woman", "Gold Digger" and "Spider-Girl" to have had 100 consecutive issues published. (None of the popular X-females, Catwoman or Supergirl have starred in 100 consecutive issues.) Witchblade is sara Pezzini, a homicide detective who prowls the lonely streets of San Francisco, until one day she finds a bracelet that gives her supernatural powers. She has already had a TV series and a film has been rumored for years. Odds: 10-1
7) Red Sonja - The horrendous 1985 film aside, Red Sonja has thrilled comic readers for close to half a century. She is one of the few female characters to star in over 100 comics total and has been the linchpin of Dynamite Comics' stable for over a decade. A well-done Red Sonja film could take the sword-fights in Wonder Woman to a whole other level. Dynamite CEO Nick Barrucci said a film was close a few years ago, until the Jason Mamoa Conan film disappointed. Wonder Woman might be enough to get the project rolling again. Odds: 15-1
8) The Pro - Like Painkiller Jane, a film adaptation of this property was announced in March by Paramount, but it is still far from a done deal. This character, a prostitute who wakes up with superhuman power, has as it's creators Garth Ennis of "Preacher" fame, Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner. Odds: 20-1
9) 'The Monolith' - Alice Cohen is an ex-junkie who inherits a house in Brooklyn from her deceased grandmother. She discovers a diary that reveals the creation of a monster in the 1930s set on revenge for the slaying of a good man With Jimmy Palmiotti - him again! - and Justin Gray among the "Monolith" creators, Lionsgate announced intentions to make a film last August. Since then, crickets. That will likely change. Odds: 20-1
10) 'Gotham City Sirens' - Another project supposedly on the fast track, but not yet on the schedule, "Gotham City Sirens" will have Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn team up with Catwoman and Poison Ivy - and Suicide Squad director David Ayer as well. With Robbie's performance a large reason Suicide Squad exceeded expectations, this seems like a no-brainer. The only reason this isn't a slam dunk is the various other DC Extended Universe films that are rumored yet not on the schedule. Odds: 20-1
11) 'Supergirl' - Very few heroines can justify or hope to match the big-budget spectacle of Wonder Woman. Supergirl can - and she can almost match her iconic status as well. With the popularity of Melissa Benoist's take on the character on the small screen, it should not be long until Warner Brothers brings some "Girl" power to the screen. Odds: 40-1
12) 'Shi' - Created by Billy Tucci, Shi is a young woman of mixed descent: Japanese and American, whose ancestry was drafted into a modern-day "shadow war" between descendants of the infamous Soheiwarrior monks of medieval Japan. Japanese culture, history and mythology are deeeply embedded in the character - and Shi literally is translated into "death" in Japanese. The character has been optioned for a film for close to two decades with Tia Carrere once having the inside track. Odds: 50-1