Following up on a recently released interview in which he called creating female lead superhero films a struggle due to "intractable" sexism in the film industry, Avengers: Age of Ultron director Joss Whedon has since clarified his comments. Admitting that he knew a Captain Marvel film was in development at Marvel at the time he made the comments - before the now confirmed film was announced, Whedon said that, at the time, he "was not expecting the film to gain any traction."
Whedon went on to say that he felt Guardians of the Galaxy's massive success may have helped push the Captain Marvel film to production, quipping “Well, let’s put it this way: if a raccoon can carry a movie, then [Marvel executives] believe maybe even a woman can.”
Whedon also reiterated his belief that movies like the phenomenally successful Hunger Games franchise would contribute to the push to see female lead action and genre films, saying “The superhero story - and I do consider [the YA adaptations] to be superhero stories - it doesn’t have to be about one tortured billionaire. It can be a girl and her community, her crushes, her fears. We can evolve the genre more quickly if we come at it from different ways.”
Finally, when asked if he would throw his hat in the ring to direct 2018's Captain Marvel film, Whedon was careful to say he would "never rule anything out," but downplayed the likelihood, stating that he needed "to do something that I create myself. It’s been way too long since I created a universe." Whedon also cited his inexperience and unfamiliarity with Captain Marvel as probable reasons he would not be involved.
Though no news of an cast or crew has been announced, Captain Marvel has been scheduled for release on July 6, 2018. Whedon's next film, the blockbuster sequel Avengers: Age of Ultron, opens on May 1st.