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Gender swapping

The new Ghostbusters film is not alone, almost every week we hear of a new franchise reboot or cult film remake with a gender-swapped cast. From turning Splash into the tale of a merman to an Ocean’s Eleven reboot with a full cast of women, it appears as though Hollywood is tackling its diversity problems the way it handles everything else – when in doubt, remake.

While we here at Breaking the Glass Slipper appreciate any efforts being made towards equal gender representation on our screens, is gender swapping really the best way to go about it? What about original screenwriting to feature women? Why is Hollywood still so convinced that the market doesn’t want to see new and original stories featuring women?

Despite first appearances, gender swapping reboots don’t have to be the lazy, unoriginal approach they may at first appear to be. Switching the genders of protagonists in stories usually reserved for the opposite gender can have profound things to say about our society. There are opportunities to turn genre tropes on their head, providing roles for older women, and resetting the onscreen gender balance. Perhaps once female-helmed reboots have proven themselves at the box office, there will be greater opportunity for writers to pitch original stories with women in central roles.

During the course of this episode, we mention several interesting articles, including:

Films and TV shows mentioned in this episode include:

  • Ghostbusters
  • Ocean’s Eleven
  • The Mummy
  • The Odd Couple
  • Splash
  • The Magnificent Seven
  • The Wild Bunch
  • Wild Wild West
  • Bridesmaids
  • The Heat
  • Spy
  • Xena: The Warrior Princess
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender
  • The Legend of Korra
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
  • Battlestar Galactica
  • Alien
  • MacGyver
  • Dr Who
  • Flash Gordon
  • Friday the 13th
  • Scream
  • Saw
  • The Witches of Eastwick
  • Death Becomes Her
  • Clueless
  • Misery

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