'Guardians Of the Galaxy' Is the First Marvel Movie Written By A Woman — Let's Meet Her
It's officially official: Guardians of the Galaxy is a huge hit. It started breaking records with its midnight showings on the night of its release, and all signs point to it becoming a juggernaut that's gonna just keep on keeping on with a great soundtrack and a Harrison Ford-esque lead. It should be noted, then, that Guardians of the Galaxy is the first Marvel movie written by a woman — and Nicole Perlman's a lady you should really be getting to know right about now.
A woman won over by rocket science and science fiction at a young age, Perlman's being profiled all over the place right now for having co-written Guardians with the film's director, James Gunn. In fact, she was the one who pitched a Guardians movie to Marvel in the first place. So here are some things you should know about Perlman and her path to becoming a landmark woman in Marvel's history:
She came to Marvel as a Blacklisted screenwriter
The Blacklist is the annual, highly-regarded list of unproduced screenplays producers in Hollywood are most enamored with. Perlman's Challenger script landed her on the very first Blacklist — and then led her into the Marvel Writing Program.
Choosing Guardians as the project to pursue made a lot of sense
Both as a longtime space adventure lover and from the perspective of understanding that Marvel had a keen interest in expanding into their vast space catalogue. As she told Buzzfeed:
I had been doing all these very specific, science-y, historical pictures. But I wanted to get into this larger realm of science fiction and more fun, action-packed movies. [...] There was a little of this, like, ‘You’re a cute a lovely girl! How are you going to write a big action masculine movie?!’
And as she told TIME:
I think they were a little taken aback when I chose Guardians, because there were ones that would make a lot more sense if you were a romantic-comedy writer or something like that.
She literally got her interest in science and space from rocket scientists
Her father would host a science-fiction book club that counted among its members many employees of the aeronautics companies based in the area. The rocket scientists would come to her house and discuss their favorite books; noticing her interest, her father bought the 15-year-old Perlman copies of physicist Richard Feynman’s two autobiographies.
She's very aware of how her gender affects society's perceptions of her abilities
As she told TIME:
I like to think I can be just as good at blowing up things as I am at crafting relationships between characters. I went out of my way to try and tell a story that was a little more unusual because I didn’t want to bring anything that was weak to the table as a female writer. You don’t want to be a woman writer about whom people could say ‘a woman can’t write science fiction.’ I think that in that way it very much spurred me to do the best work that I could. But I didn’t add more romance because I was a woman or anything like that.
And she's optimistic about what her success with Marvel means to the company's cinematic future (and for her career, as well)
Working with Marvel has opened people up to the idea that women are capable of doing projects in this realm. More are doing it and it's just a matter of time. [As far as my own career,] I've begun to be offered projects of a larger scale that I wouldn't have ordinarily been on the list for.
I know I'm mixing franchises here, but may the force be with this one. We need more of her.