From A Mighty Girl and Ms Magazine:
“This summer has been abysmal in terms of women playing leading roles in Hollywood blockbusters but, as Holly Derr writes in Ms. Magazine, “Jodi Foster has a leading role in the new action movie Elysium. How’d she score it? Foster makes a point of having her agent specifically seek out leading-man scripts that can be flipped. Her role in Elysium was originally written for a man.”
Role gender-swapping is rare, Derr maintains, due to the fact that “American storytelling is still driven by the assumption that is at the heart of the Western canon: The male experience is the universal human experience, whereas the female experience is specialized, driven by biological factors, the absence of which prevents men from being able to see themselves in female characters.”
Ultimately, Derr asserts “Gender-flipping introduces the possibility that women can represent the human experience, leading eventually to more parts written for women that do that. As more creators include women characters who are complex and universal, more people will realize that this makes entertainment better, not worse. Eventually, we won’t even be surprised by it.” – Ms. Magazine
About half my scripts have female leads and half have male leads, but they all have strong and interesting female characters. Who would want to write (or read, or see) any other kind?