While the producers of the Ghostbusters reboot probably expected some controversy on the idea of an all-female team, the sheer level of vitriol must have been a shock. While opinions on the movie appear to be split down the middle, the idea of gender-swapping big franchises looks set to become a major trend in the years ahead.
There’s an all-female reboot of Ocean’s Eleven coming up with Cate Blanchett and Sandra Bullock, The Mummy reboot will feature a female villain, and The Expendabelles threatens to happen any day now.
There was even talk recently of what the Bond franchise would be like with a female lead, with names like Gillian Anderson and Emily Blunt being thrown around. What may surprise some people is that – while it's hardly common – some major franchises have already indulged in gender swapping in the past.
Whether the lead role switches from male to female – or vice versa – here’s a selection of movies that tried the old gender swap, with profoundly mixed results.
8. The Omen IV: The Awakening
The Omen series wrapped up neatly with the third movie, since it ended with Damien's death and all. You can’t let little details like that stand in the way of money, though, so it turns out Damien had a daughter named Delia and of course she’s a little hellraiser too.
The Awakening is a tedious last gasp for a franchise that barely got away with being a trilogy, and it doesn’t do anything especially creative with the idea of a female antichrist. It’s basically a remake of The Omen, one with a lower budget and much less flair.
The young actress playing Delia is alright in the role, but the character lacks the menace of her demonic father. The film ended dangling a hook for more sequels; nobody was dumb enough to take the bait, though.