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It’s safe to say that women haven’t always been rewarded a fair amount of screen time in Hollywood. While they definitely had a stronger presence in 2016, they still only spoke 27 percent of the dialogue in the year’s biggest films.

In 2017, there appears to not only be a slight increase in women in film, but there is clearly an abundance of female-centric films. It all began with Beauty and the Beast, but there are far more female-centric movies to come, than Disney princess flicks. With so many movies to choose from, I’ve narrowed this list down to the 5 most anticipated woman-led acton films scheduled for release this year:

Scarlett Johansson plays The Major in Ghost in the Shell from Paramount Pictures and DreamWorks Pictures in theaters March 31, 2017.GHOST IN THE SHELL

Scarlett Johansson is clearly the leading actress in Hollywood. In fact, she was the highest paid actor of 2016, and now, she is starring in the upcoming Ghost in the Shell. The movie follows a cyborg policewoman who is trying to take down a computer hacker. Scarlett has proven that she can do action in the past and now, we are ready to see her step into the leading role and kick some ass! The trailers definitely look promising to say the least; the real debate here is whether or not the movie can get people who are unfamiliar with the source material into the theaters. However, with a strong female lead, this film could make a strong mark on 2017. The movie comes out on March 31st, so make sure to mark your calendars.

WONDER WOMAN

This one seems like an obvious choice. We’ve been anxiously awaiting a Wonder Woman film in the wake of the rise of superhero movies. Gal Gadot is playing the titular character, once again, after Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Even the biggest haters can admit that she was one of the best parts of the movie. Now, DC is taking the audience back in time to see Wonder Woman’s origins, which take place in the World War I era, around 100 years ago. The film will show Diana rise up and fight alongside mankind to end the conflict in the outside world. Women and girls of all ages will finally have a female superhero to look up to! Let’s just hope this movie turns out better than DC’s previous films…

ATOMIC BLONDE

Did you enjoy John Wick: Chapter 2? If so, you should get excited for the upcoming Atomic Blonde movie. This hardcore action-spy thriller is sure to be as epic as John Wick, if not more so. Focus Features cast Charlize Theron in the lead role of Agent Lorraine Broughton after she proved to be an outstanding action star two years ago in Mad Max: Fury Road. In Atomic Blonde, we see Agent Broughton take on an impossible mission with her new partner, police station chief David Percival (played by James McAvoy). Together, they make their way through a deadly game of spies. It’s destined to be a great time at the theaters!

RED SPARROW

Most of you probably have not heard of this movie as it has stayed under the radar, has not released a trailer, and has a November release date. However, the movie stars another astonishing action actress. This time, we will see Jennifer Lawrence star in Red Sparrow, which is a spy thriller film directed by Francis Lawrence (not related to Jennifer). What is not a coincidence is that Francis directed the Hunger Games movies and is bringing his star actress back into the mix. Jennifer Lawrence is playing a Russian intelligence officer who is on a mission to seduce a Russian CIA agent (played by Joel Edgerton), who has knowledge of vital Russian intelligence. We will definitely see a bit of Mystique come out in this role while Lawrence will hopefully bring something new to the table, as well.

STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI

When people brainstorm female-centric movies, they tend to think of Wonder Woman or Atomic Blonde. However, most people are forgetting the most anticipated movie of the year has a female lead. Sure, she is not the only main character in the movie, but us Star Wars fans are extremely thrilled to see Rey’s character expanded upon. We fell in love with Rey in Star Wars: The Force Awakens and now, we will see her be trained by Luke Skywalker and finally become a Jedi knight! The Star Wars movies have had their fair share of fierce female characters such as Princess Leia and Jyn Erso, just to name a few, but Rey is about to become the best female character in the galaxy this December (RIP Carrie – we love you Carrie)!

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