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TV and film turning to young girls for its new action stars

Associated Press logo Associated Press 6/28/2017 By SANDY COHEN, AP Entertainment Writer
This image released by Netflix shows Millie Bobby Brown in a scene from, "Stranger Things." Brown portrays Eleven, who can move things with her mind and is the fascinating secret friend of a group of pre-teen boys in the fictional town of Hawkins, Ind. (Netflix via AP) © The Associated Press This image released by Netflix shows Millie Bobby Brown in a scene from, "Stranger Things." Brown portrays Eleven, who can move things with her mind and is the fascinating secret friend of a group of pre-teen boys in the fictional town of Hawkins, Ind. (Netflix via AP)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Girls may not run the world, but they are the newest action heroes onscreen.

This image released by Netflix shows Seo-Hyun Ahn in a scene from "Okja." (Jae Hyuk Lee/Netflix via AP) © The Associated Press This image released by Netflix shows Seo-Hyun Ahn in a scene from "Okja." (Jae Hyuk Lee/Netflix via AP)

The new movie "Okja," available on Netflix Wednesday, is the latest mainstream action film with a pre-teen female protagonist. Other recent examples include the film "Logan" and the sci-fi series "Stranger Things."

This image released by Twentieth Century Fox shows Dafne Keen, right, and Hugh Jackman in a scene from "Logan." (Ben Rothstein/Twentieth Century Fox via AP) © The Associated Press This image released by Twentieth Century Fox shows Dafne Keen, right, and Hugh Jackman in a scene from "Logan." (Ben Rothstein/Twentieth Century Fox via AP)

Experts say it's more than just the "Wonder Woman" effect inspiring these new action hero girls.

This image released by Oscilloscope shows Royalty Hightower in a scene from "The Fits," a film about an 11-year-old girl who learns about gender and identity through dance. (Oscilloscope via AP) © The Associated Press This image released by Oscilloscope shows Royalty Hightower in a scene from "The Fits," a film about an 11-year-old girl who learns about gender and identity through dance. (Oscilloscope via AP)

University of Notre Dame professor Mary Celeste Kearney says fictional characters are a reflection of the gender politics of different historical moments and thinks the new crop of young heroes may be inspired by a desire to see more real-life female leaders.

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