Scarlett Johansson introduced Black Widow in "Iron Man 2," and she returned in "The Avengers," "Captain America: The Winter Soldier," "Age of Ultron," and the new film "Captain America: Civil War," opening May 6. Black Widow has become a fan favorite character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but if you check out the busy slate for Phase Three, there are movies for Doctor Strange, Thor, Spider-Man, Black Panther, Ant-Man and the Wasp, and Captain Marvel, plus another Guardians of the Galaxy Movie and two "Avengers: Infinity War" films. But no Black Widow standalone movie.
Since Robert Downey Jr. just hinted that maybe he'd be willing to do a fourth "Iron Man" movie after all, it seems high time to address the bigger question: When is Black Widow going to get a first movie?
Collider had a Black Widow chat with "Civil War" directors Anthony Russoand Joe Russo, who also directed "The Winter Soldier" and will next take on both "Infinity War" films. First, the brothers talked about not having anything lined up beyond "Infinity."
Joe Russo: "It's so hard to say because we're working through 2019, which is a long way from now. So it's very difficult to say what our headspace will be like then and what we'll be interested in, whether we'll still be invigorated to keep working on larger stories, or whether we'll want to do some smaller stories, what the business is going to be."
Anthony: "I will say this: Our experience with Marvel has been amazing and we really do feel like we're in our creative sweet spot there. So it's definitely a place that we'll always think about."
Joe: "One of the great things about Marvel is that they like to marry genre, and who knows where it's going to go from here. You have to keep varying up the storytelling to surprise audiences. I think there are going to be some fun surprises in store over the next few years, so..."
On that note, Collider asked what it will take to get a Black Widow solo film.
Anthony: "It's a no-brainer, right?"
Joe: "I don't think [it'll take] much. I think it's just a function of where on the slate it goes. She's a badass."
If these guys are free after 2019, can't they schedule it for 2019? Would that work for Scarlett, who is the most important player in this question? It seems like a long way away, especially if they do a prequel origin story for Black Widow, but really any time -- and any director -- would be fine. She has earned it.
Here's some fascinating history on the comic book character, from Marvel.com:
Natalia "Natasha" Romanova was apparently orphaned as a child when she was trapped in a burning building during an early attack on Stalingrad by enemy forces. Ivan Petrovitch Bezukhov, a Soviet soldier, found Natasha in the inferno and rescued her. Although Ivan kept a close eye on Natasha as she grew, by the late 1930s she had attracted the attention of Soviet intelligence, which began her training. In 1941, she was almost brainwashed into serving the ninja clan the Hand, but was saved by Ivan, Logan (James Howlett, later Wolverine) and Captain America.
Following World War II, Natasha was recruited to become part of the Black Widow Program, a team of elite female sleeper agents. Among the Widow's instructors was the Winter Soldier, formerly Captain America's sidekick Bucky (James Barnes); Natasha studied as a ballerina to cover for her true occupation. The Soviet state eventually arranged for Natasha to marry Alexi Shostakov, a champion test pilot. After a few years of a happy marriage, the KGB faked Shostakov's death in a rocket test; grief for Shostakov drove Natasha's resolve deeper and she continued her education with the Red Room Academy, finally being appointed the title of the Black Widow.
If they do a Black Widow solo film, should it be an origin story, or go in a different direction?
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Political pressure mounts to install a system of accountability when the actions of the Avengers lead to collateral damage. The new status quo deeply divides members of the team. Captain America (Chris Evans) believes superheroes should remain free to defend humanity without government interference. Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) sharply disagrees and supports oversight. As the debate escalates into an all-out feud, Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) must pick a side. Read More