For some time now, there has been chatter that Marvel Studios is interested in making a Black Widow movie. The character, introduced in Iron Man 2, has developed a strong following and Marvel's writers have done a great job dropping tidbits about her backstory that make her quite intriguing. And yet, despite positive-sounding remarks by Marvel honcho Kevin Feige, and star Scarlett Johansson saying she'd be happy to do it, there's still no Black Widow movie on the slate.
In an interview with Variety, Johansson points to one of the main reasons why a Black Widow film hasn't happened yet. It apparently has nothing to do with a lack of interest, or a feeling that there's no story to tell. As the most ardent Marvel fans know, Feige and his fellow cinematic architects tend to have particular over-arching goals in mind. Each "Phase" of films has different themes they want to explore. For example, many have noted that Phase Two's films all focused on the idea of redemption, and of overcoming the demons we've created.
Right now, we know Marvel is actively pushing in a particular direction. Things are getting more cosmic, more supernatural, and the exact focus of Phases 3 and 4 will remain unclear until we see films like Doctor Strange, Thor: Ragnarok, and Spider-Man: Homecoming. So according to Johansson, they'd have to find a story for Black Widow that fits into whatever the larger narrative they have in mind is.
Here's her full response, with regard to a Black Widow film:
“I talked to them about it often. It would have to fit in the idea of where they want to go. I’m invested in that character. Marvel is greatly invested in that character. If I did it, I’d have to do it while I still actually wanted to wear a skin-tight catsuit. I don’t know how much longer that’s going to be.
I would like for [the movie] to happen under the right circumstances. I think there’s a lot of opportunity to mine that story line. She’s got a really rich origins story. There’s a lot of places you can go – you can bring it back to Russia. You could explore the Widow program. There’s all kinds of stuff that you could do with it. You could really uncover the identity of who this person is, where she comes from and where she’s part of.”
So, as of now, it would appear that a Black Widow film doesn't fit with where they currently want to go. Johansson also implied there that there's a bit of a time limit on how long she'll be willing to do it, so we may not see a Black Widow movie at all if they can't find a way to work it into, say, Phase 4.
Johansson did throw fans a bone, though. While discussing whether her Black Widow movie would be a prequel, she basically tells fans that if they want this movie bad enough, Marvel will probably give it to them.
"It [a prequel] is a possibility. There’s plenty of back story. Or not. It could be something else. Where do the Avengers go? They are underground. What happens then? What happens after it all falls apart? There are so many ways you can go. I think it would just have to be very much like its own specific thing. It would have to have its own specific vibe. It would have been totally different than any of the other standalone films. I think if the fans wanted it enough, then it would probably become a reality.”
Personally, if I were pitching a Black Widow movie, I'd go with a present day setting. I'd go low-budget. I'd make it a really intimate, personal, action thriller. I'd make it a John Wick-style movie, where Natasha Romanoff has to face off against someone from her past- Perhaps an old nemesis from the Widow program who has resurfaced? No super powers. No need for CG. Just Romanoff on her own, on a personal quest for revenge, or to clear some more red off of her ledger. Make it for $50 Million, release it in February, and watch the profits roll in.
So, Black Widow fans, do you want it? Tell us what you think. Tell Marvel what you think.