– by Joseph Jammer Medina


A lot has been made lately about “Hey, where are all the female superheroes?” Both DC and Marvel have declared interest in answering that question, with DC firing the first- and most prominent shot- by casting Gal Gadot and saying she’ll appear as Wonder Woman in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice as well as her own standalone film. Meanwhile at Marvel, all we’ve ever gotten is some “We’ll see” lip service, regarding Scarlett Johannson getting a spinoff Black Widow film. 

With her stock at an all-time high, since her Lucy sent Dwayne Johnson’s Hercules home with his lion head hung low, the question of why Marvel has been so gun shy about a solo film for her has never been more pressing. One person who happens to be on the Black Widow bandwagon is Marvel’s reigning marquee star, Robert Downey Jr. 


In a chat with USA Today, Downey Jr had this to say:

Look, I think that the interesting thing particularly after Guardians with Zoe (Saldana), (or) even from the first Iron Man where Pepper was kind of this really – to me the Iron Man franchise would never have taken off without (Gwyneth) Paltrow. There’s something about her that grounded the story. She’s not your typical lady in a superhero movie, and then by Iron Man 3 she’s swallowing serums and putting on suits and kicking (butt) and all that stuff.

But switching gears and focusing more on Johannson and her butt-kicking character, Downey Jr adds:

“It would be kind of more appropriate for a character that already was like a Black Widow (to lead a movie). It just seems like whatever Scarlett does people want to go see it.”

So the soon-to-be father of a baby girl is very much onboard with a female driven Marvel film. But what about the other heroes in the group? Without even being asked, the actor volunteers that he thinks his other solo film-less brethren are ready for the spotlight:

“The funny thing is, honestly, at this point everyone deserves a franchise. I think Jeremy Renner is — when folks see the Avengers: Age of Ultron he’s just a rockstar, a bada–-. And Ruffalo is pumped. He does great (work). I’d like to hear them talk even more seriously about a Hulk franchise, because that’s been one of the toughest ones to get right. But I’m sure that my parent company is feeling expansive and and bold after the summer they’ve had.”

Expansive? Sure. But Marvel strikes me as wanting to continue to explore new ground, bringing new characters into the fold. That’s why I would consider a Hawkeyefilm unlikely. I feel like his character would be better suited for a Netflix series like the ones Marvel is creating for Daredevil and Luke Cage. Heck, even Hulk strikes me as more a TV series- updating the formula that made the 1970s Bill Bixby series such a fan-favorite.

What do you think of RDJ’s comments? Would a solo Black Widow float your boat? Or would you rather see them get series about Captain Marvel and continue to present us with new faces? 


Joseph Jammer Medina is an author, podcaster, and editor-in-chief of LRM. A graduate of Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Television, Jammer's always had a craving for stories. From movies, television, and web content to books, anime, and manga, he's always been something of a story junkie.