Black Widow is a name with a notable legacy within Marvel comic book lore. Many women have carried that moniker, including Claire Voyant – one of the earliest costumed, super-powered women to appear in comics. While cinema audiences today associate the name with a cat-suited Scarlett Johansson, Black Widow has also been the name of not only a mystical being possessed by Satan, but also a Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. who was the ex-wife of Nick Fury. She’s even been a serial killer with cannibalistic tendencies.
But, for fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe – and indeed, comic book movie fans everywhere – the version of Black Widow we see on the big screen today has come to be a symbol of female determination and capability. Within that movie franchise, through films of varying quality, she’s evolved into a complex character, whose loyalty and choices can determine the outcome of the fiercest battles. She has a rich history that’s still being revealed, even after so long, and a dynamic relationship with each of her avenging colleagues.
So, we cannot help but wonder – in terms of solo movies, where’s Black Widow? Why has she thus far been unable to break out of the ranks of supporting character? That’s a question which remains unanswered, unfortunately, but if Stan Lee is to be believed, things may soon change.
Speaking at Supanova Comic Con in Brisbane, Australia this weekend, the comic book legend dropped a bombshell when he told fans that “one day there will be a Black Widow movie.” He didn’t say anything more than that, but if anyone knows what Marvel Studios’ future plans are it’s Lee and if he’s saying we’re getting a solo outing featuring Scarlett Johansson’s kickass Avenger, then we’ve got no reason not to believe him.
There’s also the fact that there’s recently been talk of Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi taking a stab at the character. He’s already expressed an interest in collaborating with Marvel again in the not-so-distant future, and if the stars align and Waititi’s placed in control of a Black Widow spinoff, he’d seemingly uncover the “funny version” of Miss. Romanoff’s harrowing backstory.
In a recent interview, he said the following:
In all honesty, I reckon I could probably bring something pretty unique to any of the franchises. So, I’d love to see Black Widow. [I’d like to see] Black Widow as something crazy and a bit funnier than we expect it to be. Because we know her story and it’s very sullen and very dark and her history is very dark. But! What’s the funny version of that? What’s the more entertaining version of that?
Whether Waititi gets his wish or not remains to be seen, but if there’s one thing that’s for certain, it’s that now that Wonder Woman has finally rendered moot the age-old argument about the lack of profitability of woman-centred action movies, there really is no excuse for Marvel not to go ahead with this. The audience for a solo Black Widow film exists. The precedent for a solo Black Widow movie exists. The source material for a solo Black Widow movie exists – in abundance. All that’s required now is the will to make it.