Despite meeting her ultimate fate in this year’s box office titan Avengers: Endgame, it looks like Black Widow has a bright future ahead of her. The one-time Soviet spy-turned-Earth’s Mightiest Hero is set to receive her own standalone film next year, and according to writer Jac Schaeffer, the flick will be unlike any superhero movie that has come before.
Schaeffer, whose very first theatrical film coincidentally opened the same weekend as Iron Man 2 – in which Black Widow first appeared – isn’t interested in telling the same ol’ formulaic superhero story we see year after year. In a new interview with Inverse, the writer reveals that she’s interested in “more sympathetic villains, less glamorization of weaponry, and stronger representation of marginalized voices,” even if it runs the risk of ostracizing closed-minded fanboys.
“I’m not interested in adhering to comic canon that is discriminatory in any way or that violates my values system… When people react with hate, it saddens me. I think it’s a shame. But that’s not where I want to put my energy. I’m not interested in the loud, sour-grapes voices.
I wasn’t a huge superhero movie fan before starting to work [at Marvel], but now that I’m doing it, there’s just so much opportunity to make big, positive statements. Especially something like Captain Marvel and Black Widow, to have these female-centered stories — I just can’t not be involved in that.”
Since she also helped write Captain Marvel and will serve as the showrunner on the upcoming Disney Plus series WandaVision, Schaeffer is leaving her mark on Marvel Cinematic Universe, opening it up for more voices and more story opportunities in hopes that what comes before won’t look like previous carbon copied comic book-fare from the past few decades. While this may irk some, it’s nevertheless exciting to see new corners of such a dense cinematic universe, and future Marvel movies will only benefit from breaking past the formula.
While Black Widow is said to have more fight scenes than any previous MCU film, Schaeffer hopes to move beyond the usual action movie gun violence and the expendable humanity therein. Considering master combatant Taskmaster will serve as its central villain, forgoing shootouts for brutal hand-to-hand battles will likely make for quite a few visually interesting action sequences.
“I would like to see alternatives to violence in superhero movies. Maybe I would qualify that by saying, alternatives to glamorizing guns and weaponry. That’s one of the reasons that I love Captain Marvel — it’s all about inner power. And the destruction is not at the expense of human life.
I choose to be a part of projects that are about positive representation. We need to see women, we need to see people of color, we need to see nuanced experiences, and we need to see different perspectives on screen. I choose to work with people who are interested in changing perspectives for the better, and putting a world on screen that is something we can aspire to and have conversations about, and moving in a direction that will create a world I hope will be better for my children.”
Directed by Cate Shortland, Black Widow is expected to follow a post-Civil War Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) as she comes to “reckon with some of the red in her ledger.” Though most of the plot has been kept under wraps, we know David Harbour will play some version of the Red Guardian, while Florence Pugh and Rachel Weisz will portray other Black Widows. Luckily, we don’t have to wait much longer to see how it all comes together, as the movie hits cinemas on May 1st, 2020.