It’s the question every Marvel fan (and every ScarJo fan, heyooooooo) has been asking for the better part of the last 5 years. The answer we are given each time is a variation of “We’d love to do a Black Widow solo movie, but we just don’t have time/can’t fit it into our filming schedule right now – but we’re working on it!”
Marvel’s general strategy when faced with criticism about its lack of female representation seems to be ‘make a vague statement about how much we love women and our female characters, then back away slowly and commit to nothing’. Back in 2013, Kevin Feige, head of Marvel Studios, was asked outright if there would be a female solo movie in the future (literally any female character, not just Black Widow) and he responded with “I know we have numerous exciting female heroes … frankly, you can look at what Jane Foster does in [Thor: The Dark World], look at Pepper Potts literally saving the day and defeating the bad guy in Iron Man 3, and I’d say we already have great female heroes that are showcased and play major roles in our universe now” (source).
In 2014, Feige changed tactics and said that “It can certainly be done. I hope we do it sooner rather than later. But we find ourselves in the very strange position of managing more franchises than most people have…” (source)
Evidently giving into fan pressure (but probably more likely the fact that DC and Warner Bros. announced a Wonder Woman solo film), Marvel then announced its first solo female film, Captain Marvel, another extremely popular female character. So now the only thing stopping Marvel from making a Black Widow movie is timing, right? If we have one female led film, we can surely have a few more? Find room for it amongst all of the other films?
Enter your friendly neighbourhood Spiderman. Marvel studios bought back the rights to Spiderman from Sony, immediately announced excitedly that Spidey would be be finding a place in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) and proceeded to push back the release dates for several new hero films, including Captain Marvel and Black Panther (Marvel’s first film with a person of colour as lead), to make room for him (source).
How is it you can move heaven and earth to make room for a male character who has 5 films and has been rebooted once already, but not for a female character whose solo film is so fucking overdue I got tired of waiting and wrote a screenplay myself? Its like you don’t give a shit about your female characters or your fans, and only care about making money. Weird.
If its money you want, Marvel, here is a list of reasons why a Black Widow solo movie would be a box office hit (I can’t believe I have to spell this out for you oh my god):
- Scarlett Johansson
Bae is super hot, super talented, and we know she can hold her own as a lead, in both drama (Lost in Translation, The Nanny Diaries) and in action (Lucy). Her portrayal of Black Widow so far has been scene-stealing. The infamous manipulation scene between her and Loki in the The Avengers (2012) was arguable the best scene of the film. Captain America: Winter Soldier should have been renamed Black Widow and her Beef-Cake Squad Saves the Day. What makes you think people would not want to pay money to see ScarJo kicking ass and taking names in her own film?
2. Origin Story
Black Widow’s origin story is literally the most interesting and entertaining of all of the current Avengers on film, as well as being one that is so fucking easy to translate to film any idiot could do it (ie. me). Growing up brainwashed in a KGB facility only to eventually break out and take revenge, its basically a Bourne movie with a hotter lead (sorry Matt Damon). And there are now 4 Bourne films, with a fifth in the works. You can put a Norse God who lives in a castle in space across a rainbow bridge on film, but you can’t make a spy movie?
3. Expansion of multiple backstories
Do you love Hawkeye? See how they met, and how he convinced her to come work for S.H.I.E.L.D. Do you love the Winter Soldier? Him and Black Widow totally did the diddly do back in the day. Do you love Agent Carter and those scenes with Dottie, the super creepy secret agent who was brainwashed in a secret facility along with other little girls? Welcome to the Red Room, homies! A Black Widow film would fill in so many gaps that currently exist in the MCU.
4. Its. What. We. Want.
Please treat yourself to these links:
Literally no one asked for a film of Snorkeldink Cunningsnatch as a white washed Doctor Strange. No one. And don’t even get me started on the severe lack of Black Widow merchandise, despite the fact we keep being reassured that she is main player in the MCU, and a member of the Avengers.
Its 2015, and Marvel still doesn’t get that 46.67 % of comic book fans are female.
Where is our Black Widow movie?