During a press conference for Iron Man 2 Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige was asked if we would see Scarlett Johansson’s character Black Widow in her own spin-off movie. He responded with:
“Definitely possible,” said Feige. “Yes, absolutely.”
Obviously this is nothing more than talk at the moment, and if a Black Widow movie were to happen people would need to respond well to the character in Iron Man 2 first.
There is also the issue of whether Scarlet Johansson can carry a movie by herself, which she hasn’t up until now, and let’s not forgot that no movie studio has put a female superhero movie into production in years. Lionsgate actually started developing a Black Widow movie back in 2004 with X-Men and Watchmen writer David Hayter on script and directing duties. As you can probably work out, the movie never happened, and Hayter revealed the reasons why earlier this year.
Essentially, the story is a young Russian girl’s parents are killed, so she’s given to the KGB to be developed into a super spy. In her early teen years, the Soviet Union crumbles, so they decide to kill her. But at that point, she’s too tough to kill, so she escapes and makes her way to America. Then, years later, we catch up with her in present day. She’s a freelance mercenary, and she’s called back to where she was brought up to face her past. What I tried to do was use the backdrop of the splintered Soviet Empire – a lawless insane asylum with four hundred some odd nuclear missile silos. It was all about loose nukes, and I felt it was very timely and very cool.
Unfortunately, as I was coming up on the final draft, a number of female vigilante movies came out. We had Tomb Raider and Kill Bill, which were the ones that worked, but then we had BloodRayne and Ultraviolet and Aeon Flux. Aeon Flux didn’t open well, and three days after it opened, the studio said, “We don’t think it’s time to do this movie.” I accepted their logic in terms of the saturation of the marketplace, but it was pretty painful. I had not only invested a lot of time in that movie, but I had also named my daughter, who was born in that time period Natasha – after the lead character in Black Widow. I named my daughter after a movie that I wasn’t working on anymore.
I suppose we can blame Aeon Flux and all the rest for killing off female superhero movies. Most of them were bad because they had the wrong creative team involved. Catwoman had more than 14 writers over the course of the scripting process which should have been a warning signal to Warner Bros. but they made the film regardless. If studios get talent people behind the camera then we could be seeing characters such as Wonder Woman and Black Widow sharing the big screen with Batman, Spider-Man and the rest of them.