The Marvel Cinematic Universe has grown immensely since its humble beginnings with 2008’s Iron Man. Since then, phases of films have been planned and released which span around 4 years per phase. Captain America: Civil War has begun the third phase of films and, although there are a ton of exciting solo and ensemble movies planned, one thing is missing: a Black Widow solo movie. Scarlett Johansson's Black Widow has been in the universe since Iron Man 2 and, although she’s a captivating and complex character, she has yet to be slated for her own movie. Kevin Feige, the president of Marvel Studios, recently spoke regarding which characters might be receiving the solo treatment in Phase Four.
Of the characters that you’ve just mentioned I would say certainly the one creatively and emotionally that we are most committing to doing is Black Widow. We think she’s an amazing character. We think Scarlett Johansson’s portrayal of her is amazing. She’s a lead Avenger and has amazing stories in her own right to tell that we think would be fun to turn into a standalone franchise.
This statement, which comes to us from Deadline does make sense. Black Widow is one of the most significant members of The Avengers, and Scarlett Johansson certainly has enough starpower to warrant an impressive box office outcome, so what’s the holdup?
One of the issues which might have contributed to the lack of a Black Widow movie is the strange mix of fluidity and concrete plans in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Marvel Studios usually announces phases as a whole, complete with titles, logos, and release dates for each upcoming film. However, we’ve seen things become a bit more fluid with Phase Three, as a handful of new movies have already made it to the lineup. These exceptions are Spider-Man: Homecoming, and Ant-Man and the Wasp. Of course, Marvel and Sony’s legal battle over Spider-Man as a character has only recently resolved, and Ant-Man’s success almost demanded a sequel. Perhaps Marvel only leaves a few open slots after the original announcement, and those went to Spidey and Ant-Man.
While Black Widow has yet to receive her own standalone film, she’s been a major character in a bevy of MCU films. In addition to her standout roles in each Avengers flick, she also appeared in Iron Man 2 and Captain America: The Winter Soldier. And the latter, which some still maintain is the most quality MCU film thus far, had Black Widow as a starring role. She was on the full adventure with Captain America, and the two seemed to have a spark of romance. In Phase Three, she’ll have major roles in Civil War, and both Infinity War films. Adding a Black Widow movie would make a fourth go for Scarlett Johansson's Black Widow, which may be too much of a good thing.
Regardless, it’s clear that Black Widow needs a solo movie as soon as possible. While Phase 3 definitely has too many films to add another, Phase 4 seems like a logical choice to give Natasha Romanoff her time to shine. Black Widow is an extremely layered and complex character, whose secrets and past are still a mystery. She could easily have a movie set in the current timeline, or one set in the past; this would illuminate the places she’s been and crimes she has committed.
You can currently see Black Widow kicking ass and taking names in Captain America: Civil War, now in theaters.