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Demand for a female-fronted superhero movie has been growing, pitting DC and Marvel in a contest to finally commit to a Wonder Woman, Black Widow or Ms. Marvel movie. But could a new contender for the director's chair have just stepped up the pressure to make one of these happen?
Vanity Fair reports Game of Thrones' helmer Neil Marshall is hot to helm a Black Widow movie. In an engaging interview, Marshall was asked if he'd be interested in taking on a superheroine movie. At first, he was cautious in his consideration, offering:
" I think I’d like to do a big movie with a strong female lead, whether or not she would be a superhero. I’m more interested in characters like Scarlett Johansson in Lucy. I’m less interested in people with superpowers because I can’t identify with them. Very rarely do they get killed off, and when they do get killed off, chances are they’re going to be back . . . somehow. Yes, I’d love to do a big splashy movie with a great female lead, but it has to be someone I can believe in."
Interviewer Joanna Robinson linked Lucy's leading lady to her Avengers's ties, and asked directly if Marshall might consider a Scarlett Johansson-fronted Black Widow feature. This idea clearly thrilled Marshall, who responded:
" I would love to do a Black Widow movie. That’s perfect. I would love to do that. That character is really interesting, she doesn’t have any superpowers, she just has extraordinary skills, and the world that she comes from, being this ex-K.G.B. assassin, I find that really fascinating, yeah."
In this soundbite, Marshall distills part of the reason Black Widow has proved such a fascinating addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But add her killer skills (both literal and figurative) Black Widow's dark backstory, complicated relationship with her peers, devastating and dark wit with the sex appeal and star power that Johansson possesses, and we're left wondering why the hell Marvel hasn't pulled the trigger on a Black Widow movie already!?
We know Marvel has dabbled with the idea as Guardians of the Galaxy screenwriter Nicole Perlman has admitted she was contracted to write a treatment for the pic back in 2010. Could a Black Widow movie be a part of the mysterious slate of unnamed projects that Marvel has lined up through 2020? Considering she's been popular enough to loop into Captain America: The Winter Soldier, it seems a possibility. Plus, she was on a moviegoer survey meant to weigh the interest of fans.
But Marvel's main mouthpiece Kevin Feige has been infuriatingly vague on whether or not the studio is earnestly pursuing a superheroine pic, let alone clarifying if it'd be Black Widow's solo project. Perhaps the interest of a director as talented and established as Neil Marshall might be enough for Marvel to either commit or confess that Black Widow is coming. To his credit, Marshall has directed a string of thrilling films, from Dog Soldiers and The Descent to Doomsday. But Game of Thrones might be his best showing yet. And it's worth noting that Marvel has pulled from the series' directors pool before, selecting Alan Taylor for the helm of Thor: The Dark World. You know what they say about one good turn. Besides, we know Scarlett Johansson is game. Make it happen, Marvel!