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More than a few Marvel fans have been asking the same question over the past few years: when will we get a Black Widow film? The character has popped up in three Marvel movies thus far, and each time her role has gotten bigger and bigger. As one of the major Marvel heroes, she's been through a lot in her fifty year history. One could say she merits her own movie based on name recognition alone. The studio hasn't given the go-ahead to Black Widow just yet, though, but it looks like they've at least kicked the tires a bit.
Guardians Of The Galaxy co-writer Nicole Perlman, who has definitely made a dent in Marvel's onscreen world, took a moment on Twitter to address the Black Widow movie and reveal that, sadly, it's got no current momentum.
The fact that Marvel was interested in developing the idea, with a female screenwriter, is encouraging. Throughout her fifty years at Marvel, the Black Widow has been a spy, an Avenger, a Champion, a representative of SHIELD, a Thunderbolt and a member of Heroes for Hire. She's been a legend and a traitor, a love interest for many of Marvel's prominent heroes, a killer and a fighter. In the movies, she's been portrayed as someone who started in the spy game at an alarmingly young age, and who has considerable "red on her ledger". A Black Widow movie would probably not feature any superpowered baddies, and instead focus on low-level covert spy activity. You could make it on a budget and have it be a small part of the Marvel universe.
Over the years, attempts have been made to adapt the character into films. Artisan owned several properties from the Marvel universe, and they briefly entertained the notion of making Black Widow with David Hayter (X-Men) and Rebecca Romijn. It's believed that over the years Marvel has considered multiple approaches to the character onscreen. It would be easy to cite sexism as the reason this hasn't gotten done, but in this particular case, that's likely not the issue. Scarlett Johansson is a massive worldwide star, and right now Lucy is set to become one of the summer's biggest hits.
But committing to Black Widow means making a smaller Marvel film for now, since Black Widow is actually, you know, a spy. She can't really get away with calling attention to herself like Thor (who wears a red cape and commands lightning), or Iron Man (who is a desperate attention whore), the Hulk (who is a giant green rage monster) or even Captain America (who has a sidekick with FREAKING WINGS). Marvel so far has been in the business of hitting home runs, and industry thought has usually been that if you want to make big money, you've got to spend big money. For some reason, the idea of making a Black Widow movie for $80-$100 million (ideally less) and grossing $300-$400 million globally just isn't as appealing as spending $175 million on Guardians Of The Galaxy to gross $500-$600 million worldwide.
When Marvel announced they would be making their own movies in the mid-aughts, they claimed they were interested in putting together mid-budgeted movies that would fill in the gaps between the blockbusters. Might they finally, finally pursue this with Black Widow?