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Despite the fact that she's never actually taken center stage in an entry of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Natasha Romanoff a.k.a Black Widow has easily become one of the most popular characters in the entire MCU. Ever since her introduction in Iron Man 2, fans simply haven't been able to get enough of her. As it turns out: neither has actress Scarlett Johansson. The actress apparently loves playing the badass hero, and her love of the character is firmly rooted in the nature of the role itself.
In a recent interview with Michigan Avenue Magazine, Scarlett Johansson spoke at length about Black Widow when asked about her favorite character she has ever played. She said:
It's difficult! I really like playing Natasha; playing the Black Widow [in The Avengers, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Avengers: Age of Ultron, and Captain America: Civil War]. It's been an interesting journey, to take a character and grow it over these years, and peel the layers back and be able to, as you do in life, grow with this person. It's a character that's really enigmatic and has an amazing origins story, so there's a lot for me to play off of.
It's hard to disagree with her on this one. Black Widow has been around since even the earliest days of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and she has evolved immensely since we first saw her undercover as "Natalie Rushman" while spying on Tony Stark. We would even go so far as to assert that she has experienced a character arc that rivals Iron Man or Captain America. She's never been a totally open book, and as a result we have slowly learned about her character as major events have unfolded in her life; that's good storytelling.
We're willing to bet that Marvel loves having her in the role as well. Only recently is was revealed that Scarlett Johansson has become the highest-grossing actress of all time, and her recent projects outside of the MCU have proven that she can easily headline movies of all genres -- ranging from action to comedy. She's a proven, bankable movie star, and she's young enough to keep playing Black Widow for years, meaning that she's currently one of Marvel's greatest assets.
If there's one thing we should take away from this, it's this: Black Widow deserves a solo movie. Audiences love her, she's a proven box office draw, and even the actress who portrays the character evidently loves her job. If Marvel has any sense they will strike while the iron is hot and fast track a movie centering on this beloved character. We will continue to hope that a day like that comes sooner rather than later.