In the world of Marvel, Joss Whedon will always be appreciated for directing the first two Avengers movies, but after Age of Ultron, he left Earth's Mightiest Heroes behind because of how big Infinity War will be. However, just because he's not closely involved with Marvel anymore doesn't mean he wouldn't helm a smaller scale movie for the studio. In fact, he's particularly keen about directing a Black Widow movie.
While speaking with IGN at Comic-Con this past weekend, Whedon explained the main draws of directing a Black Widow movie for him, first mentioning the gritty, "earthbound" feel the tale would need to have. In his words:
I think that character really is very interesting and very earthbound, so it's the kind of action that I got to do less of with somebody like Thor or The Vision. When you get into your Superman territory, it's harder to maintain the gritty action that the Russo brothers do so brilliantly, and she's got that kind of thing and [you can] really do a spy thriller. Like really do a good, paranoid, 'John le Carré on crack' sort of thing. That would be really fun.
Introduced in 2010 during Iron Man 2, Black Widow has been a key MCU player through the Avengers movies and latter two Captain America installments. Of these movies, a Black Widow solo adventure would most tonally resemble Captain America: The Winter Soldier, where Natasha Romanoff and Steve Rogers were on the run after they learned that areas of S.H.I.E.L.D. had been infiltrated by HYDRA. Black Widow may have experience battling extraterrestrials, robots and even her fellow heroes, but an adventure by herself would feel less fantastical and be more rooted in her spy background and feel more gritty and thrilling than most big screen Marvel projects.
Joss Whedon also commented on how much he enjoys working with Scarlett Johansson, citing her as another appeal for directing a Black Widow movie. He said:
Scarlett Johansson is just delightful. She works really hard, but she just spends most of her time cracking me up, so it would be a fun shoot.
Over the last several years, many fans have asked for a Black Widow solo movie, and while nothing has been announced yet, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige did recently say that Marvel is "committed" making a Black Widow feature at some point. Following the events in Captain America: Civil War, Black Widow is expected to return for the Avengers: Infinity War epic, but the character's future beyond that is up in the air.
Marvel's Phase Three is only three years away from concluding, and Phase Four's content is still a mystery to the public. If a Black Widow movie is on the way, we may hear about it when Marvel decides to unveil the Phase Four slate, but for now, she remains a crucial player either as part of an ensemble or in another character's movie.