As of now, Scarlett Johansson has played Natasha Romanov, aka Black Widow, in five Marvel Studios movies, and with each one the call from fans for her own solo film has grown more and more adamant. Now Johansson herself has thrown her hat into the ring, telling Variety that her character could indeed warrant her own big screen adventure.
“I would like for it to happen under the right circumstances,” Johansson said. “I think there’s a lot of opportunity to mine that story line. She’s got a really rich origins story. There’s a lot of places you can go — you can bring it back to Russia. You could explore the Widow program. There’s all kinds of stuff that you could do with it. You could really uncover the identity of who this person is, where she comes from and where she’s part of.”
Since any Black Widow movie would have its foot more in the world of espionage than superheroics, there’s a possibility it could be done on a lower budget than the typical $150+ million Marvel joint, with Deadpool being a recent example of a cost-conscious comic book movie. If the studio wanted to go bigger, it could build a story into a Mission: Impossible-style mega action flick, although Widow’s mysterious backstory would be ideal fodder for a prequel, which could still involve characters like a pre-Avengers Hawkeye and a still-brainwashed Winter Soldier.
“It’s a possibility,” Johansson stated of her movie being a prequel. “There’s plenty of back story. Or not. It could be something else. Where do the Avengers go? They are underground. What happens then? What happens after it all falls apart? There are so many ways you can go. I think it would just have to be very much like its own specific thing. It would have to have its own specific vibe. It would have been totally different than any of the other standalone films. I think if the fans wanted it enough, then it would probably become a reality. I talked to them [Marvel] about it often. It would have to fit in the idea of where they want to go. I’m invested in that character. Marvel is greatly invested in that character. If I did it, I’d have to do it while I still actually wanted to wear a skin-tight catsuit. I don’t know how much longer that’s going to be.”
Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige previously stated to Deadline that the studio is “committed” to making a solo film for the character in the future.
“We’ve announced the next nine movies, ten counting Civil War, through the end of 2019. Where we go beyond that are ongoing discussions that we’ll focus on in the next few years because we have a lot to do before then. 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.”
Marvel Studios currently has only one female-led feature on their schedule, Captain Marvel, which is set for release March 8, 2019, though the upcoming Ant-Man sequel will be a co-headliner titled Ant-Man and The Wasp, set to debut July 6, 2018. There are three Marvel Studios movies without titles set for release in 2020 on May 1, July 10, and November 6, respectively; though it remains to be seen if any of them will be a Black Widow movie.