Scarlett Johansson has been named the highest-grossing actress of all time with her films domestically earning over three billion dollars. It proves the actress has both awareness and success under her belt, so it’s odd we’re not seeing her leading more blockbusters. One glaring issue being Black Widow is one of most well received members of the Avengers, but yet hasn’t have her own standalone.
Fans have been demanding that for years that Marvel Studios release a Black Widow movie, and they had been teasing putting it back into development during the Comic-Con panel for Iron Man 2. Even before Johnasson was hired, Lionsgate had been developing a solo Widow film, but after the dismal box office of Catwoman and Elektra they pulled the plug.
Keep in mind that Samuel L. Jackson has the record for highest-grossing actor, but we’ll likely never see that Nick Fury movie Marvel had planned. As it’s original script folded into Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and looks like Fury won’t be getting a standalone anytime soon.
Then again, Johansson’s career is on the rise as Disney was once set to distribute her franchise starter Ghost In The Shell at DreamWorks, only for them to pull-out, the actress reportedly earned a huge $10 million payday for the role. It’ll be interesting to see how that whole thing comes together, as her last solo outing Lucy become an international hit as the small budgeted film ended-up grossing $500M worldwide.
Johansson is easily one of the most successful Avenger outside of the Marvel cinematic universe, while co-stars Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans and even Robert Downey Jr. have struggled to find box office hits.
Marvel’s Kevin Feige is seemingly more on board with the idea as he recently told Deadline they ultimately “committed” to giving Black Widow her own standalone franchise in the future. Obviously, without the notoriously anti-heroine Ike Perlmutter out of the picture at Marvel Studios, it’s more than likely Feige will now attempt to find a place for a solo film, maybe in Phase Four.
“We’ve announced the next nine movies, 10 counting Civil War, through to the end of 2019,” said Feige. “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 … 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.”
Kevin isn’t the only one over at Marvel that thinks this is a good idea, as the directing duo The Russo Brothers called it a “no-brainer”. The pair will have worked on four movies with the character by the time Avengers 3 and Avengers 4 complete production next year.
ANTHONY RUSSO: It’s a no-brainer, right?
JOE RUSSO: I don’t think [it’ll take] much. I think it’s just a function of where on the slate it goes. She’s a bad-ass.
Screenwriters Stephen McFeely and Christopher Markus have also mentioned to The Wrap how important her evolution has become, and her role has a leader should come full-circle.
It’s more than possible that Marvel could announce a Black Widow film for Phase Four, but it remains to be seen if they’re willing to bump something else out of the scheduled release lineup to make it a priority. A Spider-Man sequel has been a hot topic lately, along with when to release Inhumans.
Oddly enough, John Wick directors Chad Stahelski and David Leitch did stunt work on Captain America: Civil War. I previously mentioned them as excellent contenders to direct the Black Widow film, as they would be the best team to give us an amazing action-focused spy franchise.