The chronicles of Hollywood contain many chapters about the movies that could’ve been, or almost were, but never did make it all the way from concept to the big screen. This is certainly true of the superhero movie genre, which is littered with the bones of failed adaptations of popular comic book characters.
Writer/actor/director David Hayter knows how steep a climb it is from comic book page to movie screen; as the man behind the scripts for both X-Men and Watchmen (two properties that had many stalled attempts before finally becoming movies), Hayter has helped harness the cinematic potential of some of the biggest superheroes and/or comic book stories of all time. But today, we’re going to hear about one of Hayter’s ideas that never made it to the screen (unfortunately).
FemPop recently had a brief interview with Hayter about the Black Widow film he was attached to back in the early-to-mid 2000s – BEFORE the character was
shoehorned placed in Iron Man 2 as a setup for Marvel’s Avengers movie. According to Hayter himself, his Black Widow movie would’ve been a mix of politics, espionage and superhero action:
What I tried to do was use the backdrop of the splintered Soviet Empire – a lawless insane asylum with four hundred some odd nuclear missile silos. It was all about loose nukes, and I felt it was very timely and very cool. Unfortunately, as I was coming up on the final draft, a number of female vigilante movies came out. We had Tomb Raider and Kill Bill, which were the ones that worked, but then we had BloodRayne and Ultraviolet and Aeon Flux. Aeon Flux didn’t open well, and three days after it opened, the studio said, “We don’t think it’s time to do this movie.” I accepted their logic in terms of the saturation of the marketplace, but it was pretty painful. I had not only invested a lot of time in that movie, but I had also named my daughter, who was born in that time period Natasha – after the lead character in Black Widow. I named my daughter after a movie that I wasn’t working on anymore.
It’s hard not to be lured by Hayter’s premise for the movie, which, admittedly, would’ve been a much more interesting and kick-ass introduction to the Widow than the “Tony Stark’s pretend secretary” stuff that Iron Man 2 gave us. Other than that one badass hallway fight sequence in IM2, Black Widow (and subsequently Scarlett Johansson) has pretty much been eye candy in this Marvel movie universe.
To be fair, though, the studio did have a point: after that string of flicks Hayter names above, I think we were all a little bit tired of seeing that female warrior premise play out on screen. Would Hayter’s Widow film have been any better? Probably. But on the lighter side of things: Emily Blunt STILL probably would not have landed the role, as her rise to fame really came in around 2007. Such is the way of Hollywood…
Would you have liked to see David Hayter’s Black Widow movie? Is this the idea Marvel should use for the Black Widow solo film it’s been mulling over?