Looking back on it now, it’s almost laughable that there was some fan outrage against the casting of Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow in Iron Man 2. As you can see from the above image, she totally pulled off the look of the character from the books. Everything else about what happens to the character throughout Iron Man 2 comes down to the writers and director.

Like all of the other contracts we’ve seen actors sign for with Marvel Studios, Johansson is locked into a multi-picture deal that will bring the Black Widow character back for more, with a definite appearance in The Avengers and her likely return for Iron Man 3. When we discussed the future of Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow earlier this year, we touched on possibility and her interest in a potential solo spinoff movie.

Scarlett showed enthusiasm at the idea of returning again to play the character but since then she’s been confirmed as a member of Joss Whedon’s roster for The Avengers. What comes after that is still up in the air.

With Samuel L. Jackson dropping word that a S.H.I.E.L.D. film could begin production after The Avengers, it seemed plausible that Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow, along with Mr. Jackson’s Nick Fury, Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye and Clark Gregg’s Agent Coulson could be brought back for a non-super-powered team-up blockbuster as their own. Then again, that could be another instance of Sam L just dropping word on something that was just another idea thrown out on the table.

At the press conference for the Iron Man 2 Blu-ray/DVD on Tuesday, Marvel Studios President of Production Kevin Feige confirmed that a Black Widow solo movie is absolutely one of the many projects in early development.

“We’ve already started discussions with Scarlett about the idea of a solo movie and have begun putting together concepts, but ‘The Avengers’ comes first.”

Would such a movie take priority over the SHIELD project or would this be that same movie Sam L was referrign to, with Scarlett Johansson taking center stage? Also, when would this movie release?

The Avengers starts shooting in February (possibly in 3D) and Runaways begins production the following month, both for 2012 releases. After that, we know we still have Ant-Man, Iron Man 3 on their way in addition to other projects we’ve recently seen official movement on.

Let’s recap the other film projects Marvel Studios has in development and where they currently sit:

And to think, those reports are just from the last six months. If Disney can work with Marvel Studios to expand production of these big budget blockbuster epics, then we can see them increasing their theatrical releases to three or four instead of the current plan of two-per-year.

Share your thoughts about a Black Widow solo movie and other Marvel projects in the comments and with us on Twitter @rob_keyes and @screenrant.

Thor opens May 5, 2011; The First Avenger: Captain America hits July 22, 2011 and The Avengers is scheduled to debut May 4, 2012.

Source: SuperHeroHype