- Release Date: Unknown, but possibly 2020
- Confirmed Cast: Scarlett Johansson
- Director: Unknown
- Writer: Jac Schaeffer
The Black Widow Movie Is Finally On Its Way
Scarlett Johansson's Black Widow was introduced in 2010's Iron Man 2, and fans immediately began to ask for a solo film. Although Marvel seemed receptive, for years there was no real news; until May 2015, when Kevin Feige committed the studio to the film. He suggested that it would happen in about four or five years' time, after the buildup to Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers 4. In January 2018, with production on both those films finally complete, Marvel hired Blacklist screenwriter Jac Schaeffer to work on a script.
Scarlett Johansson May Be In For A Big Paycheck
There are rumors that star Scarlett Johansson is in for a record paycheck, with rumors that her base pay will be $25 million. What's more, Johansson reportedly also has a $6 million bonus in place if the film grosses over $900 million worldwide. It seems Disney believes the film actually has a shot of outperforming even Wonder Woman in the box office, so they're willing to pay out in order to get this film made. Given the actress is already Hollywood's highest-grossing actress of all time, she's surely earned this kind of salary.
The Film Is Eyeing A 2020 Release
There have been rumors that Marvel is hoping to release the film in 2020. Those most likely seem correct; Marvel is currently commissioning scripts for 2020's films, with James Gunn working on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. Shooting would be expected to begin in early 2019.
No Other Cast Has Been Confirmed
The film is in the very first stages of pre-production, with work on the script only beginning recently. As a result, no casting announcements have yet been made. Both Sebastian Stan (Winter Soldier) and Anthony Mackie (Falcon) have indicated they'd be delighted to appear in the movie. That's particularly important for Stan, given the Winter Soldier and Black Widow have an on-again-off-again romance in the comics.
Jac Schaeffer Is Writing The Script
Marvel has hired Blacklist writer Jac Schaeffer to work on the Black Widow script. Although Schaeffer isn't a household name, she has a strong reputation as a Blacklist Screenwriter. Schaeffer developed a 2014 script for Anne Hathaway, and scripted the female remake of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, titled Nasty Women. Her most recent treatment was the script for a Frozen short centered on Olaf. Schaeffer is reportedly hoping to meet with Johansson to discuss the film in February 2018.
A Lot Of Directors Are Interested
A lot of Marvel's greatest directors have expressed interest in Black Widow. The Russo brothers have stated that they'd be willing to continue working with Marvel after Avengers 4, and have publicly backed the film. Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi thinks he could make an entertaining comedy. Even Joss Whedon, who left Marvel under a cloud after Avengers: Age of Ultron, has admitted he'd be tempted back by the prospect of a Black Widow film. There's clearly a lot of interest in this movie, and Marvel will be able to choose whoever they believe can deliver the film best, but more than likely they'll be seeking a woman to direct.
What Do We Know About The Plot?
There are really two possible approaches for the Black Widow movie. The first is to set the film in the past, and reveal Black Widow's backstory. This concept could feature Jeremy Renner's Hawkeye in a key role, and potentially see actors like Samuel Jackson and even Clark Gregg reprise their roles as S.H.I.E.L.D. agents. It would explore Natasha's history as a Russian operative, and show her becoming a mercenary hunted by S.H.I.E.L.D.. Finally, Hawkeye would offer Black Widow a chance to switch sides.
The fundamental problem with this concept would be that fans already know exactly what will happen. Meanwhile, the post-Avengers 4 MCU needs to build up a new sense of trajectory, and a film set in the past would risk damaging that. A more sensible approach would be to base the film after Avengers 4, and run an espionage story that somehow ties into Black Widow's backstory. Margaret Stohl's recent novels, Forever Red and Red Vengeance, may well form a good blueprint. These books saw Natasha learn that the Red Room is still active, introducing a new teenager - Red Widow.
We're A Long Way From A Black Widow Trailer
Black Widow is still in the earliest stages of pre-production. That means Marvel is still deciding what shape the film will take, and it's far too soon to expect any marketing. Fans will eagerly await news once shooting starts.
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