Considering the expansiveness of Marvel's cinematic universe, it's unfortunate that there hasn't been a single film with a woman as the lead character. We're talking about nine films with men in most (if not all) the lead roles.
If Marvel is looking to change this and change it fast, there's really only one female character with a large enough profile to carry her own film: Scarlet Johannson's Black Widow. Captain America: The Winter Soldier will mark Black Widow's third appearance in a Marvel film. For comparison, she equals Cap and Thor for number of appearances and is only surpassed by Iron Man, but is the only one of the four to not have her own film.
While promoting Captain America 2 to Total Film, Marvel Studios' Kevin Feige discussed Black Widow's role in the upcoming The Avengers: Age of Ultron and indicated that a solo film is still in the cards - eventually.
"We start filming the next 'Avengers' film at the end of March. [Black] Widow's part in that is very big. We learn more about her past and learn more about where she came from and how she became in that film. The notion of exploring that even further in her own film would be great, and we have some development work with that."
So, not really any new developments on the solo film front, but it's uplifting news to hear her role in Avengers 2 will be even larger than in The Avengers. It's also something writer/director Joss Whedon has mentioned before.
As far back as Iron Man 2, there's been discussion of Black Widow getting a solo film. And after Scarlet Johannson's sensational return in The Avengers, where she was the sole woman on the team, talk of a Black Widow film only increased.
Johannson's performance as Black Widow only improved from Iron Man 2 to the The Avengers where she perfected Natasha's sly humor and killer moves. Just rewatch her introductory scene in The Avengers and you'll get an idea of how fantastic a Black Widow film could be.
Back to The Winter Soldier - Feige remarked on how the film will significantly alter the current landscape of the MCU, a trend that will continue with The Avengers 2.
"We wanted to change the dynamic of the cinematic universe with this film. We wanted Cap and really the entire cinematic universe to be very different at the end of 'Winter Solider' than it is at the beginning. Therefore when we meet the Avengers at the top of 'Age of Ultron,' it's a very different landscape than we left them at the end of the first film. Partially that's because we love the rhythm that the comic books have developed - each of the characters appear in their runs, occasionally they get together for a big event or crossover series, they part again, and then they come back together again."
Judging from the ominous tone coming from The Winter Soldier's teasers and trailers, it would be a good guess that one of these changes will be the Avengers' relationship with S.H.I.E.L.D. Even in previews, the tension between Cap and Nick Fury is palpable.
But what of Black Widow? Keeping in mind her history with the Winter Soldier, she will no doubt face some tough situations in Captain America 2. And if Natasha's past is further explored in The Avengers 2, the character will be primed to star in her own film - and Phase Three would be as good a time as any for that to happen. Unfortunately, judging from the fact that there's only been "some development" on a Black Widow film, that might be asking for too much too soon.
What do you think, Screen Rant readers? Is a Black Widow solo film something you want to see? And soon? Let us know in the comments below!
Captain America: The Winter Soldier hits theatres April 4th. The Avengers: Age of Ultron opens May 1st, 2015.
Source: Total Film (via CBM)