After years of seeming like Marvel fans would never see Natasha Romanoff in a standalone movie, Variety has announced that a writer has been tapped to draft a script for a Black Widow movie. Of course, Marvel Studios is still keeping everything under wraps, but this is an exciting development in and of itself.
Jac Schaeffer has supposedly been hired to write the script. Schaeffer’s credits include two Anne Hathaway starrers. She broke out with a Black List script, The Shower, that caught Hathaway’s eye. Schaeffer was then given the opportunity to then write Nasty Girls, a new take on Dirty Rotten Scoundrels that Hathaway will also star in.
Black Widow fans have waited for almost ten years for even a whisper of a rumor that goes beyond, “We’re thinking about it.” In the past eight years since Black Widow first appeared in Iron Man 2, every reporter asking about a Black Widow film only received minimal answers from the people at Marvel Studios. Edging around the topic was their best bet, and honestly still is, but the longer it’s taken the studio to move forward with the film, the less enthusiastic people will ultimately be.
Marvel Studios simply kept sidelining Black Widow to supporting roles that ranged from empathetic superspy at best (Captain America: The Winter Soldier) to appallingly embarrassing love interest at worst (Avengers: Age of Ultron). At the whims of other writers and directors who weren’t giving the character the spotlight, Black Widow became almost too malleable in the process. Age of Ultron, arguably one of the MCU’s most frustrating offerings in terms of cohesive storylines, delivered a sliver of backstory for the character, but it was largely undermined by the aforementioned cringe factor of a romantic subplot that nobody asked for or really embraced since.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe could have spearheaded a movement in women’s representation with a female standalone comic book movie in the early 2010s, but they waited so long that the DCEU beat them to the punch, really. It would be nice to assume that all the cool lady assassin movies that have come out recently and are heading to cinemas shortly also had something to do with Marvel’s piqued interest in a Black Widow film. But the studio remained stagnant during the wave of YA heroines, as though it wasn’t a priority to push a Black Widow movie at all — despite the fact that when numbers showed that people turned up for women-led blockbusters. Their announcement and eventual delay of a Captain Marvel film didn’t really help matters.
So while it’s definitely too early to speculate on the production of a Black Widow movie — the film isn’t officially greenlit yet — there is undoubtedly no better time than the present for Marvel to finally give Natasha Romanoff the standalone she deserves.