Marvel Has Met With Multiple Female Directors for ‘Black Widow’

Based on the three named contenders, Marvel is looking to explore the inner conflict of Earth's deadliest double agent.
Black Widow Infinity War

Based on the three named contenders, Marvel is looking to explore the inner conflict of Earth’s deadliest double agent.

We’re one day into Avengers: Infinity War‘s release. How’s everybody feeling? Good? Exhausted? Miserable? Counting down the seconds until May 3, 2019, when we can see how it all shakes out for our heroes in Avengers 4? No spoilers here. Just sympathy.

Earlier this week, we discussed what the Marvel Cinematic Universe slate will look like for the near future. While several of their films already have release dates locked down, even more so are wading in the nebulous arena of “Coming Soon.” We’ve been told that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will kick off their next big phase, and there is no doubt that King T’Challa will be back to further dominate the box office with Black Panther 2.

Kevin Feige has been promising a solo Black Widow film for quite a while now. While we know he’s met with potential screenwriters for the project, we’re now getting word that he’s also had some serious discussions with directors. In an article detailing Paramount’s deep desire for female directors (including S.J. Clarkson for Star Trek 4), The Hollywood Reporter mentions that Marvel Studios has met with three women to oversee Black Widow.

Deniz Gamze Erguven is the Turkish filmmaker who made her feature debut with the Academy Award-nominated Mustang. The film follows the lives of five young, orphaned sisters traversing the challenges of a punishingly conservative society. My immediate thought is that Erguven would tackle the grotesque origins of Natasha Romanoff with a tremendous sense of empathy. No need to worry about another creepy Red Sparrow situation.

Chloé Zhao is a Chinese director operating inside the United States. She made her feature debut with the Forest Whitaker-produced Songs My Brother Taught Me in 2015. Her most recent film, The Rider, premiered at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival, where it won the Art Cinema Award. The film has been praised for its docu-drama style and deep exploration of internal life. Zhao could delve into Romanoff’s psyche in a way no previous MCU film has allowed.

Amma Asante is a British screenwriter, director, and former actress. She produced the Gugu Mbatha-Raw film Belle in 2013 and recently paired David Oyelowo and Rosamund Pike in A United Kingdom. She already has several films in various stages of productions. She is a filmmaker concerned with how outside factors torment and challenge her characters. Asante would possibly dive deeper into that monster living inside Black Widow, the demon Natasha bared to Bruce while at Hawkeye’s farm in Avengers: Age of Ultron.

All three directors would bring something unique to the MCU, and I appreciate the headspace being pursued by Feige that these filmmakers seem to indicate. A Black Widow film is a no-brainer for this Marvel maniac. The film is an opportunity for the franchise to go small. The fate of the world or the universe does not need to be at stake.

Black Widow should concentrate on Natasha. Sure, bring on the espionage action and the weirdo Marvel characters Feige loves to color his mythology. Make it a prequel detailing that first encounter between Black Widow and Winter Soldier. We don’t need any big beams of blue light penetrating the sky. We need to understand the interior life of Marvel’s most morally conflicted character.

Brad Gullickson: Brad Gullickson is a Weekly Columnist for Film School Rejects and Senior Curator for One Perfect Shot. When not rambling about movies here, he's rambling about comics as the co-host of Comic Book Couples Counseling. Hunt him down on Twitter: @MouthDork. (He/Him)