The Biggest Superhero Films That Didn't Happen, Part 2
Comic Books, Film
If there’s one thing that the Marvel’s very vocal online fanbase wants, it’s a super hero movie with a female lead. Considering how successful female-led films like The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Frozen, The Heat and Gravity were in 2013, Marvel has very little reason to keep their big screen efforts so male-dominated. After releasing eight films starring male heroes, it’s about time they considered diversifying their output. Thankfully Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige seems to agree, and a recent statement made to Total Film indicates that a film starring Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow may be close to reality.
“Widow’s part in [Avengers: Age of Ultron] is very big,” said Feige. “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.” Fingers crossed that the vague “development work” statement firms up into something real. Here are five Black Widow stories that could easily form the basis of Natasha Romanoff’s first solo film adventure.
Most super heroes get their origin story retold when they get a solo film, but Black Widow’s a bit trickier. Unlike most of the other Avengers, she’ll have already appeared in at least three films before getting a lead role. Her past has been hinted at, but she’s also already been established as a present-day hero. She doesn’t need to have her origin told, and if that story is told, it can unfold alongside a present-day storyline. Deadly Origin balances a dual narrative, one that goes all the way back to Natasha’s childhood as an assassin in training.
The Itsy-Bitsy Spider
One way to explore Natasha’s history without getting stranded in Flashbacksville would be to show the present day origin story of another Black Widow on the big screen. Our Black Widow could learn that the Russians are still manufacturing soldiers with a certain skillset, thus introducing audiences to the cunning and decidedly dastardlier Yelena Belova. Natasha’s spent a lot of time onscreen playing off her past; in a confrontation with Yelena, Natasha would have to confront her own dark past to try to save the new Black Widow from her programming.
Black Widow with Daredevil
Now hold up, it is problematic to shove a male hero into Marvel’s first super heroine film, but this pairing could both help repair Daredevil’s busted public image and play with one of the MCU’s biggest tropes. This film would be Black Widow with Daredevil, not Black Widow and Daredevil. Pretty much every Marvel man film has had a woman as the co-lead/romantic interest, and Matt Murdock – fresh off of his upcoming Netflix series – could play that part in a film adapting their time spent together in San Francisco. As long as Black Widow is as unquestionably the protagonist as Iron Man is in his films, there’s no harm in sliding Daredevil into the Pepper Potts role – meaning he might even get damseled!
The Name of the Rose
With Black Widow in the lead, this story by Marjorie Liu and Daniel Acuna established a healthy supporting cast that could easily make its way onscreen. In this classic spy tale full of exotic locales and plot twists, Natasha comes into conflict with Elektra and Lady Bullseye – two villains that would make great onscreen adversaries for Black Widow. There’s also room for Captain America and the Winter Soldier in supporting roles, which might be welcome if Captain America: The Winter Solider ends up being as amazing as the trailers indicate. This story also relentlessly scrutinizes Natasha’s morality, making it one of the most personal Black Widow tales out there.
The current Black Widow series by Nathan Edmondson and Phil Noto seems as if it was pitched to be a film. Haunted by the horrible deeds of her past, Natasha returns to her muscle-for-hire roots in order to make the money necessary to provide for the people left in the wake of her former life as an assassin. The series is incredibly stylish with plenty of big action sequences that would easily blow any other action movie out of the water. With a bazooka. Because Natasha uses a bazooka in this comic. Even though Black Widow is just getting started and the overarching plot has yet to kick in, a film focused on Agent Romanoff running as many insane missions as possible before the clock runs out sounds good to us.