It’s been 10 years of epic Marvel movies and Scarlett Johansson has been playing the sultry spy Black Widow for the past 8 years. You’d think she’d have her own film by now, but the first woman to have her name in a title was the wildly lesser known Wasp, played by Evangeline Lilly. It comes as no surprise the MCU has been dragging Black Widow along for quite some time. However, where the studio is now in terms of female portrayals, it might be for the best that they waited.
After interviewing over 70 female directors, Feige and the powers that be landed on “The Berlin Syndrome” director Cate Shortland. One thing’s for certain, they’re taking the development of this film pretty seriously. Just like how no one thought Guardians of the Galaxy would have any bearing on the larger stake Marvel films, it’s a testament that when the right people are at the helm and a course has been plotted for the future, anything is possible.
I went back and watched Iron Man and couldn’t believe how flat Gwyneth Paltrow’s one-dimensional Pepper Potts was (which is nothing against the actor) despite her being the first female in the MCU! It seemed like a gross oversight. Now, look at where we are today.
The world is HYPED for Brie Larson’s Captain Marvel, the women of Black Panther each had unique and interesting facts about their character and motives that lend itself to the larger universe, even Evangeline Lilly as The Wasp pretty much needed no introduction kicking ass in the first few scenes of Ant-Man and The Wasp without having to go into reasons why being a woman was part of her identity. These newly developed characters have so many more layers that gender seems last on the list to consider when they’re no longer the fawning girlfriend or damsel in need of saving. The new women of Marvel can save themselves.
The film is rumored to take place before many of the events we’ve seen, however, that doesn’t mean it’s going to be another origin story. With Captain Marvel taking place in the 1990’s and the actions of that film directly affecting the events that will ensue in Avengers 4, there’s a solid chance that Black Widow could open doors to new covert threats that still lie dormant.
If Captain Marvel can bring back Agent Coulson and Ronan the Accuser, why can’t Black Widow do a deep dive as well? We know she’s crossed paths with The Winter Soldier before, taking a bullet for his intended target (not exactly meeting on great terms) so that’s a story in and of itself – don’t forget about the Budapest incident she and Hawkeye always talk about!
There’s a lot to cover with Johansson’s film. I for one am glad that Marvel learned how to build well-rounded female leads before taking the chance on this character we’ve already known for so long. If Black Widow does bite the (literal) dust in Avengers 4, this standalone film which would undoubtedly feature other Marvel characters seems like a fitting coda for the super spy.