With 16 movies already under its belt and an overwhelming number of superheroes on screen, the MCU has no plans of slowing down the growth of its cinematic universe. Upcoming films slated for the next couple of years feature both new and familiar characters like Ant-Man & The Wasp, Captain Marvel, Black Panther and Infinity War. Despite this impressive and ever-growing schedule, there's one superhero who just can't seem to catch a break when it comes to getting a movie all to herself: Black Widow.
Comic book fans have clamored for a film starring the slick spy for years, and even a fellow MCU hero got behind the idea, but Marvel just can't seem to bring itself to actually pull the trigger. Glimmers of hope have flared up here and there, but so far the project has just been dangling over us like a delicious and unreachable treat. But the thirst for this movie can finally be quenched, because Fox just beat Marvel to a solo Widow film, sorta.
Everyone, Meet The Red Sparrow
Let me explain what's happening here. Last year, Fox started working on an adaptation of Jason Matthew's 2013 novel, Red Sparrow, starring #JenniferLawrence and Joel Edgerton. The film centers around Dominika Egorova, a ballerina who suffers a career-ending injury and is subsequently recruited for Sparrow School, a Russian Intelligence facility that trains young people to become lethal assassins who are willing to do anything to accomplish their mission.
Once enrolled, the young woman is trained using the most brutal and sadistic tactics possible until she becomes Russia's most lethal assassin. That sounds familiar to Natasha Romanoff's story, doesn't it?
Well, get ready, because the studio just released the first trailer for the movie, and it's essentially the Black Widow origin story we always wanted but never got, with the only difference being that it has Lawrence at the helm:
The novel hit shelves in 2013, so non-comic book readers may think the story similarities are just coincidences, especially seeing how #AgeOfUltron (which presented Widow's backstory) came out in 2015. But here's the thing: Natasha's comic book origin is pretty much the same as her live-action one, which makes me wonder whether the author took inspiration from the comic book character.
Keep in mind, while it's frustrating to see another studio beating Marvel to the punch in what could have been one of their most awesome solo stories to date, this new film doesn't make a #BlackWidow movie irrelevant. Just like any other superhero, there are dozens of different stories to pull from to make a solid live-action story for a spy. In fact, the MCU has set different paths for the character. During Civil War, for example, Black Widow fights Bucky and asks him whether he remembers her, meaning that the arachnid assassin has crossed paths with Bucky before. How cool would it be to see the time they met?
So, Will Black Widow Ever Get Her Own Film?
Ok, there's still a chance for a Black Widow movie, but the House of Ideas ever actually move forward with it? Well, it's a definite possibility. While, as mentioned, there hasn't been as much development time put into it as, say, Ant-Man & The Wasp or Black Panther, Marvel has definitely been working on through the concept. Back in 2016, #KevinFeige stated that the studio was keen on making the mysterious spy a standalone franchise down the line:
"We think she's an amazing character. We think Scarlett Johansson's portrayal of her is amazing. She's a lead Avenger and has amazing stories in her own right to tell that we think would be fun to turn into a standalone franchise."
A year later during an interview with MTV, #ScarlettJohansson hinted that a Black Widow film would be a possibility after 2018's Infinity War: "I'm still trying to wrap my head around Infinity War which is like… the production is an infinity. And then I'll let you know afterward."
That's a great sign, so we'll just have to wait to see when it happens. But hey, at least we have #RedSparrow now to hold us over until the time comes. Meanwhile, you can see Black Widow kicking alien butt in Avengers: Infinity War, which will hit theaters on May 4, 2018. Red Sparrow arrives on March 2, 2018.
What do you think about Jennifer Lawrence's Red Sparrow? Do you think it's a Black Widow ripoff? Will Natasha ever get own solo adventure? Let me know in the comments!