If you're a Marvel fan who's been waiting patiently for a Black Widow solo movie, it might be time to kiss прощай to that dream.
Natasha Romanoff (a.k.a. Natalia Romanova, Black Widow or whatever other codename she might take, depending on which side she's working for) has been one of the MCU's best-loved heroes for quite a while now, and not just because she looks super fly in a tight costume with the zip mysteriously broken at cleavage level.
Black Widow's tight relationship with Captain America, intelligence in combat and ability to keep her motivations and loyalties shrouded in secrecy have all been an integral part of making her Marvel's premiere superheroine, which is why it's so weird that the MCU's all-male solo movie curse will be broken not by the Russian assassin, but by Captain Marvel (Brie Larson). Don't get me wrong, Carol Danvers is a great character — but it feels like a major disservice to both Black Widow and Scarlett Johansson that she still doesn't have her own movie on the horizon.
It's something Scar Jo gets asked about a lot, and this week when interviewed by Variety, the actress teased the possible nature of a solo adventure in the future.
"I would like for ['Black Widow'] to happen under the right circumstances. I think there’s a lot of opportunity to mine that story line. She’s got a really rich origin story. There’s a lot of places you can go — you can bring it back to Russia. You could explore the Widow program ... Where do the Avengers go? They are underground. What happens then? What happens after it all falls apart? There are so many ways you can go. [But] it would have to have its own specific vibe."
Sounds like good news, right? But hold off on the vodka shots for a second — Scarlett's enthusiasm comes with a caveat:
"I talked [with Marvel] about it often. It would have to fit in the idea of where they want to go. I’m invested in that character. Marvel is greatly invested in that character. If I did it, I’d have to do it while. I still actually wanted to wear a skin-tight catsuit. I don’t know how much longer that’s going to be."
If Johansson doesn't want to be doing this ten years from now (at a rate of a movie every three years, which is about as fast as the MCU operates), that's hardly a surprise — she's already zipped up as Black Widow five times in seven years. That's a lot of loyalty for an actor to show one character. Also, that PVC probably chafes like hell.
In truth, though, Black Widow could really use the kind of character development that will only be given in a solo movie, not a team-up of 25 superheroes. She bounces between romantic interests and emotional attachments — the flirtation with Steve, that sudden and strange "thing" with Bruce Banner, her close friendship with Clint — in a way that suggests Marvel isn't really sure of how best to define her personality. Five movies in, I still have no idea what's really driving Natasha, or who she is when not in Black Widow mode.
Here's hoping Marvel don't sit on Natasha until she defects to the Soviets. She needs this movie almost as much as we do.