How Scarlett Johansson Is Making The ‘Black Widow’ Solo Movie Happen

The Marvel Cinematic Universe has gotten nearly everything right. From giving Thor a fresh start with the outstanding Thor: Ragnarok to the record-breaking Black Panther, it seems like the MCU has the film industry on lock when it comes to presenting superheroes on the big screen. However, what the MCU has failed to do is give female superheroes their time in the spotlight. Though Brie Larson will shine in the forthcoming Captain Marvel solo film, Scarlett Johansson, who has played Natasha Romanoff (aka Black Widow) for almost a decade, still hasn’t gotten her solo debut.

Both Johansson and Marvel have expressed interest in giving Black Widow her own film, but not much has happened to make it a reality until now. Here’s what we know, including the potential release date (page 9).

A nod from Wonder Woman

Gal Gadot, Patty Jenkins, and Lynda Carter attend the Wonder Woman premiere

Gal Gadot, Patty Jenkins, and even Lynda Carter (from the Wonder Woman TV series) are all to thank for Black Widow finally getting her own film. | Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

Prior to Wonder Woman, Hollywood hasn’t exactly gotten female superheroes right. Just thinking about 2004’s Elektra and 2005’s Catwoman makes us cringe.

However, after Gal Gadot and Patty Jenkins delivered a stunning Diana Prince in 2017’s Wonder Woman and with the Time’s Up movement in the entertainment industry, now is the perfect time for Black Widow to get her due.

Next: A major step in the right direction 

A forthcoming script

Director Jac Schaeffer attends the New York theatrical premiere of Tribeca Films' inaugural release slate at the Tribeca Cinemas Gallery on May 12, 2010 in New York City.

Jac Schaeffer has been tapped to write the script. | Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for Tribeca Films

We won’t see the Black Widow movie hit theaters for quite some time because there isn’t actually a script just yet. However, Marvel has taken an essential first step in getting a script written. In January 2018, The Wrap reported that Marvel had hired scribe Jac Schaeffer to pen a script.

Schaeffer made her debut with the 2009 Tribeca film Timer, and she recently penned the Disney short, Olaf’s Frozen Adventure. Yassss for female screenwriters!

Next: A pact between two women

Teamwork makes the dream work

Black Widow in Civil War

It’s been reported that Johansson will have a lot of input when it comes to the film.  | Marvel

Though Marvel hired Schaeffer before she and Johnsson got a chance to meet, the women are set to be a united front in getting Black Widow to the big screen. After all, the 33-year-old actress is the main authority on how to play Natasha.

Variety reporter Justin Kroll tweeted, “BLACK WIDOW update: While Jac didn’t get a chance to meet with ScarJo before she was tapped to pen BW, hearing the two are likely to sit down at the beginning of next month to talk about the film and how they see it going.”

Next: Letting Johansson lead the way

Having her say

Scarlett Johansson

We can’t wait to see what Johansson has in mind. | Anthony Harvey/Getty Images

Unlike the DC film universe, which has struggled to bring their infamous characters to life in a way that has enticed both audiences and critics, the MCU has listened to both their fans and their actors. Since Johansson has played Black Widow for so long, we are sure she has some idea of what she would like to see her character do and what direction she wants Natasha to go in.

After all, it was Chris Hemsworth that pushed for Thor to be a more light-hearted and fun saga which, in turn, led to Thor: Ragnarok.

Next: Getting back to Natasha’s roots

An origin tale

Black Widow in The Avengers

What version of Black Widow will we be seeing in the solo film? | Marvel

We have no clue what the solo Black Widow film will be about, but we have a hunch that Johansson and Schaeffer might go for a traditional origin story. After all, despite all of the films Natasha’s been in, we’ve never gotten the deets on how the KGB spy and assassin joined SHIELD.

Obviously, since our Natasha exists in the present day, she could not have been born during the Soviet Union times, which means Schaeffer is going to have to put a bit of a spin on the origin story.

Next: A more modern storyline

The Name of the Rose

Cover art for Black Widow: The Name of the Rose

Cover art for Black Widow: The Name of the Rose | Marvel Comics

A straight-up origin story might be way too traditional for Johansson and Schaeffer, so they might decide to take another path entirely. One of the more recent and popular storylines from the Black Widow comics was The Name of the Rose.

In the comic, Natasha is targeted by a mysterious assassin. As she tries to figure out who is trying to kill her, Natasha’s loyalties to her fellow Avengers are tested, and she must also deal with her tumultuous past. Perhaps a hybrid of an origin story and a current plot might be the best bet for the solo Black Widow film.

Next: One very interested director

A new direction

Director Taika Waititi attends The Cinema Society's Screening Of Marvel Studios' "Thor: Ragnarok" at the Whitby Hotel on October 30, 2017 in New York City.

Director Taika Waititi is interested in helming the film. | Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

Though we’d love to see a female director at the helm of Black Widow, a Marvel alum has also offered to throw his hat into the ring.

Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi said he’d be down to take the reigns on the project. He told that he envisioned, “something crazy and a bit funnier than we expect it to be.”

Next: Getting all of the ladies together

The future is female

Left to right: Zoe Saldana, Tessa Thompson, Brie Larson, Scarlett Johansson, Danai Gurira, Karen Gillan, Evangeline Lilly, and Pom Klementieff pose together

The women of the MCU are a bad-ass bunch, and they’re ready to team up. | Marvel Studios via Instagram

Black Widow and Captain Marvel might not be the only two female-led films coming down the pipeline from the MCU in the coming years.

Recently, Ragnarok‘s Tessa Thompson, Guardians of the Galaxy‘s Zoe Saldana, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, and Captain Marvel‘s Brie Larson pitched an all-female led movie to studio head Kevin Feige, who was reportedly very intrigued by the idea.

Next: When will the movie be released?

It might have a release date

Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow in Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Natasha’s movie may be just around the corner. | Marvel

In April 2018, we got some potential news about the Black Widow film. It was reported that the studio is eyeing a 2020 release date.

Currently, Marvel has three dates secured for new films: May 1, July 21, and Nov. 6. The buzz is that Black Widow’s film will take the middle slot, which makes sense — summer blockbuster season is a real thing.

Follow Aramide on Twitter @midnightrami.

Additional reporting by Becca Bleznak.

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