Deep breaths, folks. Marvel’s standalone Black Widow movie might actually happen. Variety reports that Marvel studios has put the wheels in motion on the long-speculated project and recruited TiMER writer/director Jac Schaffer to pen the script. The report specifies that the film is in very early development and hasn’t got the greenlight, but anyone who’s been following the rumors on this project over the years will breathe a huge sigh of relief at seeing the studio finally take steps toward making the standalone film a reality.
Marvel President Kevin Feige is said to have met with a number of potential screenwriters before landing on Schaeffer and Scarlett Johansson was consulted to discuss what they wanted from the writer who got the job. Feige and Johansson have spent the years since Black Widow’s Iron Man 2 debut insisting the film was always a possibility, but this is the first time the studio has moved forward on the project visibly.
Schaeffer made her feature filmmaking debut with the 2009 Tribeca film TiMER which starred Emma Caulfield in an offbeat, slightly sci-fi romantic comedy. She also wrote the 2014 Blacklist pick The Shower, a sci-fi action comedy about a baby shower alien invasion that has Anne Hathaway attached to star and produce, as well as MGM’s female-focused reboot of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, aptly titled Nasty Women, which is set to star Hathaway and Rebel Wilson. Shel also penned the script for the Disney short Olaf’s Frozen Adventure, which played ahead of Coco.
Johansson made her debut as the super-assassin turned superhero way back in the early days of the MCU in 2010’s Iron Man 2. Since then, she’s become a backbone of the ever expanding franchise, becoming a mainstay of the Avengers films and the contemporary-set Captain America films. Johansson is a movie start to boot, Black Widow has proven one of their most versatile and enduring characters, and the possibility of a standalone film just begs Marvel Studios to put their signature stamp on the spy genre. All in all, it’s utterly thrilling that the project is finally moving forward, even if is early stages, and it’s equally exciting that Marvel has recruited a female filmmaker for the writing gig — a step in the right direction for a studio that has fallen behind on gender equality in creative gigs.
This is great news all around, and a step toward the representation Marvel fans have been craving for years. Not to mention just being an opportunity for a great Marvel character to kickass and explore a new angle on the Marvelverse. Sign me the heck up.