Over the past few years, Marvel’s Cinematic Universe has become a well-oiled machine of blockbuster success. Marvel Studio’s most recent success, Guardians of the Galaxy, surpassed its other 2014 film, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, for the highest grossing release of the year (domesticaly). However, one major criticism of the MCU is its lack of a female led movie. Although Marvel films feature well-developed female characters – Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow among them – fans have been pushing for a female superhero to lead her own movie. As an established character, Black Widow seems like the most obvious choice.
Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige’s most recent comments on a female superhero movie were that they’re currently too busy managing the current heroes in its MCU to launch another franchise, but that it’s still something they’re considering. With so many rallying behind Black Widow for a solo movie – including Game of Thrones director Neil Marshall – it seems like an eventuality, but is Johansson on board?
USA Today asked Johansson’s The Avengers: Age of Ultron co-star, Robert Downey Jr., what he thought of all the speculation surrounding a Black Widow movie, to which he responded: “Doesn’t Scarlett deserve a break?” Downey Jr. added that Johansson will soon become a first-time mother and pointed out that she’s not the MCU’s sole interesting female character.
Read Downey Jr.’s full quote:
“I think that the interesting thing particularly after ‘Guardians’ with Zoe [Saldana], [or] even from the first ‘Iron Man’ where Pepper was kind of this really — to me the ‘Iron Man’ franchise would never have taken off without [Gwyneth] Paltrow. There’s something about her that grounded the story. She’s not your typical lady in a superhero movie, and then by ‘Iron Man 3’ she’s swallowing serums and putting on suits and kicking [butt] and all that stuff.”
Downey Jr. did acknowledge that it makes more sense for Marvel to produce a solo Black Widow film rather than a movie led by Saldana’s Gamora or Paltrow’s Pepper Potts. Plus, Johansson does draw viewers to the box office: “It just seems like whatever Scarlett does, people want to go see it.”
However, according to Downey Jr., Johansson isn’t the only Avenger who deserves her own franchise within the MCU. The actor went on to discuss his desire to see Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye and Mark Ruffalo’s Hulk receive their own films.
Read Downey Jr.’s full quote:
“The funny thing is honestly at this point everyone deserves a franchise. I think Jeremy Renner is – when folks see ‘The Avengers: Age of Ultron,’ he’s just a rockstar, a badass. And Ruffalo is pumped. He does great [work]. I’d like to hear them talk even more seriously about a ‘Hulk’ franchise, because that’s been one of the toughest ones to get right. But I’m sure that my parent company is feeling expansive and bold after the summer they’ve had.”
While Downey Jr.’s comments make sense, especially in that the MCU has plenty of characters like Black Widow, Hawkeye, and the Hulk who deserve their own franchises, they aren’t necessarily a reflection of Feige or Marvel Studios’ plan for the characters.
That said, fans have pushed for a Black Widow film – or the introduction of Carol Danvers as Captain Marvel – in the hopes of getting a female-led superhero franchise. While Sony has confirmed an unspecified Spider-Man-related superheroine will debut in her own film in 2017 and DC/Warner Bros. signed Gal Gadot for a 3-picture contract that could include a standalone Wonder Woman feature, Marvel Studios hasn’t set any definite plans.
Still, Feige’s comments ring true. Marvel Studios very recently introduced the Guardians of the Galaxy, plus Ant-Man and Doctor Strange are set to enter the MCU next, leaving very little time for a Black Widow movie. However, if Johansson receives Downey Jr.’s suggested break from portraying Natasha Romanov because of these new entries, it’s possible she could receive her own film somewhere down the line. Or Marvel could decide to go with a different female superhero for a franchise.
What do you think, Screen Rant readers? Which superheroine would you like to see get her own movie?
The Avengers: Age of Ultron hits theaters May 1, 2015.