black widow movie

Go back and read the interviews with director Joss Whedon in the weeks leading up to the release of 2015’s Avengers: Age of Ultron and witness a man who was very happy to be getting out of the superhero movie game. Go back a little further and read the various set visit reports and witness a man who was exhausted and beat to hell by the process of making a $200 million spectacle. With those images fresh in your brain, it’s easy to imagine why Whedon says he’ll never direct a superhero movie again, especially since he can make perfectly entertaining low-budget Shakespeare adaptations in his backyard.

Still, there is one character who Whedon says could possibly pull him back into the Marvel fold: Black Widow. He may be done with Avengers movies, but Scarlet Johansson‘s Natasha Romanoff could be the thing that drags him back into the comic book movie business. Theoretically. Because there are currently no plans to make this movie.

Whedon discussed a potential return to making Marvel movies with IGN (via Heroic Hollywood), which is when he brought up Black Widow, which is when he said this:

I think that character really is very interesting and very earthbound, so it’s the kind of action that I got to do less of with somebody like Thor or The Vision. When you get into your ‘Superman’ territory its harder to maintain the gritty action that the Russo brothers do so brilliantly and she’s got that kind of thing and [you can] really do a spy thriller. Like really do a good, paranoid, ‘John le Carré on crack’ sort of thing. That would be really fun.

There are two things to consider here. First of all, of course Black Widow is what would entice Whedon back into the blockbuster business. We’re talking about the man who created Buffy the Vampire Slayer – tough, ass-kicking female heroes are kind of his thing. Also, let’s not forget that Johansson didn’t quite gel as Natasha until Whedon directed her in The Avengers and the character wasn’t quite defined until Whedon started putting dialogue in her mouth.

And then there’s Whedon spitballing a movie in the John le Carré mold, which conjures images of a smaller scale espionage tale instead of a gigantic superhero brawl. And then that conjures a question: why not make that movie? Fans have been clamoring for a Black Widow solo outing for years and a director like Whedon could take a modest budget and create a more stripped-down, scaled-down spy story that suits the character and her abilities. Joss Whedon may be done making movies on the scale of The Avengers, but Black Widow doesn’t need that to be that huge. Marvel Studios could easily bankroll several smaller budgeted solo movies for the price of a their typical release. There’s no way a Black Widow movie doesn’t turn a profit, not at this point.

So if Marvel Studios decides to make a Black Widow spin-off slightly less theoretical, maybe they should give Whedon a call. And then they could green light a low-budget adaptation of Matt Fraction and David Aja’s Hawkeye run and everyone will be very happy.

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