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The Unrealized BLACK WIDOW Solo Movie

What could have been if Solid Snake and Natasha Romanov had teamed up...

 Catching her breath during the fight with Aeon.
 Catching her breath during the fight with Aeon.

Years before Scarlett Johannson had the teeniest, eeniest inkling she’d be slipping into a skintight outfit to play the Black Widow in Iron Man 2, Natasha Romanov was set to make her cinematic debut with a solo film. And it was to be directed by fellow Cold War-relic super spy Solid Snake, no less!

That’s right, David Hayter, the screenwriter of WATCHMEN, X-MEN and X2 was going to make a BLACK WIDOW movie around 2005. So what happened? Was there some sabotage? In a way, there was - - at the hands of stealthy, flexible, infinitely-cloned super-killer Aeon Flux.  Like a spy coming in from the cold, Hayter finally set the record straight in the new book TALES FROM THE SCRIPT: 50 HOLLYWOOD SCREENWRITERS SHARE THEIR STORIES (and thanks to Latino Review for the heads up).

So says Hayter…

I had a very solid relationship with Marvel, having worked on a number of films with them, and I was looking for something to write and direct.  They brought up Black Widow, and I knew the character very well from the comic book.  So I spent about a year working on the script, and I was extremely happy with it.  Essentially, the story is a young Russian girl’s parents are killed, so she’s given to the KGB to be developed into a super spy.  In her early teen years, the Soviet Union crumbles, so they decide to kill her.  But at that point, she’s too tough to kill, so she escapes and makes her way to America.  Then, years later, we catch up with her in present day.  She’s a freelance mercenary, and she’s called back to where she was brought up to face her past.  What I tried to do was use the backdrop of the splintered Soviet Empire – a lawless insane asylum with four hundred some odd nuclear missile silos.  It was all about loose nukes, and I felt it was very timely and very cool.  Unfortunately, as I was coming up on the final draft, a number of female vigilante movies came out.  We had Tomb Raider and Kill Bill, which were the ones that worked, but then we had BloodRayne and Ultraviolet and Aeon Flux.  Aeon Flux didn’t open well, and three days after it opened, the studio said, “We don’t think it’s time to do this movie.”  I accepted their logic in terms of the saturation of the marketplace, but it was pretty painful.  I had not only invested a lot of time in that movie, but I had also named my daughter, who was born in that time period Natasha – after the lead character in Black Widow. I named my daughter after a movie that I wasn’t working on anymore.

 Yeesh… naming your daughter after a movie that never got made. That’s a rough punch line to this cinematic “missed connection.” I liked AEON FLUX when it came out in ’05. Yeah, it was loosely based on the cartoon, but I preferred the movie’s story. That whole infiltration of the Japanese garden and its floral traps was a memorable scene. It’s a shame that it didn’t perform that well in the box office, not only for its own sake, but also for the bad precedent it set for genre actioners with female leads.

What do you think of this revelation, oh stealthy Comic Vine community? Would you have liked to have seen Hayter’s shot at Black Widow? Or is it better now that she’s been saved for IRON MAN 2 and Ms. Johansson?

-- Tom Pinchuk is the writer of UNIMAGINABLE for Arcana Comics and HYBRID BASTARDS! for Archaia Comics.   Watch out for the HYBRID BASTARDS! hardcover collection this March - - available for pre-order now on

Avatar image for cellphonegirl
Posted by CellphoneGirl

I like it better with her being in Iron Man 2, but they should sometime make a movie for her.

Avatar image for moomin123
Posted by Moomin123

To be honest, I don't think it could've worked well.
Avatar image for emperor_gonzo_noir
Posted by Emperor Gonzo Noir

God , I would've loved to see that

Avatar image for tyler_starke
Posted by Tyler Starke

Poor Hayter, he keeps getting screwed, I can't help but feel for him because he's the voice of my favorite video game protagonist

Avatar image for bloodstonefreak
Posted by Bloodstonefreak

I believe Hayter would have done an AMAZING job. 
@Tyler Starke:  I 100% agree with you.  He gets screwed all the time.  Such a great screenwriter, too!

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Posted by eserrano05

i love metal gear and xmen 1 & 2 were good watchmen was alright i couldnt see this movie failing coulda been a classic

Avatar image for angelfrost
Posted by AngelFrost

I would've loved a Black Widow movie. I think she is one comic character with a big, emotional history that is believable and not many people know it, which is why it should be explored. It's ashame we didn't get to see Natasha in a solo movie. I liked Aeon Flux and Ultraviolet I think the problem with them was the futuristic feel they had to them, which probably didn't come across well to most viewers. Whereas the one's set in present or past like Kill Bill and Tomb Raider were highly successful, & I think the BW movie would have been.

Avatar image for art_penwright
Posted by Art Penwright

I think Black Widow is a hard sell because she's not that well known. What might make a good case for effective femme fatales, is the Y: The Last Man movie (if they ever make it.) Agent 355 is one of the most bad @ss Mo-Fo's in comics.

Avatar image for sora_thekey
Posted by sora_thekey

This movie should still be made after iron Man 2.....  
Like an Avengers Origins: Black Widow
I still think a SHIELD movie is in order... showcasing Nick Fury, Carol Danvers (Pre-Ms. Marvel), Jessica Drew (Pre-Spider-Woman), Black Widow, Clint Barton and Walter Lawson!
Avatar image for yung_ancient_one
Posted by Yung ANcient One

make the daam movie

Avatar image for primmaster64
Posted by Primmaster64

Snake!Snake!SSSSSNNNNNAAAAAKKKKEEE!!!!!HMMM how bout a MG movie?

Avatar image for m_man360
Posted by m_man360

Here's the script, eat it up:

Avatar image for airdave817
Posted by AirDave817

Wasn't this also around the time that Halle Berry  was Jinx in Die Another Day and then Catwoman, and deepend the box office poison?

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Posted by Argentino_18


Avatar image for adam_michaels
Posted by Adam Michaels

On a personal note, I would watch any movie on any comic book character. Be it mainstream or small-time. So I would welcome a Black Widow film just as much as I welcomed an Elektra film (which I enjoyed very much). But I can understand that she might not be the box office success that some might expect. But then again, who said this movie needs to be a box office smash? As long as it turns in a profit for the studio, then it qualifies as successful. 

Maybe after Iron Man 2, Marvel Studios will realize that maybe Black Widow has what it takes to go solo. I do believe that she has an interesting backstory and that Hayter had a damn good plot in the works.  
Sometimes, I can't help but realize how lucky we are that some really stupid concepts and ideas never make it to film. But at the same time, we miss out on great ones like Hayter's take on Black Widow that never gets done. Crossing my finger for it to be green-lit after IM2.

Avatar image for illyana_rasputin
Posted by Illyana Rasputin

With Ultraviolet, Resident Evil: Apocalypse, Aeon Flux, Tomb Raider: Cradle Of Life, and Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle all popular at the same time, I can understand the producers' trepidation at making a Black Widow movie. I think that it is interesting that David Hayter and his wife chose Natasha as the name of their daughter, considering the project did not come to pass. Wait for the green light before naming your offspring after potential film projects. I hope they had an actual affinity towards the character.
Avatar image for lawton
Posted by Lawton

Could've been worse. He coiuld have called her Meryl. Still, lot of love for Snake.

Avatar image for dh69
Posted by DH69

we havent even seen if she can pull of being the black widow still against her. why the hell would they give her her own movie

Avatar image for b_a_t_s
Posted by B A T S

Naming his daughter Natasha was cool...
But straight up naming his daughter BLACK WIDOW HAYTER would have been totally badass.
I smell a missed opportunity...

Avatar image for nyogtha
Posted by Nyogtha
@Moomin123:  Yea, probably would carry as much weight as that Shang-Chi movie Marvel was talking about doing. Eh, I take that back, probably more, but only if it were recent since she's in the limelight more now.
Avatar image for archetype
Posted by Archetype

I've said before that I love spy stuff so this would have been right up my ally.I get why the studio wouldn't want to make it, kind of like how vampire and werewolf movies are going to need to take break after Twilight.Sadly his movie could have been better than those movies that it would've followed but we'll never know.

Avatar image for adrenelad
Posted by Adrenelad

nothing keeping them from making it now!
Avatar image for sigersonltd
Posted by SigersonLTD

You wanna know what I think? I think Marvel screwed the pooch back then, and to this day continue to do so. Just because bad movies come out, doesn't mean that you still can't make a good movie.... 

Avatar image for bingbangboom
Posted by bingbangboom

I think it is possible that they will gauge how popular Black Widow is in Iron Man 2 and decide to make a movie. There has been a track record that female action movies don't do incredibly well, especially with comic book characters, Elektra and Catwoman.

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Posted by Crazy Pan
@bingbangboom: Nooo! The repressed memories! They're flooding back now! D:
Avatar image for bingbangboom
Posted by bingbangboom
@Crazy Pan: At least they didn't make Black Widow some how a Spider-Man character that was Mary Jane that got bit by the mother of the spider that bit Spider-Man causing her to have incredible powers and a spider-suit except hers would just be in bikini form.
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Posted by fanbla72

i'd bin a heap of crappy comic book movies if it guaranteed Scarlett sliding in to the Black Widow costume.

Avatar image for pentagram
Posted by pentagram
@sora_thekey said:
This movie should still be made after iron Man 2.....  
Like an Avengers Origins: Black Widow I still think a SHIELD movie is in order... showcasing Nick Fury, Carol Danvers (Pre-Ms. Marvel), Jessica Drew (Pre-Spider-Woman), Black Widow, Clint Barton and Walter Lawson! "
wasnt jessica already spider woman when she first joined.
Avatar image for haloking343
Posted by HaloKing343

Those are some of the best superhero movies out there. Watchem, Xmen and X2! Wow, those are some of my favorites
Avatar image for phantom_patriot
Posted by Phantom Patriot

it seems so dumb to just give every character a movie... they'll all end up being really cliche, and its going to cost so much money.
maybe team ups with nick fury and black widow and luke cage or something but giving each character a solo film is very foolish. not everyone is batman :P

Avatar image for sora_thekey
Posted by sora_thekey
@pentagram said:
" @sora_thekey said:
This movie should still be made after iron Man 2.....  
Like an Avengers Origins: Black Widow I still think a SHIELD movie is in order... showcasing Nick Fury, Carol Danvers (Pre-Ms. Marvel), Jessica Drew (Pre-Spider-Woman), Black Widow, Clint Barton and Walter Lawson! "
wasnt jessica already spider woman when she first joined. "

Right... but she was a double agent so in my idea of the movie she could be the bad guy!
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Edited by Bergquist

thay should make it after thay get the movie rights to wolverine back and put him and cap and  Bucky in it . 
i mean you know marvel well reboot wolverine when thay get the rights that movie sucked 
love black window can't wait for new ongoing
Avatar image for jefprice
Posted by jefprice

I saw AF the day it came out and loved it, still do.  
As far as Berry in Die Another Day, that was praised by critics and all but the most die hard of fans, I doubt it had any effect.  
UV, wow Lol great visuals but that was a pile Lol  
I kinda don;t feel bad for him naming his daughter that, lol who names their kid after something they haven't done yet and what kid wants to grow up to find out they were named after a comicbook person in a film? I'd be mad. lol 

Avatar image for yung_ancient_one
Posted by Yung ANcient One

1st lets get Iron Man2 out of the way... then Thor.... then Cap...
Then i Wolvie and DP in between... somewhere...
Iron man, Cap, Thor, Wolverine, Spidey, Hulk(cameo), Black Widow, War Machine(Cameo)
and one of these people(Hawkeye, Wasp, Pym, Vision)... and we have our Avenger movie
after that movie is a success depending on Black Widows new Fanbase... we can make this movie...

Avatar image for dondasch
Posted by dondasch

It would have been nice to see a Black Widow movie, but there's no way to say if Johanssen being in Iron Man 2 will be better or not due to the movie not having come out yet and the Black Widow movie being cancelled.  Perchance to dream.