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Why Black Widow Should Get Her Own Marvel Movie

'The Avengers' proved that Natasha is more than just a pretty face; here's why we think she deserves some more of the spotlight.

By now, most of you who are reading this have already had the pleasure of watching The Avengers; but if you haven't yet don't worry, you can still read this article without any major spoilers. Like many of you who live, breathe and love comics, I too felt that The Avengers was one of the best comic book, super hero movies I have ever watched. Better than all Marvel movies that came before it, and all FOX comic book movie adaptations. It even gave 'The Dark Knight' a run for it's money, in my opinion. But this isn't an article about how much I loved 'The Avengers,' it's about how happy I felt when I left the theater thinking that after just having watched that film, there's no reason why Marvel Studios couldn't make a Black Widow movie.

If you were to have asked me before, I would have told you that there was no way that Marvel Studios could pull off a Black Widow movie -- she just didn't hold enough clout. The character, who has been around since her first appearance in TALES OF SUSPENSE #52 could hardly ever maintain her own ongoing series. At best, they would get cancelled -- not because they weren't good (because they were often fantastic) but because she simply didn't garner support of enough readers. Her appearance in Iron Man 2 when she first met Tony Stark was sub-par. She was completely uninteresting and had no depth.

Before watching the movie I was convinced that Black Widow was the only really odd part of all of The Avengers movie posters and she didn't make sense to me in the trailers because Scarlet Johansson had delivered a less than stellar first performance in Iron Man 2. I wasn't expecting a whole heck of a lot out of her performance in 'The Avengers, and that may very well be the reason why I was so blown away by her character's presence on screen. When I left the theater after having seen The Avengers for the second time the only thing on my mind was, "what the hell happened in Budapest?" I was smitten.

If you get that reference, then you probably know where I am going with this. Even though Black Widow didn't have a tremendous amount of on-screen time, the moments where she made an appearance were compelling -- so much so that I left the theater with a whole new appreciation for her character. Hawkeye and Black Widow had obvious chemistry in the film, but it wasn't sexual; and the fact that Whedon strayed away from any romantic involvement between the two characters (something that frequently appeared in the comics) is what made it so interesting to see the pair working together (and at times against one another) on screen.

What Whedon didn't touch on (which I was completely comfortable with) was the fact that Natasha and Clint Barton were lovers at one time in the comics. At that time, Barton had been working with the Avengers when Natasha was still with the KGB when he fell in love with her and whisked her away. At least that's the romanticized version. In her early appearances, Natasha left the KJB for Barton and the Avengers, although their relationship fizzled. And while there is clearly chemistry between the two characters in Whedon's film, the fact that there is no on-screen romance is a plus. The possible romance would have been distracting, first of all, and it would have ultimately taken away from Natasha's ability to be seen as an equal by her peers (the other Avengers teammates), which I will get into later.

There are some great moments between them, however, that were virtually pulled straight from the comics. In the film, Natasha emphasizes the fact that she owed Clint Barton "a debt" and that is the reason why she was so dedicated to ensuring his safety. That debt is her life, and in turn she feels obligated to save his too, because he had been sent to kill her but instead chose to save her. He (Clint) understood her struggles and all she had endured, and there were diffinitive seeds that were purposely planted by Whedon in the film that will probably be expounded upon later -- hopefully in her own movie.

Black Widow is brainwashed

In the scene where she is coaxing Hawkeye -- who is restrained after being brainwashed by Loki -- she repeats (for a second time) that she "had been compromised." This time, in a more somber tone. She states again that she "has red on her ledger." Those who have read any Black Widow comics or know anything about her history know that she was used by the Russian KGB.

At one time, Black Widow thought herself to be a ballerina, but she later discovered that she had been brainwashed. The memories she thought she had had were not her own, and they were put there by the Russian KGB. She was never a ballerina. Her husband hadn't died as she had originally believed. She was used as a pawn when she was utilized as part of the "Red Room" experiment. During that time, she did a lot of terrible things to people; and the fact that Whedon alludes to this in his film makes me think he is preparing fans for a movie of her own; which she rightly deserves.

All too often when there is a prominent female character in a cast of mostly men, the woman is often the object of affection -- she's used as the romantic interest. We saw Natasha play that role in Iron Man 2 when she was first introduced to audiences. She was there mainly for eye candy, referenced specifically by Iron Man's character.

There was none of that here. In Whedon's film Black Widow was able to play with the boys, and the fact that they never once questioned her capabilities and consistently treated her as an equal was probably the most compelling thing about her portrayal. It's so much so that you forget that Scarlett Johansson is sexy. It's never in your face. The blatant joke in the beginning of the film by Georgi Luchkov during the interrogation where he claims that Natasha is "nothing more than a pretty face" is an obvious affront to an age old cliche; that she wouldn't have such prowess without her striking good looks. This is something that both Whedon and Scarlett Johannson successfully disprove.

Black Widow naturally has an interesting (albeit, complicated) history in Marvel Comics. Born in 1928 in a small town in Russia, she is said to be the last of the Romanov's. She became a spy for the KGB, was brainwashed, and at one time she even took a dose of super soldier serum -- which explains why she still looks good after all these years. She is smart, savvy and of course, beautiful; making her deadly. In her performance in The Avengers, Scarlett Johansson and Joss Whedon proved that Black Widow can be conveyed as an interesting and compelling character.

After seeing The Avengers there is no doubt in my mind that Marvel Studios can't make a great superhero/spy movie featuring both Black Widow and Hawkeye. She has a complicated history, (and so does he) and certainly both characters have their share of demons; but that's what makes them human and easy to relate to. Hopefully we'll get to see what happened in Budapest in Black Widow's very own feature film, or at the very least find out where all that "red on her ledger" came from.

What do you think? Do you want to see a Black Widow/Hawkeye spin-off movie? Do you think that kind of a film would be successful?

177 CommentsRefresh
Posted by HolySerpent

No...don't see it

Posted by Chaos Burn

I reckon it should be all David Lynch-ey, y'know with lots of flashbacks to Red Room trauma and psychological pressure on Natasha, it certainly shouldn't be an all an out 'scientifically enhanced sexy girl gets revenge on the corperation'... we've seen that in Resident Evil, Underworld, Ultraviolet, and more i'm sure

Posted by Top Flight Security

A strong female lead that can kick tail and take names? I see nothing but a win only if a good script is put together and done correctly. Scarlett did a good job portraying the super spy. We shall see what happens next.

Posted by satanmode

@Bestostero said:

Black Widow, yes. Scarlet Johansson, no.


Posted by ppetrov83


That's why!

Posted by tamabone

@ppetrov83: TOO COOL. I LOVE IT!!!!

Posted by thephantomstranger

@TheHeat said:

A SHIELD movie involving Black Widow, Hawkeye, Fury, and the soon to be Vision, Coulson would be sweet.


Posted by GunslingerPanda

lol, the Scarlet Johansson hate is hilarious.

If they do it, it should be "Hawkeye and The Black Widow" rather than just Black Widow. Throw in Winter Soldier too to make me happy.

Posted by Mrakbarman

Eh I was hoping for a loki film after i saw the movie....

Posted by fodigg

A Black Widow film is a must. Marvel already has a leading lady problem. All their big name females are one of the following:

Black Widow (along with Elektra and Mystique) is one of the few female characters that avoids the above issues. She's been chosen as the movie-verse's leading lady already and her appearances in Iron Man 2 and The Avengers have really put her out there for non-comics fans. I'm not the biggest ScarJo fan—would've much preferred Emily Blunt—but she performed well under Joss's direction in Avengers. I think it's time Marvel commits to a female lead in one of their films, and she's the obvious choice at this point.

I especially think a Black Widow film would work if they pair her with another character, such as Hawkeye or Winter Soldier if they bring him back (that'd probably need to be done in a Captain America sequel first though). And I'd definitely want it to be a Black Widow film with her has the clear lead. I liked the Hawkeye relationship, but I'd worry they'd feel compelled to make it a romance if they did a paired film, and I wouldn't want that. By making her connection to the other characters non-romantic in Avengers, Joss succeeded in setting Widow on the same level as the other characters, unlike in Iron Man 2 where she was just eye candy. I wouldn't want that changed in her solo flick unless they introduced a new character specifically as her "dude in distress."

So yeah, I agree big time, it's time for a Black Widow film. It's time to find out about the red room and have her fight the evil Widow. That would work. Unless they get the rights back for the X-Men characters or Elektra, Black Widow is their most recognizable female lead.

Posted by bladewolf

You should proofread your articles before posting: it's not "diffinitive" it's "definitive," and you also call it the "KJB" after correctly calling it the "KGB" the sentence before.

Posted by SupremeHyperion

Before I saw avengers I didn't think she was all that great for a movie, but after seeing avengers I do see her being more than enough to make a great movie.

Posted by Iron Fist Angel

@The Lobster said:

Alone, Black Widow and Hawkeye aren't strong enough characters to carry their own film. Together, it could definitely work. I'd love to see a S.H.E.I.L.D. movie done in the style of Mission Impossible with Black Widow, Hawkeye, and Nick Fury in the leading roles. The big question would be....who would be the main bad guy they're sent after? Hydra? Taskmaster? Both?

Agree on the first point but I also can't see people getting too excited about a Widow/Hawkeye movie. Some of the Avengers team just don't need their own movie. And I agree with those who say no to Scarlett playing the role again. I like her as an actor but I do NOT like her as Natasha at all.

Posted by LordRequiem

Most definately not, especially if it's with Scarlett Johannson who just happens to be flavour of the month, and has the charisma of a baked potato (not to mention the acting chops of a ...well.... baked potato).

Posted by scottyhanstein

Didn't they all sign contracts for 6 movies or was it just Ruffalo and the guy who played Bucky in Cap? If they did, then there's the answer to the question.

Posted by MAZAHS117

I'm down for a Black Widow feature film! Doesn't have to be anything over-the-top....Would be cool if it was done and had a "Jason Bourne" esqe feel to it....Or maybe just do a Black Widow/Hawkeye movie together!

Posted by The_Ruiner

eh..she's a cool teammate..but I don't want them wasting millions on a solo movie... just put her in the Cap and Avengers movies...

Posted by Billy Batson

How about no. Maybe after she can hold her own title without getting bad ratings and cancellations then we'll talk.

Posted by dragoness1993

I would really like to see a Black Widow movie with her and Hawkeye. I think their background should be explored more and they should include bits of Widow's childhood and time with the KGB. I don't think they should base every detail on the comic though as it is very complicated but maybe alter it slightly in their own way. I also think that Scarlett Johansson should be replaced. Her acting skills are not strong enough in my opinion, sure she's got the looks dead on but I think we need someone else to reprise the role.

Posted by Or35ti

Black Widow was great! But if Marvel keeps making movies for every character the superhero genre is gonna dominate the movie market.

Posted by mosnterduc1000

What an absolutely TERRIBLE idea. Black Widow and Hawkeye were BY FAR the worst part of a great movie. I cringed every time they got screen time, especially when Renner did that lame bow extension arm snap. DO YOU KNOW HOW MUCH OF A DOUCHE YOU LOOK LIKE DOING THAT?!?! And Scarlett is no where near hot enough to wear a skin tight black suit. Did you see that chunky bum when she was talking to Loki? She is supposed to be incredibly hot, not the chub bum girl next door type.

Posted by Stronger

She would make a great film I think.

Posted by htb106

she definetely does deserve her own movie!

Posted by aarny

See I thought she had a little too much screen time. Not because of the character, but Scarlet's acting was off putting to me.

Posted by Solomonwreath

She should get a movie because scarlett johanson has the option not to play and does be she sees how awesome the character is.

Posted by Casshern

I still so no. But she has a better story than Ant-Man as a stand alone movie.

Posted by NYStreets09e

I dunno, though i Love Black widow the character, I still don't like the fact that they haven't had her speak or use a Russian accent, and I know i know before anyone tells me, Black widow has recently in comic lost her accent to better herself as a spy but still it wouldn't hurt the movie if we heard Scarlet speak russian in a scene or two, its personally for me something special that makes Natasha who she is.

Posted by The Cyan Lantern

Black Widow movie be something like Haywire: GOOD

Black Widow movie be something like Electra: BAD

It's a VERY fine line to walk but do wish for the best is done so

Posted by lapis2

@chalkshark: Did anyone even see Salt? I know I didnt, and neither did anyone I know.

Posted by chalkshark

@lapis2: With a global box office just this side of $300,000,000.00, certainly someone saw Salt. It more than doubled it's budget in box office returns, and opened in second place, behind Inception. I went to see it, and so did all of my friends.

Posted by Stefano

i think they should make a origin story of black widaw and hawkeye, how they met and everything...

Posted by KidSupreme

I dont think soo

Posted by creole

@the stegman: WB needs to be choked? for all we know Black Widow could end up like Catwoman or Elektra? and it is true Salt beat widow to the big screen first.

Edited by cbishop

I'd like to see the Budapest story with Black Widow & Hawkeye, but I hope it would take place "recently" enough to end with her joining SHIELD, pointing the way to and placing her movie in the timeline of the Avengers movie.

Spy movies are done all the time (how many Mission Impossibles, now?) - I think the character could carry her own movie easily. But she's not on her own. Add Hawkeye and Nick Fury, and the movie is a done deal.

Posted by McClintick

I do believe there should be a Black Widow movie but i could do without hawkeye though it would make sense. Scarlett Johansson is just the perfect actress for widow is what will/is makeing the character raise. Much like jackman did with wolverine. I've noticed that superheroes become alot more interesting when modled after a real-life actor i think its because people connect with the screen in a way you just cant in comics. This may be why i loving the Marvels the Avengers - Black Widow Strikes comic. Cause with johansson's face the character is just more fun.

Posted by vance_astro

Black Widow is female,nearly unimportant to the Marvel Universe,and alot like Captain America whom has already gotten his own film.Please learn from Elektra.Let the character stand on their own two in comics first before trying to give them a film.You don't make a supporting character a main attraction.

Posted by perry_411

She can't act worth a shart. They'd have to recast her.

Edited by ThomasElliot

Just a SHIELD movie in general, so that it also includes Maria Hill (I would like for there to be a side-by-side fight scene with HIll and Widow, it would be good film).

And a SHIELD origins movie is also a way to bring back Coulson one last time. Maybe even throw in Dum Dum somewhere.

Oh, also... imagine if a SHIELD origins movie had an intro showing Sgt Fury and his Howling Commandos.... it could be updated to take place in the '91 Gulf War or something. Come ON that would be bad ass!! know, I forgot the Captain A movie had the Howling Commandos... maybe a 'newer' modern squad? I dunno.

Posted by FullmetalChobit


I agree, love stories so seldom happened between superheroes.

I'd love to see a Black Canary / Green Arrow movie. Now there's another character who SHOULDN'T be played by Scarlet Johanson.

Posted by MonkeyKing1969

The best reason Black Widow should have her own movie - Scarlett Johansson. That's it! They have a good actor that works in the role - there is no better reason.

Posted by shackle

First, those criticizing Johansson's portrayal--you're a bunch of morons.

Second, with the way Avengers played out, BW wouldn't have to carry a film by herself. She's already had a small role in the second Iron Man; she could easily be paired with CA, Hawkeye, or Fury/Shield if there was any concern about her carrying a movie on her own. I liked the suggestion earlier, of using a BW (and someone else, maybe) story to bring Bucky back into the fold. That has a huge amount of potential in my opinion.

Posted by MrGutts

@Vance Astro said:

Black Widow is female,nearly unimportant to the Marvel Universe,and alot like Captain America whom has already gotten his own film.Please learn from Elektra.Let the character stand on their own two in comics first before trying to give them a film.You don't make a supporting character a main attraction.

Nicely said.

Posted by Meat_Spinner

Never was a huge fan of Black Widow.
She's just copy-paste Russian Spy with an average personality. I kinda preffered her as a traitor villain in Ultimates. 
I'm sorry but i don't think she stands on the same level with other Avengers and deserves her Own movie
Hell, i'd be A LOT more excited for a Pepper Pots  solo movie! 
But if Marvel runs out of ideas, i'd guess a Hawkeye/BlackWidow prequel movie would be a decent idea

Posted by Miss_Garrick

I was very happy with Scarlet Johansson's performance in Iron Man 2. It was one of the few things I liked in the whole movie, because she was always calm, stoic, and professional, the way I think Black Widow should be done in films. I'm not even that big a Black Widow fan, yet I would totally love to watch a Black Widow movie if Scarlet Johansson would do it.

Posted by TheGremlin

I can think of two reasons Black Widow should get her own movie and one reason why it wouldn't work.

1. Scarlet Johansson is hot.

2. Black Widow is badass.

3. Black Widow doesn't carry enough weight with average fans and wouldn't sell.

But like people keep saying if they made a SHIELD movie it would definately work. Not necessarily a prequal though. With the exception of Captain America none of the others have been prequals and they all simply led up to Avengers anyway. Just give them their own movie while they're working on producing Iron Man 3 and Thor 2.

Posted by Iamlovewithin500
@Mister_Sensational said:

@The Stegman said:

If she gets a movie before Wonder Woman, I'mma choke someone.

Well that person should be someone from DC and/or Warner Bros. because you surely can't blame Marvel for introducing Black Widow in the films and making her such a compelling character, meanwhile DC still refuses to even entertain the idea of a Wonder Woman movie despite her long standing status as one of the best (if not the greatest) female superhero and us fans constantly asking for one.

If This hoe gets one before Storm I'm gone light someones ass fire. 
J/k J/k..Or am I?
Posted by Iamlovewithin500

Really though she deserves a movie.Some MU female does.

Posted by MutieLover

Blade was and still is a Z-list Marvel character.

The Blade Trilogy racked in over $400,00,000 in world-wide revenue.

With the write script/director/actors there is hope for any movie, I don't see why Black Widow couldn't work.

Posted by tg1982

@MutieLover said:

Blade was and still is a Z-list Marvel character.

The Blade Trilogy racked in over $400,00,000 in world-wide revenue.

With the write script/director/actors there is hope for any movie, I don't see why Black Widow couldn't work.

I agree. I made a similar post in another thread. If a no name like Blade could get a movie and then be famous then Blak Widow should be able to get one aswell and with her current popularity, due to Avengers, it could work very nicely but would have to be written good not like that steaming pile that Elektra was.

Posted by NXH

As long as it's directed by Joss Whedon, I'm good lol