Out of the all collateral damage in Avengers: Age of Ultron, the biggest casualty might have been Joss Whedon’s relationship with Marvel Studios. After directing two Avengers film for the comic book movie studio, and having a hand in several others, the fan-favourite filmmaker pretty much called it quits on the MCU after a lengthy shoot on Age of Ultron. After wrangling together one of the biggest superhero team up movies of all time, Whedon was burnt out. It also didn’t help that production apparently got very contentious as the studio reportedly insisted Whedon needed to add narrative beats to his movie that would setup other Marvel properties. In short Whedon was tired and unhappy and needed a break.
But despite how rocky things may have been at the end there, there’s one character that would have right into the thick of things in the MCU again in a heartbeat: Black Widow. IGN caught up with Whedon at Comic-Con where he had had his own panel for his Dark Horse Comics works, and it was during their conversation that the filmmaker explained.
“If someone pointed at me and said, ‘Do you want to do a Black Widow movie?’, the answer would be ‘Duh!’”
Scarlett Johansson’s superspy Black Widow first made her MCU debut in Iron Man 2, but it was really Whedon’s work with the character in The Avengers that made her first truly standout. He continued make to her the focus of most the character work in Age of Ultron – though some didn’t approve him having adding romantic tension between her and Mark Ruffalo’s Bruce Banner aka the Hulk – which fits in perfectly with Whedon’s history of writing kickass and complex female characters. So it certainly makes a whole lot of sense that Whedon wants to stick with the character.
And it seems he even already knows what his Black Widow movie would be like.
“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 it’s 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.”
She certainly worked brilliantly Joe and Anthony Russo’ Captain America: Civil War, which as close to a spy thriller as the MCU has had, so he’s definitely onto something. The character has such a checkered past that’s been shrouded in so much mystery, that there’s no shortage of storytelling angles you could take with her. Plus, Scarlett Johansson is apparently just a blast, according to Whedon.
“Scarlett Johansson is just delightful. She works really hard but she just spends most of her time cracking me up, so it would be a fun shoot.”
Know who else Johansson keeps smiling? Her banker, as she currently has the honour – mainly due to her Marvel efforts – of being the highest grossing actress of all time, with her movies bringing in a combined $3.3 billion globally. And with her popularity as well as that of her character, it’s actually kind of ridiculous that Marvel have not yet given her her own movie.
A massive previous roadblock was Marvel Entertainment CEO Ike Perlmutter. The controversially frugal and reclusive businessman had reportedly been a thorn in the side of Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige for years, forcing the studio head to nickle and dime cast members and influencing story directions with antiquated ideas. He reportedly was also the main reason why Disney had almost no Black Widow toys as he believed that only boys would buy such merchandise and they wouldn’t want a girl superhero.
But there was a huge exec shakeup last year that saw Feige managing to get out from under Perlmutter’s thumb, and thus freeing him creatively and financially. Of course at this point, Marvel’s Phase 3 plans had already been locked in, so there was no just shoehorning a Black Widow movie in there (though they kind of pulled that trick off with Spider-Man), but there’s nothing stopping them from doing it in the future.
Plus, if DC’s Wonder Woman turns out to be even remotely as good as its fantastic first trailer makes it out to be, then Marvel are definitely going to have to up their female superhero game. Yes, they’ve got Brie Larson joining the fray soon as Captain Marvel, but she doesn’t have the built-in audience and years of fan-love that Black Widow does. There’s really no reason to not make a Black Widow movie, and I can’t think of a better person to do it than Whedon. So come on, Marvel. Ask the man the damn question. Duh!
You can watch the full interview with Whedon below.
Last Updated: July 25, 2016