Why Now, More Than Ever, Black Widow Needs Her Own Movie
By: Haylee Fisher (@haylee_fisher)
Captain America: The Winter Soldier has been number one at the box office three weeks in a row, undoubtedly thanks in part the presence of Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow. She’s been in other Marvel movies, yes, but this is the first time she was given the chance to show off her personality and not just her fighting skills. Because of the movie’s success and because of her significant presence, it proves she deserves her own solo movie. Not only is she an overall amazing character with a rich history and a future with unlimited potential, but little girls need a badass female superhero they can look up to as well.
Studios seem to be unwilling to take a chance on female-led superhero movies and instead churn out ones about males, which needs to change. Marvel needs to strike while the iron is hot and make a movie about the woman who has had all eyes on her – and with good reason – since the release of The Winter Soldier.
Past, Present, and Future
Natasha Romanoff made her first appearance in comics 50 years ago. (Fifty years ago this month, in fact.) As such, her background has been explored thoroughly. The problem with that is not everyone reads comics and a casual fan is more likely to just watch a movie. Why would Marvel not want to appeal to as many fans as possible and get her story on film?
That past would make a thoroughly interesting and entertaining film. Why does Natasha act the way she does? Is she ashamed of her history? In The Avengers, she mentioned wanting to wipe out the red in her ledger – what exactly is that red? She has clearly become close with Steve Rogers post-Avengers/pre-Winter Soldier – does she feel unworthy of that friendship in any way knowing he’s such a genuinely good guy and her history is perhaps guilt-inducing? And what exactly happened in Budapest between her and Hawkeye?
However, it may be too late to dive into her past and a solo movie may be smart to focus on her present. She has been a secondary character in three movies so far and while they have been a great introduction, she should be given the opportunity to show how she deals with the fallout from her battles just as much as Tony Stark has. She is haunted by her past and struggles with regret and it is important to show that is a normal feeling. Even superheroes have done things they are not necessarily proud of and a film showing her change in attitude would prove anyone could turn their life around and become a better person. Additionally, her relationships with Steve and Clint are fascinating and worthy of further study. If Natasha was given a solo movie, Marvel would for sure want cameos (or even just mentions!) of the other Avengers and looking at her relationships with the men on her team would be a great way to do that.
Introducing the Winter Soldier could be foreshadowing. Is that Marvel’s way of teasing future plots? Sebastian Stan has a nine-picture deal and fans of the comics know what happens to his character Bucky Barnes. As popular as Natasha is and as popular as the Winter Soldier has become, there is no doubt fans would love to see their storyline potentially come to fruition.
Anthony Mackie said it best when he said, “Scarlett does a great representation…’cause little girls deserve that. There are so many people out there doing awful things for money in the world of being famous. And little girls see that. They should have the opposite spectrum of that to look up to.”
It’s true – female superheroes are vastly underrepresented. By comparison, it’s hard to count how many male superhero movies have been made. That just seems flat-out unfair. If a little girl becomes interested in The Avengers and wants to learn more about them, she may be intimidated by the fact that it seems to be a boy’s club. Black Widow plays a part, but without a solo film, it doesn’t seem like she plays a very big one and that Marvel doesn’t care. With her past film involvement, she is already an established character, which would play a part in prospective movie success.
It’s not just little girls that need a cool role model. Young women are run out of fandoms all the time and are accused of being a “fake geek girl.” Hopefully those doing the running-out would see a Black Widow movie and maybe have a change of heart about women in the nerd world. And if they still give women a hard time, said women would then be able to take a trick out of Natasha’s book and crush the naysayers’ heads with their thighs alone.
To give her a solo movie would be a step in the right direction in righting previous wrongs in the world of superhero movies.
Black Widow is a competent and compelling character. Though she has been given the chance to prove this in her previous movie appearances, her own would show just how great she truly is. Her backstory is begging for a solo movie, but so is her present and beyond. Marvel took a risk when they began their cinematic universe and in taking one with a Black Widow film, they would be trailblazers in the fight for equal representation. Would it truly be a risk, though, when it would be practically guaranteed to succeed because of her previously established fanbase?
Her heavy involvement in Captain America: The Winter Soldier and the film’s subsequent success prove she could carry a film. She possesses qualities that make her stand out from her male counterparts and has a story that deserves to be told just as much as theirs does.