Marvel Is Doing “Development Work” For a Black Widow Movie. But What Does That Really Mean?
by Rebecca Pahle | 11:00 am, February 13th, 2014
Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige said a thing. A thing about a Black Widow movie. Put your skepticism caps on, we’re going for a ride.
You know and I know that Marvel Studios has been great, absolutely wonderful so far, at making quality movies about their white male superheroes. Ladies and POC… not so much. (Still waiting on that Falcon character poster.) But the Internet got all a’buzzin’ yesterday when it was announced that a Black Widow movie is in development. Or. Well. That “development work” is being done. Take it away, Feige (emphasis mine):
“Black Widow’s whole arc [in The Winter Soldier] is coming to terms with her history – that she’s been a spy, and spies aren’t necessarily trustworthy. We start filming the next Avengers film at the end of March. [Black] Widow’s part in that is very big. We learn more about her past and learn more about where she came from and how she became in that film. The notion of exploring that even further in her own film would be great, and we have some development work with that.“
On the one hand: Yay! More Black Widow! Marvel realizes she’s a viable character to devote a movie to! We’ve had our space opera with Thor, and we’re getting our ’70s political thriller with Winter Soldier. Giving Black Widow her own spy movie makes all kinds of sense, and it gives us a female-led superhero movie besides.
That said, the way Feige says “making this movie would be great” rubs me the wrong way a little bit. Because Marvel Studios could actually commit to making this movie. Like, announce it as part of Phrase Three. And “development work” is very different from a film being “in development.” Basically, it reads to me like Feige was being very careful to phrase things in such a way so it’s clear that they’re still deciding whether to make a Black Widow movie or not. And they might! But don’t hold them to it.
But hell, I’m not a mind reader. Maybe I’m not giving them enough credit. Maybe they are really planning to do a Black Widow movie. But let me point out two things.
One: Marvel Studios is really, really good at planning ahead. It’s kind of their whole thing. Iron Man made bank all the way back in 2008, and they started planning franchises. They announced they were doing Ant-Man years ago. So if they are serious about giving Black Widow her own film anytime soon, you’d think they’d get around to announcing it. Really announcing it, none of this “Well, maybe” crap. The optimistic take on this is that maybe they’re waiting for the right moment… like Winter Soldier having a gangbusters opening weekend. But I’m not holding my breath. Because two:
A Black Panther movie has been “on the horizon” for quite some time. And so far? Crickets.
Prove me wrong, Marvel Studios. Prove me wrong.