Back in January, Marvel announced that Jac Schaeffer was attached to write a possible BLACK WIDOW solo movie. Since Black Widow first appeared in IRON MAN 2, fans have been endlessly clamoring for a solo film.

BLACK WIDOW solo movie talks have it moored in development hell. It’d be great for something to finally happen. I mean, we’re about to get a second ANT-MAN movie. Whoever thought that would happen? Pretty much every other member of the 2012 Avengers line-up, excluding Hawkeye, have gotten their own movie.

Black Widow has a rich comic book history and a prominent presence in several of the MCU films outside of the AVENGERS team-ups. She more than deserves her own film, especially now that female-led superhero movies are becoming more popular. At this point, there’s no such thing as oversaturating the superhero movie market.

A Black Widow Solo Movie — A Prequel?

At this stage in superhero movies, it’s becoming more popular to place an origin film in the past. WONDER WOMAN took place during World War I, establishing Diana as a person before she chose to pursue heroics. The highly anticipated CAPTAIN MARVEL film starring Brie Larson as Carol Danvers takes place set against a ’90s backdrop.

MCU’s CAPTAIN MARVEL: What We Know So Far

It’s a much easier way to introduce a character than creating a whole film meant to move forward not just its own plot, but the massive weight of a multi-billion dollar franchise. You know, no big deal or anything. Black Widow’s comic book history is a rich tapestry. There’s a lot to delve into, and if execs don’t want to mess with the delicate balance that is movie universe continuity, a BLACK WIDOW solo movie could go back in time.

Black Widow Began As A Villain

An incredibly interesting but little-explored fact in the films is that Natasha Romanoff wasn’t always the good guy. In fact, I think it could be argued she’s much more of a reluctant anti-hero in the current film franchise compared to the happy go lucky Peter Parker. There’s a wealth of information hidden in Natasha’s past.

What was it like for her growing up in Russia? What long-lasting effects did her training have on her beyond just sterilization? Motherhood isn’t the end-all-be-all for female characters. (Though AGE OF ULTRON would like to prove me wrong.)

black widow solo movie
She’s coming for you.

Natasha’s comic book origin is rooted in the horrific training and brainwashing of the Red Room. One of Black Widow’s first missions pits her against Tony Stark and his Iron Man alter-ego in order to retrieve Professor Anton Vanko, a scientist who had defected from the Soviet Union. Natasha’s later struggle to discover what kind of brainwashing the Black Widow program had done to her and her own defection from the Soviet Union.

Black Widow: More than Just a Strong Woman?

This is a great chance to establish Natasha Romanoff in the MCU beyond her relationships with other male characters. AGE OF ULTRON revealed more about Black Widow’s past in the film universe through flashbacks but focused mostly on how her inability to have children played into her budding romance with Bruce Banner. 

Black Widow’s best showing in the Marvel movies occurred in CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER. Natasha and Steve’s team-up in order to take down the H.Y.D.R.A infestation in S.H.I.E.L.D. was glorious. Black Widow got to show off both her brains and brawn, proving herself as an integral part of the story. Without her, it’s questionable that Captain America would have been able to succeed in his mission.

Significant Partnerships

Beyond Natasha’s history with the Red Room and the Black Widow program, the MCU has already hinted at her relationship with Bucky. In the comics, the Winter Soldier was one of Natasha’s instructors. The two even engaged in a romantic relationship. Natasha references her past with Bucky in THE WINTER SOLDIER, though the extent of their on-screen relationship isn’t fully-fleshed out.

What Will Happen To The Winter Soldier/Bucky Barnes In The MCU?

In addition to the Winter Soldier, Black Widow also worked with Daredevil for a while. Currently, Daredevil seems exiled to the world of Netflix originals. If Marvel was looking for a chance to merge the two mediums, a Daredevil and Black Widow team-up could be the perfect place to do it.

So, What Happened In Budapest, Anyway?

I mean like, seriously. What did happen in Budapest? Beyond that, what did Hawkeye and Black Widow’s relationship look like before AVENGERS (2012)? There’s been some talk of making a combined BLACK WIDOW AND HAWKEYE film. Both Scarlett Johansson and Jeremy Renner have voiced their interest in separate and possible combination films. 

black widow solo film, hawkeye
Soooo when will the MCU properly appreciate these two?

While I don’t think that this venture will get a moment on the big screen anytime soon, it’s an aspect of Black Widow’s history that would be interesting to explore. Before the two are officially accepted into the Avengers, Black Widow and Hawkeye have a number of adventures that develop their comic book partnership.

Their relationship acts as one of the motivating factors in Black Widow’s subsequent decision to defect from the Soviet Union. In the films, Hawkeye reportedly hunted down Black Widow in order to kill her — before deciding that the situation required a different type of action. What went on there?

A Possible Blast From The Past?

CAPTAIN AMERICA: WINTER SOLDIER ends with all of Natasha’s secret identities known to the public. In order to destroy H.Y.D.R.A.’s hold in S.H.I.E.L.D., Natasha became a spy who could no longer be a spy. An interesting premise to consider for a BLACK WIDOW solo film is the story arc where the Black Widow program starts targeting old members.

Initially, Natasha resides in Arizona, disillusioned with a life dedicated to espionage and near-death experiences. A similar form of retirement in the wake of INFINITY WAR could provide the grounds for Natasha being on her own. In the comic, Natasha’s discoveries reveal the true depth of her past brainwashing and the existence of the Red Room’s successor agency, 2R. It becomes her mission to defeat them.

Depending on the outcome of INFINITY WAR and it’s sequel, this could be a great solo opportunity in the aftermath of a cataclysmic event. A street-level BLACK WIDOW solo movie that has Natasha dealing with a new, deeply personal threat could be incredibly awesome.

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