Nearly a decade after she made her first appearance in 2010’s Iron Man 2, Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow is finally getting her own star vehicle, with Marvel hiring a writer to tackle the screenplay.
According to Variety, relative newcomer Jac Schaeffer has been recruited to write the film. Schaeffer had attracted industry buzz in recent years for a comedy script in which a baby shower is invaded by aliens. She is also the writer behind Anne Hathaway’s forthcoming remake of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, and wrote the much-maligned Frozen mini-sequel Olaf’s Frozen Adventure.
The news comes in the same week as a trailer for Jennifer Lawrence’s Red Sparrow was released, a film that has been dubbed an “unofficial Black Widow movie”, with Lawrence playing a Russian orphan brainwashed and trained to be a spy – mirroring Black Widow’s origin story.
The lack of a confirmed Black Widow spin-off movie has been a major bone of contention for Marvel fans for years, with many criticising Marvel for not prioritising the project, particularly after Johansson headlined the surprise $450 million hit Lucy in 2014.
Speaking in 2016, Marvel chief Kevin Feige suggested to Deadline that a Black Widow film would be next on the docket following the two-part Infinity War sequels: “Where we go beyond that are ongoing discussions that we’ll focus on in the next few years because we have a lot to do before then. Of the characters that you’ve just mentioned I would say certainly the one creatively and emotionally that we are most committing to doing is Black Widow.”
Fans, however, were sceptical of Feige’s claims after he argued in 2014 that the character may not work on her own. He told Birth Movies Death that, “with Widow, what’s great is the interaction with the team members, and the question is whether we want to pluck her out of that.”
Johansson, last seen in Ghost in the Shell and Rough Night, has played Black Widow in six Marvel movies so far, including this summer’s Avengers: Infinity War.