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.
The Saturday, December 16 episode of Saturday Night Live was hosted by comedian and Jumanji star Kevin Hart, while the musical guest was Foo Fighters, but it was Scarlett Johansson and her dead-eyed Ivanka Trump impression in the cold open that just about made the show.
Johansson debuted her ability to channel Ivanka’s strangely inhuman poise last season and returned last night in the first sketch of the episode, which found the Trump family (Alec Baldwin as Donald, Cecily Strong as Melania) decorating the White House Christmas tree with ornaments bearing the faces of those who had wronged and/or disappointed them during the president’s almost-a-year in office. The ever-stiff Ivanka brings an ornament with defeated congressional candidate and accused child-dater Roy Moore’s face on it, plus a little angry ball that represents Steve Bannon (his giant face wouldn’t fit on a normal ornament). Jared couldn’t make it; he’s busy packing a go bag for when the FBI show up. It’s a good impression; Johansson’s first daughter never seems flustered or even all that interested, and she’s always talking out of the side of her mouth.
Later, her brothers Don Jr. (Mikey Day) and the idiotic Eric (Alex Moffat) show up, Eric with a macaroni-based art project made with, unfortunately, cooked macaroni. Something about the way Don Jr. talks to Eric gets me every time. He’s so patient! And I can’t help but think that the real Ivanka is slightly proud that while her siblings are played by the normal cast, she gets an Avenger.
Trump’s staff appear as well, with Kate McKinnon pulling double duty as Kellyanne Conway (for Christmas she wants…out) and Jeff Sessions, cleverly disguised as an Elf on the Shelf and promising, all too troublingly, that Robert Mueller will be the next man fired by Trump. Sarah Huckabee Sanders (Aidy Bryant) gets in on the holiday fun, along with Mike pence (Beck Bennet) and the recently ousted Omarosa (Leslie Jones) begging to be let back into the oval.
According to Variety, director Noah Baumbach has lined up the cast of his next film after Netflix’s The Meyerowitz Stories. We don’t know anything about the plot or the title, but it will reportedly be starring Adam Driver, Laura Dern, Scarlett Johansson, Merritt Wever, and Azhy Robertson. Driver and Dern will next appear in Star Wars: The Last Jedi while Johansson is currently filming Avengers: Infinity War, but it seems safe to assume that this movie—whatever it is—will be nothing like either of them. Unless, of course, Baumbach decides to take a wildly different approach to filmmaking and starts developing superhero space opera, which would probably be cool.
Like Meyerowitz Stories, this untitled movie will also be financed and distributed by Netflix, and Baumbach will write it as well as direct it.
Since the time Scarlett Johansson made her much loved debut in Marvel Cinematic Universe with Iron Man 2, fans have been intrigued by Black Widow and are raring to see that solo film featuring their favourite spy superhero. While it’s been 7 years since her debut and Black Widow has made several other appearances in Avengers and Captain America films with her last being an uncredited cameo appearance in Thor: Ragnarok. But one thing that was amiss was her solo movie until now. It so happened that folks at comicbook.com got in touch with the creator of several MCU superheroes including Black Widow and asked him if phase four of Marvel Cinematic Universe is planning for a solo Black Widow movie, and if he would like to see the same, the legend replied in affirmative. He said,
One day there will be a Black Widow movie.
So far Scarlett Johansson has appeared as Black Widow in Iron Man 2, The Avengers, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Captain America: Winter Soldier and Captain America: Civil War. It’ll be interesting to see her headlining her own film. Who wouldn’t want to know those intriguing stories she’s been teasing us with Hawkeye in various MCU films.
Apart from Stan Lee, Thor: Ragnarok director, Taika Waititi too shared similar feelings when he was asked about a Black Widow film. He told io9,
[I’d like to see] Black Widow as something crazy and a bit funnier than we expect it to be. Because we know her story and it’s very sullen and very dark and her history is very dark. But! What’s the funny version of that? What’s the more entertaining version of that?
Black Widow will next be seen in Avengers: Infinity War. Directed by the Ruso brothers, the third film in Avengers franchise is slated for a May 2018 release.
Scarlett Johansson is in early talks to star in the Focus Features drama “Reflective Light,” sources tell Variety.
Art photographer Gregory Crewdson is making his directing debut with Marc Platt producing along with Platt Productions’ Jared LeBoff. The film is an adaptation of the 2014 Carla Buckley novel “The Deepest Secret,” which Crewdson and partner Juliane Hiam have adapted.
The pic follows a teenage boy who suffers from a malady that makes him gravely allergic to sunlight. If Johansson’s deal goes through, she would play his mother, so devoted to her son’s care that she has alienated the rest of their family, creating an oddly sustainable nocturnal lifestyle for him at the expense of her own well-being. When a neighborhood girl goes missing, the balance that kept them afloat begins to unravel.
Focus acquired the rights to the movie right before this year’s Cannes Film Festival and hopes to start production next year.
The film would mark a change of pace for Johansson, who has been busy in action and comedy movies including this year’s “Ghost in the Shell” and the Sony comedy “Rough Night.” She can be seen next in “Avengers: Infinity War” and is also lending her voice to Wes Anderson’s animated “Isle of Dogs.”
She is repped by CAA and LBI Entertainment.