Black Widow movie gets firm commitment from Marvel boss

Marvel Studios hope to confirm a Black Widow movie starring Scarlett Johansson as the hard-kicking superhero, according to a new interview with its president, Kevin Feige.

Speaking to Deadline, Feige said the Disney-owned studio saw the former Shield agent as a key candidate for a forthcoming solo outing, ahead of fellow Avengers Falcon, War Machine and Hawkeye.

“We’ve announced the next nine movies, 10 counting Civil War, through to the end of 2019,” said Feige. “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 … I would say certainly the one creatively and emotionally that we are most committing to doing is Black Widow.”

He added: “We think she’s an amazing character. We think Scarlett Johansson’s portrayal of her is amazing. She’s a lead Avenger and has amazing stories in her own right to tell that we think would be fun to turn into a standalone franchise.”

Johansson’s ex-KGB superhero, otherwise known as Natasha Romanoff, has proven one of the most popular figures in the Marvel cinematic universe, thanks to appearances in the Iron Man, Captain America and Avengers films. But a solo Black Widow movie was conspicuous by its absence from Marvel’s announcement in October 2014 of 10 new interlinked comic book films, the company choosing to build its first female-led movie around the lesser-known Captain Marvel character instead.

In June last year, fans mounted an international flashmob campaign calling for Black Widow to get her own film. Acolytes dressed as the superhero in red wigs and skintight leather gathered in 16 US, Canadian and Australian cities with the Twitter hashtag #WeWantWidow.

Johansson has also called for the character to get a standalone movie. “If you want to see a Black Widow spin-off movie, then I want to see it,” she told reporters on the red carpet for Captain America: The Winter Soldier in 2014. She added: “We’ll see. We will put the request in to Marvel tomorrow.”

Johansson features as Romanoff in the current Marvel offering, Captain America: Civil War, in a small but pivotal role. Reports also suggest she was paid $20m to appear as Black Widow in 2015’s Avengers: Age of Ultron, despite her relatively meagre screen time.

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