For a long time, fans have maintained that Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow character deserves her own movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Kevin Feige first announced plans for a Black Widow solo movie back in 2010, right after she was introduced into the MCU in Iron Man 2, and it’s now nine years and 20 movies later, so it’s about time she got that solo movie. It was last reported that Cate Shortland was directing the movie and Jac Schaeffer and Ned Benson were working on a script, so it seems to be finally moving forward. Here are 9 Storylines The Black Widow Solo Movie Could Adapt.
9 The Itsy-Bitsy Spider
Devin Grayson and J.G. Jones’ three-issue “The Itsy-Bitsy Spider” storyline totally redefined the Black Widow character and is considered to be one of the character’s most important comics. The Black Widow movie likely won’t be an origin story, since we’ve basically seen her origin story in bits and pieces across various different movies, from Tony Stark’s background checks in Iron Man 2 to the flashback sequences in Avengers: Age of Ultron. This could flip the script, as the story focuses on an older, more grizzled Natasha Romanoff having her title challenged by a younger, stronger secret agent named Yelena Belova.
8 Deadly Origin
At this point, superhero movie audiences are sick of origin stories. They’re always basically the same, following a similar structure, and it’s easy to get bored. Captain Marvel shook things up by jumping right into the plot and then slowly revealing the origin story with flashbacks. That’s what would make “Deadly Origin” the perfect story to adapt for the Black Widow movie. It weaves Natasha’s past into a present-day narrative. The great thing about the comic is that the present-day scenes and flashbacks are drawn by different artists, which keeps them distinct from one another. The movie doesn’t necessarily have to get two different directors or anything that drastic, but something visually interesting can be done with it.
7 Kiss or Kill
In the “Kiss or Kill” storyline, Natasha Romanoff is framed for the assassination of a U.S. Senator. So, the full force of the CIA and a team of superpowered hitmen are quickly dispatched to take her down. Meanwhile, the Senator’s son is desperate to avenge his father, so he’s trying to take her down, too.
It’s a neat, self-contained, standalone story – not to mention, action-packed and brilliantly constructed – that would fit anywhere in the MCU timeline. Tonally, the movie adaptation of “Kiss or Kill” would be in line with the “trust no one” espionage vibes of Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
If the “Homecoming” storyline was adapted for the screen, the title would have to be changed, since there’s already a movie with that subtitle in the MCU. But that alone shouldn’t stop Marvel from considering the comic to be adapted into the upcoming Black Widow solo movie. It begins with Natasha retiring from her S.H.I.E.L.D. work, but quickly takes her back to Russia to face her demons after an assassination attempt against her. A movie adaptation could be filmed with a lot of handheld Steadicam shots, like a Bourne movie. The only issue is that a faithful adaptation of “Homecoming” would likely receive an R rating, and Kevin Feige has ruled that out for the Black Widow movie.
5 The Sting of the Widow
This collection comprises all of Black Widow’s most important moments from a variety of different comic book series to give us a comprehensive retrospective on her character history. We see her tangle with Spider-Man, Iron Man, Daredevil, the Winter Soldier – in other words, a bunch of characters it would be interesting to see her butt heads with. The focus here is on her relationship with the Winter Soldier and she has an on/off relationship with Bruce Banner in the MCU, but that can be easily worked around in the scripting stage as the scenes are balanced between the two characters – or Bucky’s role in the story is replaced by Banner completely.
The four-issue “Widowmaker” series paired Black Widow with Hawkeye and Mockingbird. In the same way that Thor: Ragnarok brought in the Hulk as a sidekick for its title character and Captain Marvel did the same with Nick Fury, the Black Widow solo movie could utilize the terrific chemistry shared by Scarlett Johansson and Jeremy Renner and double it up with a Hawkeye solo movie.
The globe-trotting storyline follows the mystery surrounding a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent. The MCU likes to make each movie a different genre. This one could be a location-hopping spy movie in the vein of the James Bond franchise.
3 The Name of the Rose
“The Name of the Rose” has all the convoluted gadgets and exotic locations that every good spy movie needs, so the bones are there for a thrilling installment in the MCU. This is one of the very few comic book storylines to be written by a woman, Marjorie Liu, and as long as Marvel is committed to gender inclusivity by hiring female directors and making more female-led movies, why not adapt stories written by female writers, too? The story incorporates cameos from Iron Man and Wolverine and, with the Disney/Fox merger slowly going through, that doesn’t sound so implausible anymore.
2 S.H.I.E.L.D.’s Most Wanted
In Mark Waid and Chris Samnee’s action-packed storyline “S.H.I.E.L.D.’s Most Wanted,” Natasha Romanoff is framed as a traitor to S.H.I.E.L.D. and is then hunted down by the very organization that she gave so many years of her life to. After Captain America: The Winter Soldier brought S.H.I.E.L.D. to its knees and exposed that the whole organization was a traitor to the U.S. government, this storyline can’t be straightforwardly adapted for the MCU. However, the idea of Natasha being framed as a traitor to the government could be loosely translated into a new story that better fits into the established MCU timeline.
1 Web of Intrigue
Ralph Macchio and George Perez’s “Web of Intrigue” storyline was one of the most acclaimed comic books of the 1980s. If you read it today, it certainly feels dated. It’s very much of its time and has a very ‘80s style. But that could either be modernized for the MCU or just left as it is. Captain Marvel was made in the style of a ‘90s action movie and that turned out just fine. Maybe ‘80s spy movies can be the next cinematic style tackled by the franchise. It would make an awesome movie: six world-class assassins come after Natasha’s head, while Natasha’s doppelganger comes after Nick Fury’s head. It would be like John Wick meets Orphan Black.