Earlier this month, a report indicated that Marvel Studios is working on a Black Widow film with a targeted release date of 2020. Most details about the long-awaited movie are currently unknown, and there’s no telling whether it will be set before or after the upcoming Avengers: Infinity War.
However, as the movie gets deeper into production, choosing a director that can help make it one of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s best is of the utmost importance. But while Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi has already expressed interest in doing a comedic film centered around Black Widow, the studio should probably opt to make the movie a ,pre serious espionage thriller, and it already has the perfect directorial team in Joe and Anthony Russo.
Keeping the movie in the espionage thriller genre will play to the strengths of the titular Black Widow — Natasha Romanoff — as a character. From her adventures with Hawkeye to her conflict with Yelena Belova, the other Black Widow, many of Natasha’s best comics storylines have centered around her work as a spy. Having originated in the Soviet Union’s Red Room, Natasha is fundamentally a product of Cold War-era espionage fiction, which has started to see a resurgence in the form of movies like Atomic Blonde and Red Sparrow. Although the Black Widow film does not need to be a period piece, choosing not to embrace the direction Natasha’s history offers ignores what attracts fans to the character and a renewed interest in spy stories featuring female characters.
The Russo Brothers proved their ability to make great espionage thrillers featuring superheroes with 2014’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier. That movie mixed action and intrigue perfectly, while taking the already established Black Widow in an interesting new direction. Both critics and fans responded positively to the Russo Brothers’ work on Winter Soldier, and the film currently sits at 89% on Rotten Tomatoes, making it one of the most well-received MCU movies. The Russo Brothers have proven that they can do a great spy film with Natasha in it; they just have to do it again.
It’s not just the Russo Brothers’ work on The Winter Soldier and the need to keep Black Widow an espionage thriller that makes the team a good fit for the project. The pair have also shown an interest in the character and the storytelling potential her history affords. In a recent interview, Anthony called the news of a Black Widow film “crazy exciting,” and Joe noted that Black Widow is “a rich and interesting character” in part because of her dark past. This interest in the character’s complex history would certainly yield a movie that helps capture the essence of why Natasha, with her difficult and morally-grey past, has become so beloved.
Finally, the Russo Brothers are not currently slated to direct any films in the MCU after the release of Avengers 4 in 2019, which will soon enter post-production. There’s ample time for them to figure out the direction that they’re going to take the character after whatever happens in their two movies. They’ve also already worked with Scarlett Johansson — who plays the character — on four films, and there’s no hint that their working relationship is anything but good.
There are so many reasons that the Russo Brothers are the right choice to helm the first solo film centered around Black Widow, and it’s clear that they’re able to depict the character in a way that will live up to the expectations of fans who long ago given up hope the character would ever get the chance to headline her own movie.
Before she goes solo, Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow is set to appear in Avengers: Infinity War, which arrives in theaters on May 4. Directed by Joe and Anthony Russo, the film also stars Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, Chris Evans as Captain America, Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Mark Ruffalo as the Hulk, Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye, Anthony Mackie as the Falcon, Paul Rudd as Ant-Man, Elizabeth Olsen as Scarlet Witch, Tom Holland as Spider-Man, Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange, Chadwick Boseman as Black Panther, Chris Pratt as Star Lord, Zoe Saldana as Gamora, Dave Bautista as Drax, Bradley Cooper as Rocket, Vin Diesel as Groot, Tom Hiddleston as Loki and Josh Brolin as Thanos.
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