According to the Hollywood Reporter, Marvel Studios are finally moving forward with a Black Widow standalone film, directed by Cate Shortland and of course starring Scarlett Johansson. Reportedly, the director search lasted over half a year and 69 other directors were approached. Male directors were amongst that number, but the priority was for a female director. Shortland’s previous work includes Lore, a film about five siblings in Nazi Germany finding themselves on their own when their parents disappear – a premise that has similar themes to Black Widow’s early years. Johansson personally recommended Shortland to Marvel Studios due to Lore.
An interesting development is that Black Widow will allegedly take place prior to Marvel Avengers Assemble (2012). For a long time, I’ve personally used the absence of a Black Widow film during Phase One as the case for there not ever being one – if they were going to do it, they’d have made sure to introduce her before she joins the Avengers, surely? If Marvel Studios decide to green light Black Widow (which still only exists conceptually), my main question would be “why now?”. What makes a Black Widow film more essential to the Marvel Cinematic Universe now than it did then? Black Widow has only ever been a supporting character, after all, such as during Captain America: The Winter Soldier – surely that was when the character was at her most popular, before the introduction of more heroes since then? Another question would be that, in a universe inhabited by superheroes and aliens, how can a spy without superpowers be interesting enough to warrant her own film? Of course, these are small issues because of Marvel Studios’ track record. In fact, this could be an advantage by both focusing on something smaller in order to provide something different for the audience coming out of the cosmic battle of Avengers 4 and being an opportunity to develop Black Widow into a fully-fledged hero of her own by expanding her backstory. What matters most, though, is that I’m a big fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, so I’ll obviously be turning up to see it opening weekend.
Black Widow is portrayed by Scarlett Johansson in:
Iron Man 2 (2010)
Marvel AvengersAssemble (2012)
Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)
Captain America: Civil War (2016)
Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
Ant-Man and the Wasp, the 20th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, has released a “house arrest” TV spot:
Ant-Man was revealed to be under house arrest in Avengers: Infinity War, likely due to the fugitive status he earned during Captain America: Civil War. This TV spot also reveals that antagonist The Ghost was created by Pym Technologies.
Directed by Peyton Reed, Ant-Man and the Wasp stars Paul Rudd as Ant-Man, Evangeline Lilly as the Wasp and Hannah John-Kamen as The Ghost, and is released 6th July. Ant-Man and the Wasp’s comics adventures can be currently followed in the mini-series Ant-Man and the Wasp.
Character posters have been released for Ant-Man and the Wasp. Directed by Peyton Reed, Ant-Man and the Wasp is the 20th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and stars Paul Rudd as Ant-Man and Evangeline Lilly as the Wasp, who can be seen in the new character posters:
Thor: Ragnarok, the 17th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, is now on Netflix. Thor: Ragnarok is directed by Taika Waititi and completes the Thor trilogy that began with Thor (2011) and continued with Thor: The Dark World (2013). Taking place after the events of Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), Thor has returned to Asgard in order to prevent Goddess of Death Hela from causing the Apocalypse. Critics have said of Thor: Ragnarok:
“It’s clear to see that the franchise is more than safe in the hands of Waititi, his ability to tell a story which is not only captivating, but also genuinely funny goes to show that the MCU doesn’t need to do solemn in order to be taken seriously. His ability to push all the right buttons is a testament to his directorial skills. A genuinely thrilling and brilliantly well judged offering from Disney and Marvel which is packed to the rim with hilarious cameos and in-jokes. You won’t want to miss this one.”
Linda Marric, Hey U Guys
“Waititi’s unique creative tone can shine through the Marvel model, and the MCU is undoubtedly a far better place for it. If anything, after this exceptionally inventive instalment, it’s going to be difficult to not see any future return to the po-faced straight-up superhero action films of Phase 1 as a step-back to a lazy formula. Which means that, despite being mega-excited this time last week, I am now genuinely concerned for Black Panther.”
Matt Looker, The Shiznit
Thor: Ragnarok is licensed to Netflix by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, but these licenses run out after a while, so catch it while you can.
Thor: Ragarok stars Chris Hemsworth as Thor and Cate Blanchett as Hela. Thor returns to Marvel Comics in Thor vol. 5, starting Wednesday 13th June. The Ragnarok storyline was published as Thor: Ragnarok, collecting Thor #272-278.