Although there’s been plenty of talk about a ‘Black Widow’ movie, we’ve yet to see her get her own solo outing… but it could have been a very different story.
According to Comic Book Resources, the Russian super spy almost beat Robert Downey Jr’s Iron Man to the big screen… before Marvel Studios started making its own films in-house.
“Black Widow’s rights at one point belonged to Angela Bowie,” they explained. That’s right – David Bowie’s wife owned the rights to Black Widow. “In the 1970s [she] tried to make a TV series featuring Black Widow and Daredevil.”
The show was never produced, but there are some rather remarkable images that depict Angela Bowie as Natasha Romanoff… and Terry O’Neill as Marvel’s Daredevil. Although the show never made it to air, the rights eventually reverted to Marvel after one year. But with many of the character’s rights sold off during the 1990s, it wasn’t until 2004 that a real chance of a ‘Black Widow’ movie came along.
Screenwriter David Hayter – scribe of the first two ‘X-Men’ movies – penned his very own ‘Black Widow’ script for Lionsgate… and it was due to mark his directorial debut. “He was such a big fan of the character that he even named his daughter (who was born while he was working on the film) Natasha.”
Apparently, Hayter’s script kept rather close to Black Widow’s comic book origins… and would have seen the young orphan Natasha taken in by Soviet scientist, Ivan Petrovich. Of course, it all goes downhill from there, leading to an experimental medical procedure and the theft of a powerful ‘Widow Suit’. Taking revenge on those who crossed her throughout the movie, it’s all rather powerful (and intriguing) stuff.
So why was it never made?
“A number of female vigilante movies came out,” said Hayter back in 2011. “We had Tomb Raider and Kill Bill, which were the ones that worked, but then we had BloodRayne and Ultraviolet and Aeon Flux. Aeon Flux didn’t open well, and three days after it opened, the studio said, ‘We don’t think it’s time to do this movie.’ I accepted their logic in terms of the saturation of the marketplace, but it was pretty painful.”
Although the film was proposed to a number of studios, we now know that nobody took the bait… and the ‘Black Widow’ movie died a short and painful death. But with many hoping for more female superheroes, could we see Scarlett Johansson get her own solo film?
For now, we’ll have to wait and see… but I can’t help thinking that a ‘Black Widow’ movie could usher in a new age for female comic book movies. And she’s rather kick-ass to boot.
Would you have liked to watch a Black Widow movie? Will Scarlett Johansson get her own spin-off? Let us know what you think in the comments below…