Listen up Marvel fans: Filming for Avengers: Age of Ultron began yesterday, accompanied by a surge of "Joss Whedon is behind a rolling camera again" excitement felt 'round the globe. And according to Marvel Studios President of Production Kevin Feige, fans of Scarlett Johansson's character Black Widow have extra reason to celebrate: "Widow's part in [Age of Ultron] is very big," he revealed. "We learn more about her past and learn more about where she came from and how she became in that film. The notion of exploring that even further in her own film would be great, and we have some development work with that."
Rumors of Black Widow getting her own movie (but only after all the boys) have been circulating for a few months now, but with the concurrent ramp up of the Captain America and Avengers franchises, along with Feige's apparent green light, the prospect seems ever likelier. Still, it's worth wondering whether those pushing the film through development are actually invested in developing the character even beyond her pumped-up role in these forthcoming films — or, put bluntly, whether this promised tale of Soviet intrigue is little more than an excuse to watch ScarJo be a bombshell for 80 minutes.
Overall, superheroines brought to the silver screen thus far have been given somewhat of a short straw, both in numbers and, of course, in outfits: Catwoman's getup was more rip than suit, and Silk Spectre's yellow landing strip of a leotard would almost certainly have ridden up mid-fight in the least delightful way. Sure, ladies in comics are almost always hyper-curved — all the better, some say, to go with their hyper-abilities. But in considering film execs' desire for box office draw, and certain blockbusters' tendency to cater to the basest instincts of a hetero-teen-male stereotype, it's easy to imagine the logic of these movies distilling down to little more than "HEY BOOBS THOUGH." Which, ick.
Ultron-wise, at least, Elizabeth Olsen has revealed that her character Scarlet Witch's notoriously skimpy costume was toned down somewhat — and Black Widow has so far been allowed to stay predominantly full-bodysuit-clad. Still, given the way Johansson's image has been marketed thus far, Widow's fate seems like a toss-up: Staring down the camera like a badass, or contorted just so to show off her, ahem, assets?
At the very least, it'll be interesting to see what of the character's rich backstory her would-be filmmakers choose to highlight — her orphan upbringing, elite spy training, work alongside good and bad guys alike. Though, even if the project goes forward, we'll have to wait until after the sure-to-be-riveting Ant-Man to find out. Sigh.