Considering that 2012's The Avengers is aiming to be the most ambitious superhero project ever put to film, it's certainly no surprise that Marvel's higher-up's are already beginning to brainstorm ideas to expand the franchise. Well, the latest idea making the rounds certainly does not require a brain-trust of the industry's best creative minds. You take Scarlett Johansson, stick her in a black skin-tight leather jumpsuit, and well...you've already got most peoples' attention. That's right, Johansson's character in Iron Man 2 Natasha Romanoff aka Avenger mainstay Black Widow is seemingly already on deck for a solo feature. As a result, the worldwide interwebs is now abuzz with the prospect of Scarlett dispatching and emasculating hordes of witless thugs with whom the audience would ironically still want to trade places. So, obviously, there's plenty of drawing factors to this concept (one of which is displayed prominently in the opening shot of Lost in Translation.) But, have Marvel nevertheless gotten ahead of themselves?
The hoopla in question stemmed from a comment made by Marvel Studios head honcho Kevin Feige in a press conference to promote the Blu-Ray/DVD release of Iron Man 2. According to Feige:
"We've already started discussions with Scarlett about the idea of a solo movie and have begun putting together concepts, but The Avengers comes first."
So, while the talks seem pretty loose right now, the speculation machine has pretty much labeled it a certainty. While I was initially disappointed when the originally-cast Emily Blunt had dropped out of the role, Johansson pulled off the role competently, and obviously did so looking sexy as hell. However, when you consider the unending barrage of comic properties that are ready to be launched at us in the next few years, that sexy skin-tight black suit may not be enough. The concept of the "sexy-but-tortured femme fatale" is hardly a new concept and is quite easy to find in other current properties. Even within the framework of the various continuities of her character's comic origins, it just doesn't seem like we'd be in for anything new or exceptional.
Of course, as Feige says, The Avengers comes first, and we still don't know what kind of a role Black Widow will have in the film. While she lit-up the big screen with pure sexuality in IM2, we certainly didn't get to know the character too well, other than being this clichéd "more than meets the eye" man-beater. However, if they manage to develop the character towards achieving a balance that also allows the audience to not just drool over her, but empathize with her plight, then they may be onto something. For starters, it was recently implied by Avengers co-star Jeremy Renner that his character Hawkeye may actually strike-up a romance with Johansson's red-headed Russian spy. Perhaps that hook-up, which will surely begin with a clash of lound personalities, may bring out the necessary aspects she needs to justify her own time in the spotlight.
What are your thoughts on a Black Widow solo outing? Would it be worth your time? Or is it a case of seen it, don't need it?