No, it’s not April Fool’s Day. That headline is actually true.
Variety and The Wrap report that Marvel has hired writer Jac Schaeffer to write a screenplay for a Black Widow standalone movie. And while Marvel wouldn’t comment to Variety (or io9) to confirm if that’s true—if it is, it would mark the first actual movement on a film fans have been wanting for years.
According to Variety’s sources, the whole idea is “still very early development” and the film doesn’t yet have a greenlight. This means Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige will likely wait to see what Schaeffer turns in before moving ahead. And it’s very possible that what she turns in either doesn’t work, or gets rewritten by someone else. It’s a long process. But Variety says Feige met with several writers before choosing Schaeffer, who was on the prestigious Black List for her comedy The Shower, which has Anne Hathaway attached.
In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Black Widow is, of course, played by Scarlett Johansson. The deadly Russian spy turned superhero first appeared in Iron Man 2 and has since become a leader of The Avengers, all the way up to and including Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers 4, out this year and next. She’s a huge star and a big player in the universe so, Variety says, she was also brought in to discuss what she’d like to see in the movie.
And that’s the big question, isn’t it? If this comes to fruition, Widow’s movie would take place in Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe which is basically a huge question mark at this point. Fans have little to no knowledge of what most of those movies will be and that’s by design. Marvel is keeping the whole thing very secretive until events from the two Avengers movies unfold. All that’s confirmed is a Spider-Man: Homecoming sequel, out July 5, 2019, and Guardians of the Galaxy 3, rumoured for 2020.
With time and space pretty much not a factor once Phase 4 rolls around, the Widow movie could be a team-up movie, it could be a space movie, it could be a flashback origin story (though we saw some of that in Age of Ultron), it could none of those things, or it could be all of those things. What it won’t be, though, is Marvel’s first solo female superhero movie. That title will go to Captain Marvel, scheduled for release March 8, 2019. [Variety, The Wrap]