The fact that this movie hasn’t been announced in some form yet is still kind of shocking. Outside of Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, Scarlett Johansson has been a Marvel Cinematic Universe superhero longer than any other actor or actress. (She’s technically tied with Don Cheadle’s War Machine, but she’s been in more films.) Yet, audiences still don’t know a whole lot about Black Widow, and her intense, fascinating backstory would make for a killer standalone feature.
Joss Whedon gave just a hint of Natasha Romanoff’s origin in Avengers: Age of Ultron during the Scarlett Witch-triggered dream sequence that saw her dancing in a ballet school that also apparently taught firearms and hand-to-hand combat. The reality is the ballet memories are implanted ones to cover up the extreme physical and psychological training/torture she underwent from the time she was a child in the Soviet Union’s Black Widow Ops program. Imagine a spy thriller that found Romanoff facing off against an antagonist that forced her to confront her past, revealing the deep mental torment she’s been under all along while giving her an opportunity for vindication. It would be a genre film the likes of which the MCU has yet to see — a classic espionage tale — and a chance for Johansson’s Black Widow to finally spin a web of her own. Plus, she might actually get some redemption for that weird barren subplot from AoU.