Way back in May 2016, Marvel head Kevin Feige said the studio was "committing" to a standalone Black Widow film. Now, roughly a year and a half later, the studio has made good on that commitment: Marvel has hired director Jac Schaeffer to write the movie.
The highly anticipated Scarlett Johansson flick is in the earliest of days, but hiring Schaeffer is a step in the right direction. According to Variety, Feige considered a number of writers before landing on Schaeffer. Marvel also reportedly consulted Johansson on the decision.
Schaeffer is described as an "up and comer" with a bright future. She made her film debut in 2009 with dramedy, TiMER, and wrote Nasty Women, the upcoming gender-swapped remake of '80s classic Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.
It's about time Black Widow (A.K.A. secret agent assassin Natasha Romanova) got her own project, as the character has already appeared in six Marvel films. Despite critical review of her past Marvel performances, Johansson has a history of popular films. Even poorly rated flicks like Lucy have grossed well at the box office.
Feige first teased the possibility of a dedicated Widow film during a 2016 interview with Deadline.
"We’ve announced the next nine movies, 10 counting Civil War, through the end of 2019," Feige said. "Where we go beyond that are ongoing discussions that we’ll focus on in the next few years because we have a lot to do before then. Of the characters that you’ve just mentioned [Falcon, War Machine, Black Widow, Hawkeye] I would say certainly the one creatively and emotionally that we are most committing to doing is Black Widow."
When asked why she was the favored candidate, Feige laid praise on Johansson:
"We think she’s an amazing character. We think Scarlett Johansson’s portrayal of her is amazing," he explained. "She’s a lead Avenger and has amazing stories in her own right to tell that we think would be fun to turn into a stand-alone franchise."
Following the considerable success of Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman, it's no surprise Marvel is finally moving in on Black Widow. Standalone superhero films featuring females are no longer being seen as diversity projects but sources of untapped potential.