Comics

WHY A BLACK WIDOW STANDALONE WON’T WORK

The clambering for a Scarlet Johansson Black Widow solo film has been echoing in my ear since she shined in the first Avengers film and it makes sense. She is a great character that fans love, who is portrayed one of the hottest actresses out there, and she has a fan base all to her own, why wouldn’t this work? It wouldn’t work because not only is she female, but because she has been in nearly every other Marvel film!

There aren’t exactly a large amount of female led films that aren’t the stereotypical chick-flick or romantic comedy, not to take away from those respective genres, but besides the rare cases of a Charlize Theron in Mad Max: Fury Road that we will get a couple times a year, people meaning men and women are not supporting female led action stars and if they are spending money on tickets to see their films, the movies themselves have been poor at best and that’s not the actresses fault (usually).

Case and point:

What Jennifer Lawrence has done in both The Hunger Games and X-Men is be a part of a cohesive story that allows her talents to shine because 1. these two franchises have HUGE followings and 2. they have been given direction that allows them to flourish and when a film flourishes that means more money for the studios, and the studios don’t care about anything except money. If every gay, black, or female actor/actress were drawing in the greenbacks for studios, I guarantee they would jump on the bandwagon of getting, gay, black, or female actors in their films. This is not to say there isn’t sexism in Hollywood, but when the chances have come to break down barriers the audiences haven’t proven to help their own cause.

It’s not like there haven’t been female led action stars in history, quite the contrary. In fact, I made a list of my favorite female characters HERE and half of them were action stars, but they spanned through decades which shows the lack of support as a whole they are getting. Black Widow’s film cameos have all been memorable and fun to watch and she feeds well off her male counterparts as the woman that can take care of herself in most situations, but after seeing Minions (2015) I’m not convinced such beloved supporting characters can always thrive on their own.

Her chemistry in Captain America: Winter Soldier was awesome, just flat out awesome. She was funny, smart, sexy, and made an incredible spy/espionage film and played off Captain America will excellent results, but what else can we see with her we haven’t seen already or will see later in the Marvel Universe? Even if there was more to tell about her, I’m not convinced people are rushing out to see her solo film by any stretch of the imagination. It’s a sad truth that women in Hollywood face, but at least in the near future we will get two of the greatest female superheroes in their own solo films with Wonder Woman and Captain Marvel and their success will determine if we ever see Scar-Jo in her own solo film.

An option I think that should stay open if the fandom screams louder is to put a 13 episode series on Netflix, if anything. Would I want to see it myself? Maybe, but nonetheless I am going to support it because I want other female characters to get their chances on the big screen and if you want them too, not just comic book heroines, but more female led films, then spend your money in seeing female led films, but until then we wait.

Be honest, are you guys going to support your female led films or not? Tell me your thoughts below!

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12 replies »

  1. Of course, the fact that a few badly-made female-led superhero movies failed over a decade ago is proof that a female superhero movie can’t be done. Just like how people wrote off male-led superhero movies when Green Lantern did poorly.

    We’ve recently started seeing well-made female-led action movies – The Hunger Games comes to mind – and those have been successful. There’s no reason to believe that a Black Widow movie would be a failure, given Marvel makes good movies.

    The problem with the Minions comparison is that the Minions are joke characters. People love them, but they’re not real characters. They’re flat, shallow comic relief.

    Black Widow, meanwhile, is a complex, fleshed-out character. So she’s fully capable of being a lead.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I was never saying she isn’t a great character to build on, but it is likely never going to be a film on its own. The best route IMO would be Netflix where you can delve deep like you described, but that’s not appearing to be in the plans.

      Going to the Green Lantern argument, that merely deflated DC and Warner Bros. superhero films along with Superman returns, but male superhero films were just fine over at Marvel when Green Lantern came out so I can’t buy that argument.

      You actually make a valid point on the Minions response, but my point as a whole is that side characters whether Widow OR Hawkeye dont need solos. They are great side characters to something bigger. As a fan of Lord of the Rings I love Gimbly and Legolas, but do they deserve solo films? Not really lol so that’s all I was saying. Nonetheless, thank you for the comments and I’d love to hear more from you!

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      • Black Widow’s been relegated to support role, but she could very easily carry a solo. It wouldn’t be difficult to come up with stories for her. Hawkeye is strictly a supporting character – they could give him a movie, but there’s no audience push for it, and he doesn’t really have much of a hook. Black Widow is a supporting character because that’s what Marvel Studios decided was the only proper role for women, the only thing women are ever allowed to be. (It’ll be 2018 before we get ONE female-led movie.) They very easily could have given her a movie already.

        Not all supporting characters are created equal. Some can’t rise above supporting roles. Others deserve to be stars in their own rights. Gimli and Legolas are the former. Black Widow is the latter.

        But, of course, she probably won’t get a movie. The earliest they could possibly do it would be 2019, and I don’t really see them doing it at that point. Most likely, Black Widow will continue to be stuck as a supporting character.

        As for my comment about real characters: Like I said, the Minions are joke characters. They’re designed purely for comic relief. They were never intended to be main characters. They were always designed to be the funny little dudes in the background.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Female led film is different from a female led SUPERHERO film. There are countless films being led by women, but just because women aren’t technically the title character doesn’t make them any less important or entertaining or show stealing.

        Marvel Studios has brought us GROUP films that boast bad ass women. The hulk got solo films and they sucked, but we all still adore him a and his back story so why not the same for Black Widow? and what makes Hawkeye STRICTLY a side character comparatively to Black Widow? Not much, its merely fan demand what makes sense for story telling.

        Marvel wouldn’t get a guy like Joss Whedon (Buffy, Serenity) and ha e a believe to screw women over.

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      • I specified female-led action film. Katniss Everdeen might not be a superhero, but she’s still an action star. The Hunger Games still proves that a well-made action movie will be a success, no matter the hero’s gender. Pointing to something like Catwoman or Elektra as justification for the lack of more female-led superhero movies demonstrates Hollywood’s sexist attitudes. If an action movie with a male lead fails, it won’t even stop that actor from getting more action movies. But somehow, when badly-made action movies with female leads fail, it’s proof that women can’t carry action movies? Nonsense.

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      • The Hunger Games is one of the many exceptions, that’s literally one of the first things I mentioned in the article. Hollywood only cares about money and if a female led franchise fails, they see those trends and guess what, people dont support that stuff then the movie dies off.

        Resident Evil has its sixth film coming out and those aren’t very good so your point take a dive about actors getting other chances on bad movies.

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