Marvel Studios is searching for a female director for the Black Widow movie.
One name stands out in particular, though.
According to Comic Book Resources, Kimberly Peirce is on the shortlist for the gig. If true, Black Widow would be her first superhero film.
In a CBR.com report, Peirce is just one of a few in contention for the job. The list of candidates comes from a roster of 49 names. Among the names include directors Amma Assante, Maggie Betts and Cate Shortland. Assange is known for directing Belle, and Betts has helmed Novitiate. Shortland is known for her work in indie films like Somersault, Lore and Berlin Syndrome.
Peirce is best known as the director of the 1999 Boys Don’t Cry film. Hillary Swank would win her first Academy Award for playing the role of Brandon Teena. Next, Peirce would make Stop Loss and the remake of Carrie, the latter starring Chloe Grace Moretz. Her films typically revolve around a female protagonist and themes of gender.
However, Peirce is also capable of directing action movies. For example, Stop-Loss concerns soldiers in the Iraq War and the lasting effects of PTSD. She is capable of getting great performances out of actors in her films. Such examples include Peter Sarsgaard, Chloe Sevigny, Ryan Phillippe, and Channing Tatum.
Add Kimberly Peirce (Boys Don't Cry) to the shortlist of possible directors for Marvel's BLACK WIDOW.
— Jeff Sneider (@TheInSneider) July 2, 2018
This is the latest sign that Marvel Studios is trying to be more inclusive in Hollywood. In the wake of Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman, the studios have been trying to catch up. Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige has interest in more females directing films. He’s also given hints that LGBT characters will show up in the MCU. With Captain Marvel on the way, we could see more female-driven stories in the near future.
One thing is clear; Scarlett Johansson is itching to make Black Widow. Eight years on, the actress has been a staple presence in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Since her debut in Iron Man 2, the demand for a solo film has grown.
In an interview, Johansson says she is game for a Black Widow movie. “I think there is definitely an opportunity to explore the Widow as a woman who has kind of come into her own,” she says. “You know, she hasn’t always had that possibility, so if it fit that criteria, then, yes, I would want to do it.”
Little is known about the plot, but the story could take past in Black Widow’s past. According to her S.H.I.E.L.D file in Winter Soldier, Natasha’s birth year is said to be 1984 (same as Johansson). However, this could be a cover story, as she has been alive in the comics for decades thanks to her biotech enhancements. Theoretically, it is possible for Natasha to be around even longer.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe has already given hints of Natasha’s background. Avengers: Age of Ultron and Agent Carter show glimpses of the Red Room, where she would undergo training. The Black Widow program is said to have been the KGB’s attempt to create a super soldier of their own. Agent Carter did reveal the project’s plan had been ongoing since the World War II years. Presumably, Natasha is just one of many Black Widows throughout history.
As part of her training, Natasha’s enhancements did render her unable to have children. This fact is dealt with in Age of Ultron. The themes of identity, gender and self are perfect for a solo film. Peirce’s past work with these themes makes her a great choice for a Black Widow movie.
There’s also speculation the film will show Natasha’s early dealings with Bucky Barnes. The Winder Soldier confirms she has dealt with him before. Natasha is said to have a past with Clint Barton, also known as Hawkeye. Aside from her affair with Bruce Banner, her history with Clint is something fans have been wanting to see more of. Besides, having a relationship with the Hulk raises too many problems.
Black Widow might depict the 2003 Budapest incident, which is hinted at in The Avengers. To date, Marvel has yet to reveal the full story of what took place. While the details are vague, it is known something terrible did happen in Budapest. This would leave a lasting impact on Natasha, which plays a big role in her arc. Seeing the event onscreen could be an interesting idea for the film. It would explain her desire to be a better person and redeem herself.
Expect Black Widow to arrive in theatres sometime during Phase Four.