Marvel Studios’ in-the-works Black Widow movie starring Scarlett Johansson is drawing mixed reactions.
It was learned Thursday Marvel tapped Lore and Berlin Syndrome director Cate Shortland to steer the Black Widow standalone, set before the events of 2012’s The Avengers.
Johansson, who has starred in the Marvel Cinematic Universe franchise as Natasha Romanoff since 2010’s Iron Man 2, previously lead the Luc Besson-directed actioner Lucy to $463 million worldwide in 2014. Black Widow marks Marvel’s second female-led movie after Brie Larson starrer Captain Marvel, out in March, and is the studio’s first to be directed solely by a woman after Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck teamed for Captain Marvel.
Johansson came under fire recently after it was learned the actress would be playing a transgender man in mob drama Rub & Tug, where she will play Dante ‘Tex’ Gill, who was born Jean Marie Gill but identifies as a man.
Following the backlash, a rep for Johansson issued a statement to Bustle, instructing upset parties to turn to representatives for Jeffrey Tambor, Jared Leto, and Felicity Huffman for comment. Those award-winning actors starred in trans-centric productions Transparent, Dallas Buyers Club, and Transamerica, all of which received Emmy or Oscar considerations.
Johansson previously weathered white-washing backlash for her role as Motoko Kusanagi in the Japan-set Ghost in the Shell.
The actress’ off-screen controversies and confirmation Black Widow will be set years earlier in the ongoing MCU timeline has drawn mixed reactions from online commentators, many of whom have called out Marvel’s delayed response in giving the Avenger her own movie and for moving forward on a project deemed “unnecessary.”
I already saw the Black Widow origin movie this year. It was called Red Sparrow.— Paul Shirey (@arcticninjapaul) July 12, 2018
Congratulations to Marvel for taking over a decade to make a Black Widow movie and finally taking steps on it just right at the moment people aren't too excited about the prospect of a ScarJo-lead film https://t.co/4CfpVAigLm— James Whitbrook (@Jwhitbrook) July 12, 2018
Yawn. Should have been made 5 years ago. No one really cares about Black Widow now.— Chris Critical (@BlackMajikMan90) July 12, 2018
so that Black Widow movie is still happening huh pic.twitter.com/VXaJtT9BcS— Clarkisha Kent: Bushmaster's Revenge (@IWriteAllDay_) July 12, 2018
black widow movie pic.twitter.com/gU3eTDOsie— aks (@niqhtcrawIer) July 12, 2018
Now all they have to do is find the right Asian trans man to play Black Widow https://t.co/wLrJjdBJ1d— Jeff Yang (@originalspin) July 12, 2018
Unpopular opinion: I think the black widow solo movie should have been done years ago, now is unnecessary— tricia (@versacebarnes) July 10, 2018
we're FINALLY getting a black widow movie! cate shortland is gonna direct the movie. i'm so happy and excited for my baby scarlett johansson— romanoff (@goshromanoff) July 12, 2018
Super excited the Black Widow film has a director! Scarlett Johnasson is incredible in the role so can’t wait!— Lizzie (@LizzyB87) July 12, 2018
Nobody really cares about MCU Black Widow, especially when she's played by ScarJo.— daniel finna bust a nut tonight ?️ (@Batmite100) July 12, 2018
Peak Marvel is making a ScarJo Black Widow movie when everyone would rather see literally everything else. Like aren’t you guys getting the Fantastic Four/ X-men rights back? Let Storm headline her own movie. Hell give Dazzler a movie.— Spokane Sammi Rose (@SamRoseWatson) July 12, 2018
Yeah... I'm over the Black Widow movie unless they replace Scarlett Johansson. She's cancelled.— Juke Joint Jezebel? (@MercurialMiss) July 12, 2018
2010-2017: *Internet literally screaming for a Black Widow movie*
Marvel Studios: hmm but is there an appetite for it tho
2018: *Internet cancels ScarJo for taking on another inappropriate role*
Marvel Studios: hey guys! guess who's finally getting her own movie??!!— The Incredible Malk (@MalkSmash) July 12, 2018
You know....— Sunflower, Sister. (@Sunfl0werV3n0m) July 12, 2018
I was CLAMOURING for a Black Widow stand alone movie, but given the fact that the woman playing her is tone deaf to social circumstances..
we only want it if emily blunt is recast as black widow https://t.co/6R9cViyGNr— gillian Ⓥ (@gilliangracee) July 12, 2018
Now recast black widow to Emily blunt or rebecca ferguson and it's a film— beth (@civilwarholland) July 12, 2018
Yeah this is a big problem. Have her have been Yelena all along and Bring Emily Blunt back as Natasha? Convoluted sure but not unheard of for a Black Widow story. lol— Lani (@HeroineForHire) July 12, 2018
About time they made a #BlackWidow movie. This should have been done during the MCU's first or second phase.— Brandy McBride (@Brandy_McBride) July 12, 2018
I'm not a fan of ScarJo as a person these days either but I still think she's a great Black Widow. That said I understand and respect not being able to separate the two.— Sam Van Haren (@SamShotFirst) July 12, 2018
I am INSANELY excited about the Black Widow movie. I’ve loved this character for years and she deserves a film after how she’s been treated. All you cranky-asses aren’t going to ruin this for me ?♀️— ((: IW Destroyed Me :)) (@ParkersTonyNat) July 12, 2018
The thing with Marvel is you don’t think Antman would translate to screen, Thor3 could be so different to 1&2, all the Avengers could properly be fit into IW, Dr Strange’s powers could work in existing MCU, that Black Widow solo is needed... but then they all turn out awesome!— Dr. Luminous Beings (@DrLuminousBeing) July 12, 2018