With Black Widow being one of the most beloved characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Marvel Studios made sure to meet with a number of female directors before reportedly signing Cate Shortland on to helm the spy's solo adventure. Argentinian director Lucrecia Martel recently claimed that she had previously met with Marvel about potentially getting involved with the production, but turned down the opportunity, partly due to being told she wouldn't be an active participant in orchestrating the film's action scenes.
"I received an e-mail from Marvel for a meeting. Because they were looking for directors for Black Widow. So I went to the [10th-anniversary] reunion. I actually signed this thing where I can't talk about that reunion. Marvel and other such production houses are trying to involve more female filmmakers," Martel shared in October with The Pioneer. "They also told me, 'Don't worry about the action scenes, we will take care of that.' I was thinking, 'Well I would love to meet Scarlett Johansson but also I would love to make the action sequences.'"
While this is understandably a frustrating experience for any director, being told not to worry about complicated action sequences seems to fit in line with Marvel Studios' track record. Anthony and Joe Russo, who have directed massive spectacles like Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War, had previously focused primarily on directing TV sitcoms before joining the MCU. Similarly, Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi's career mostly focused on comedies prior to the effects-filled spectacle.
It's possible that Marvel Studios explicitly told Martel she was prohibited from getting involved in action scenes, yet it's also possible that these comments were intended to alleviate apprehension resulting from the idea of orchestrating complex visual effects and stunts.
Martel added, "Companies are interested in female filmmakers but they still think action scenes are for male directors. The first thing I asked them was maybe if they could change the special effects because
Despite the filmmaker turning down the opportunity, she did confirm that Marvel's approach to the film would be to offer perspectives that were different from every other MCU film.
"I do believe another female director is making the movie," the director noted. "What they told me in the meeting was, 'We need a female director because we need someone who is mostly concerned with the development of Scarlett Johansson's character.'"
Few official details about the Black Widow film have emerged, though it's likely to begin shooting next summer.
Are you surprised by the studio's approach to filmmaking? Let us know in the comments below!