After years of fans clamoring for it, Marvel Studios is finally putting a Black Widow movie starring Scarlett Johansson into production, reportedly with Cate Shortland as the director. The movie not only offers an opportunity for Natasha Romanoff to shine but could be a second chance for another SHIELD agent who has been underserved by the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Bobbi "Mockingbird" Morse.
Mockingbird was played by Adrianne Palicki in the ABC television series Marvel's Agents of SHIELD, where she was introduced as a triple agent spying on Hydra for SHIELD, but also working for a splinter faction of SHIELD that opposed Director Phil Coulson's leadership after the Hydra infiltration. Mockingbird eventually joined Coulson's close-knit SHIELD team earnestly along with her ex-husband, the mercenary Lance Hunter.
Mockingbird and Lance were written out of Agents of SHIELD midway through the show's third season when they had to sacrifice their own careers in espionage to rescue their teammates. The plan was for Palicki and Nick Blood, the actor who played Hunter, to film a pilot for spinoff series called Marvel's Most Wanted. ABC declined to pick up the series and, while Lance Hunter returned for a guest role in an episode of SHIELD's fifth season, that's the last anyone has seen of Mockingbird.
However, Mockingbird had a reputation within SHIELD as a standout agent, suggesting she'd been there for a while and had made a name for herself. That means that, with the Black Widow movie taking place before the events of Marvel's The Avengers, fans could get a glimpse at Mockingbird's history in the spy agency.
Why should the film do this? For one, it would be interesting to have another female agent of SHIELD at work alongside Natasha, or if the events take place so far before Avengers that Black Widow isn't with SHIELD yet, to oppose her.
Another reason is to establish a bit of comic book continuity that was lost in Mockingbird's' transition to live-action. In the comics, Mockingbird has a romantic relationship with and eventually marries Hawkeye, but with Hawkeye having a secret family in the Marvel Cinematic Universe already, that romantic relationship was transferred to Lance Hunter instead. Of all the Marvel Universe characters, Clint's close relationship with Nat makes him the most likely MCU character to appear alongside her in the movie. Depending on when the movie takes place, the film could establish that Bobbi and Clint were indeed an item, or at least interested in one another, before either of them got married (or possibly after Bobbi got divorced).
But the biggest reason is that Mockingbird is just a badass, both in the comics and in live-action, and one of the few heroes in the Marvel Universe that can keep up with Natasha Romanoff on her own turf. It's unfortunate that her time on Agents of SHIELD was cut short by plans for a spinoff that never happened. Marvel would have to work around Palicki's role as First Officer Grayson in FOX's The Orville to get her back, but it would be well worth it to give her another chance to fulfill her potential as Mockingbird.
Should Marvel bring Adrianne Palicki back as Mockingbird in the Black Widow movie? Let us know what you think in the comments, and check out some other Marvel Cinematic Universe favorites who could appear in the Black Widow movie!