A Black Widow solo movie has been on many Marvel fans' wishlist for quite some time. And now, it looks like audiences can get something pretty close to it in 2018.
20th Century Fox unveiled the trailer for Red Sparrow earlier this week. The film is directed by Francis Lawrence (The Hunger Games: Catching Fire) and based on the book of the same name by Jason Matthews. You can check it out below.
The film stars Jennifer Lawrence (the X-Men franchise's Mystique) as Dominika Egorova, a former ballerina who is trained in seduction and manipulation by a Russian spy program. She eventually becomes the best "Sparrow" to graduate the program, and has to wrestle with her newfound power while targeting an American CIA agent.
While that might not completely match the origin story of Marvel's Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), it's pretty hard to deny their similarities. Granted, Red Sparrow appears to take things in a grittier, nihilistic direction, but it certainly displays the blueprints of what a Black Widow solo movie could be.
Black Widow's origin - particularly her days in the 'Red Room' - have already been hinted at in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Fans got the biggest dose of it in Avengers: Age of Ultron, when a vision brought on by Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) caused Natasha to relive her trauma from the training program. But the presentation of that storyline didn't sit well with everyone, especially when coupled with the damsel in distress romantic storyline Natasha had with Bruce Banner/Hulk (Mark Ruffalo). An anecdote about her backstory was to be included in Captain America: Civil War, but was ultimately cut for time.
Nevertheless, fans haven't given up hope that a Black Widow solo movie could be made. Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige has said that a Black Widow movie "would be fun", but it would be best suited outside of Marvel's Phase 3 slate. Johansson echoed this earlier this year, blaming the lack of a solo film on "a case of timing." But if Red Sparrow becomes a success when it hits theaters next year, maybe the timing right for Black Widow to step into the spotlight.