While it's sometimes difficult for TV directors to make the jump to the big screen, Marvel Studios have been remarkably open to the idea in the recent past, with Thor: The Dark World and Captain America: The Winter Soldier both coming from directors best known for their small-screen work.
Now Neil Marshall of Game of Thrones fame -- whose most recent high-profile job is directing DC Entertainment and NBC's Constantine pilot -- wants a shot at Black Widow which, if made, would be Marvel's first female-led superhero film.
"I think I'd like to do a big movie with a strong female lead, whether or not she would be a superhero. I'm more interested in characters like Scarlett Johansson in Lucy. I'm less interested in people with superpowers because I can't identify with them. Very rarely do they get killed off, and when they do get killed off, chances are they're going to be back . . . somehow," the director told Vanity Fair. "Yes, I'd love to do a big splashy movie with a great female lead, but it has to be someone I can believe in."
It was the interviewer, not Marshall, who brought up Black Widow, on account of his referencing Lucy and Johansson.
"I would love to do a Black Widow movie," he conceded. "That's perfect, I would love to do that. That character is really interesting, she doesn't have any superpowers, she just has extraordinary skills, and the world that she comes from, being this ex-K.G.B. assassin, I find that really fascinating, yeah."
"I think [Black Widow] has a central leading role in this movie. What people are really saying is 'When are you doing a standalone female superhero movie?' The answer is: I don't know," Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige said back in March. "We only do two a year, we know more or less what's coming up through '16/'17. With Widow what's great is the interaction with all the team members, and the question is whether we want to pluck her out of that."
Feige said that they'll continue to develop Black Widow in the upcoming Avengers sequel, and highlighted her important role in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, but was less enthusiastic about rumors that Scarlett Johansson will star in her own solo adventure soon.
"Frankly if we do a Black Widow movie after Age of Ultron, when she's been central in three or four movies I don't think we'd get the quote unquote credit for it," he said. "People would say 'She's already a big giant superhero!' But if we had a great idea, we'd do it."