Despite its over-all success, one of the major criticisms of the Marvel Cinematic Universe was its lack of female characters getting their own solo outings. Iron Man, Thor and Captain America got their own franchises but despite her prominence in the team and action sequences where was that Black Widow outing starring Scarlett Johnasson? Amazingly and disappointingly, it would be nearly a decade later when Marvel finally had their first female hero in her own film, Captain Marvel.
But even after …*spoilers*… her demise in Avengers: Endgame, we’re now – ironically – much closer to that Black Widow adventure with the film due for release in May 2020 and we’re finally getting a look at what to expect.
The film’s trailer suggests that this is obviously a hi-tech spy adventure, seemingly in flashback between some of the films and telling some of the titular spy’s original backstory. Johansson’s co-stars include David Harbour (Stranger Things, Hellboy), Florence Pugh (Little Women, The Little Drummer Girl), William Hurt (reprising his Marvel role as General Thaddeus Ross), Rachel Weisz and Ray Winstone.
Will it be a success? There’s an argument that while the film contains all the bullet-point ingredients to be another smash, it might have missed its sweet-spot, simply by being so late to the collective party. It will be great to see Johansson in action again, but if it is largely a flashback outing with no change to the existing status-quo, then it might feel less essential and somewhat adrift from a solid, timely place in the MCU.