The upcoming Black Widow movie has a lot going for it–2017’s Wonder Woman has proven that a female-led superhero movie can not only be profitable, but revered bay both critics and moviegoers alike–but that doesn’t mean that it should take some very significant advantages for granted.
First there’s Scarlett Johannson, who’s shown with 2014’s Lucy that a movie can be built around her successfully (it was essentially a ‘secret’ superhero movie in the same way Unbreakable and even 1980’s Altered States were, if you think about it).
Then there’s the fact that it’s coming from Marvel Studios, who seemingly don’t know how to make a bad movie
But pride comes before a fall, so to ensure that that doesn’t happen, here’s what the producers could do to minimize the odds.
- Consider a Guest Appearance
Johannson’s Black Widow is a great character, but imagine how jazzed fans would be to know Captain America or Hawkeye were going to show up (and I know, some contracts are expiring, but if Evans’ enthusiasm for the characer is any indicator he’d likely turn up in a heartbeat).
And speaking of costs, if you recall Avengers: Age of Ultron, there was a scene Black Widow and Hawkeye were talking about ‘Budapest’ and what happened there. Now imagine a adventure featuring them both, taking place in the past and perhaps revolving around the organization known as A.I.M (Advanced Idea Mechanics, who were sort of teased in Iron Man 3).
It would be in the Winter Soldier vein, and could be very awesome and gritty.
- Control Costs
Part of the problem with DC Films–and Zach Snyder in particular–is that their movies are relatively expensive, compared to Marvel Studios, which is why they tend to make middling profits (by way of illustration, Justice League cost somewhere in the ballpark of $250 million before the Joss Whedon-helmed reshoots. Having seen it I’m not entirely sure where that money went, but it wasn’t on screen).
And speaking of costs, during Avengers: Age of Ultron Black Widow and Hawkeye were reminiscing about ‘Budapest.’
Suppose Black Widow was the movie about that particular incident? I have no idea what the actual movie will be about, but it would be pretty cool to see a Jason Bourne-type adventure featuring Black Widow and Hawkeye for no more than 80-$100 million?
Such a, relatively speaking, low-cost action movie would likely turn a profit in a week, if not days.
- Not to Belabor the Obvious, But Make an Entertaining Movie First
Black Widow’s movie needs to be entertaining in and of itself, instead of having a female lead be it’s primary draw. If it becomes the latest feminist cause cèlébre it runs the risk of alienating a huge swath of their potential audience.
Now, the producers of the movie can embrace every one of the above steps and the movie still under performs, though I think that’s highly unlikely.