August 25, 2014

Listen-Up Marvel, Neil Marshall Wants To Direct That BLACK WIDOW Spin-Off

British director Neil Marshall has made a career making fun B-movies, from Dog Soldiers to the more serious cult horror hit The Descent. He's also known for having strong female characters in his projects, his last two films having been more female-driven (Centurion and Doomsday) than his peers. Neil is responsible for two of the big event episodes of Game of Thrones as well, directing episodes Blackwater and The Watchers On The Wall. Easily, the two more action-heavy episodes of the series.

The director's next project will be a sequel to the classic tale of King Kong entitled Skull Island: Blood of The King, set 25 years after the original events. He recently directed the pilot episode of NBC's Constantine, which is based on the DC comic series Hellblazer. That might be the only comic book property the director is willing to dip-his-toes-in with, as he tells VanityFair that he'd take a shot at making a Black Widow film. Explaining why he believes the super-spy would work as a feature film.

I would love to do a Black Widow movie. 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.

As it stands, Marvel has quieted their talk of a Widow spin-off. So much so, that Kevin Feige has basically stated Natasha is more valuable as a supporting character. This does make sense, considering she has helped-out three Marvel franchises (Iron Man, Avengers, Captain America). We know that screenwriter Nicole Perlman (Guardians of The Galaxyconfirmed herself, that she did work on a new script treatment back in 2010/2011. Resurrecting the previous incarnation that was setup at Lionsgate back in 2008 by writer-director David Hayter (Watchmen, X2, X-Men).  New development on the project is currently unknown, and is considered in limbo. It's assumed that Marvel might put resources towards a Ms Marvel/Captain Marvel movie first.

Scarlett has proven herself as a box office draw this summer with Lucy opening number one (beating Dwayne Johnson's Hercules which opened the same weekend), and her character appearing in huge box office installments are definitely helping awareness/demand. The character's mysterious past concerning the events in Budapest and Osaka could be fun to explore, but being left as a mystery might be better too. Also, Scarlett's recent pregnancy could slow-down her action roles for next little while.

While we'd prefer a female director handling the female hero films at Marvel Studios, I don't think we should automatically dismiss Neil from the running. Considering a majority of his films are female-positive and has given solid roles to women in his previous work. He could also be the next Russo Brothers or even James Gunn, with a little help from Marvel. Plus, we already know that the studio people are fans of Game of Thrones, since they ended-up hiring Alan Taylor to direct Thor: The Dark World.


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