Although news surrounding the standalone Black Widow movie had gone quiet since January, it heated up again back in July as it was revealed the mega-franchise was scouting directors for the job.
As the MCU fandom rejoice (and teenage boys across the world ready themselves for the most exciting ride of their lives), we thought we’d take a look at all of the fierce female characters of MCU who we think deserve their own movies. Badass boss bitches, assemble! Who will win their own movies in the next year?
Gamora (Zoe Saldana) – Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
Yes, there might be a fair few plot holes surrounding Gamora, Thanos, and her home planet, but that’s by no means her fault and if anything, a standalone movie would serve as an opportunity for Marvel to explain itself. Plot holes aside, Zoe Saldana reprising her role as the green-skinned goddess to kick some butt in her own standalone movie is something we would pay good money to see.
Elektra (Elodie Yung) – Daredevil (2015-)
Last year, Daredevil and The Defenders actress Elodie Yung got our hearts pumping when she said she was open to reprising her role as Elektra in the MCU. Since then, we’ve heard nada about a potential movie with Yung at the center, but we’re still keeping those fingers crossed in the hope that Hand’s top assassin will return in some capacity, if only to see more of her wicked sword skills.
Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter) – Jessica Jones (2015-)
A movie centered on Jessica Jones? Erm, hello? Massive potential to make one of the darkest comedy features in the MCU. She’s had her own TV show, so why not give her a feature-length flick? Just imagine the sardonic titular character (reluctantly) carrying out her PI duties, only for Kilgrave to return and Jessica to kick his butt one last time, before and / or after chugging a 1L bottle of JD. It writes itself!
Colleen Wing (Jessica Henwick) – Iron Fist (2017-)
Colleen was an absolute highlight of Iron Fist and with her history as a master of Bushido, she quickly proved to be a steady companion for Danny (Finn Jones). As a capable fighter with powerful alliances and scene-stealing skills, we have no doubt she’d slay on the big screen as she does on the small one.
Misty Knight (Simone Missick) – Luke Cage (2016-)
As CBR put it, “The Marvel Cinematic Universe had more than its share of strong, powerful woman, but Misty Knight was like no other.” Portrayed by the glorious Simone Missick, this headstrong detective soon proved herself as a force to be reckoned with, taking no shit from the likes of Cottonmouth and Mariah Dillard. We’d love to see her in her own standalone movie, or better yet, see her team up with Colleen for a Daughters of the Dragon movie. Could. You. Imagine.
Lady Sif (Jaimie Alexander) – Thor: The Dark World (2013)
Jaimie Alexander’s Asgardian warrior quickly became a fan fave in Thor and Thor: The Dark World for good reason – she’s a feared fighter and, now the Marvel writers have started to embrace the character, has enjoyed stories that highlighted her skills, unquenchable spirit, and battle prowess. We’d love to see more from this engine of destruction.
Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o) – Black Panther (2018)
Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther gave birth to some of the most badass female superheroes in the MCU, one of those being Nakia, played by the glorious Lupita Nyong’o. She’s a wonderful woman of Wakanda – intelligent, crafty, and lethal – making her an ideal candidate for a standalone movie.
Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson) – Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
We’d love a Valkyrie movie just so we could spend 120 minutes crushing on Tessa Thompson. She’s a badass fighting machine too, obviously, and brings some much-needed humor to the MCU. In contrast to her male counterparts, Valkyrie is a force of nature who subverts all tropes often surrounding the female characters of the Marvel comic books. As Little White Lies pointed out, her battle feels “as emotionally significant as Thor’s” and it’s for this reason we’d love to see her journey played out in her own feature-length film. It makes sense Marvel, and you know it!
Shuri (Letitia Wright) – Black Panther (2018)
Letitia Wright (Black Mirror) is having a moment and we’re with her every step of the way. Portraying Shuri – the Princess of Wakanda, sister of T’Challa, daughter of T’Chaka & Ramonda, and the leader of the Wakandan Design Group – Wright was absolutely outstanding as the tech guru with a big brain and a sharp tongue and could easily hold her own in a Shuri-centered movie.
Okay, so we haven’t seen She-Hulk enter the MCU yet. But we’ve said it once and we’ll say it again – MCU needs to make She-Hulk a reality. Just imagine the levels of badassery of the big green beast in female form on the big screen. Especially since she’s a total boss bitch who is fully in control of her own body with a strong intellect and sharp-as-knife wit. Please MCU . . . please!
Marvel is apparently moving forward with its Black Widow film and Deadline has reported an update on the female directors who are being considered to make it. According to the publication, Cate Shortland (Lore) is reportedly the favorite to direct the film, with Kimberly Pierce, Amma Asante (Belle), and Maggie Betts (Novitate) also in the running.
These directors were apparently whittled down from a list of 49, with Shortland, Assante, and Betts reportedly even meeting star Scarlett Johansson (Lucy) and Marvel’s Kevin Feige recently. While we can see the appeal of all four directors handling the material, there are seven specific female directors who we think could land a knockout with the Black Widow movie if given a chance. Here’s our ranking of the seven female filmmakers we’d most like to see direct the Black Widow movie.
Ergüven’s 2015 breakthrough coming-of-age movie Mustang proved her to be a talent on the rise, while her 2017 Halle Berry (X-Men) and Daniel Craig (Spectre) led movie Kings suggested she can masterfully maintain tension. A big budget superhero movie could give the filmmaker an opportunity to refine her style for a wider audience.
We realize Barrymore is a far-fetched choice considering she hasn’t directed a movie since 2009’s Whip It, but god damn we love that film and continue to believe she could do great things with a Black Widow movie if given the opportunity. Barrymore could really bring out the dry, acerbic wit of the character while providing bombastic, fun action scenes.
5. Chloe Zhao
Zhao was speculated to be one of the filmmakers being considered by Disney for the Black Widow movie back in April. The filmmaker would be an interesting choice as her style is more understated and thoughtful than the average superhero movie seems to feature. But having garnered critical acclaim for her two feature dramas Songs My Brothers Taught Me & The Rider, the director could surprise us all with her versatility by going big for her next feature with Black Widow.
4. Dee Rees
The Oscar-nominated filmmaker does wondrous things with stories centered around female leads as seen in her debut feature Pariah. Her Netflix Originals hit Mudbound further highlights Rees as a director who can handle the demands of an ensemble cast and a big story without sacrificing her rich visual palette. Just imagine a Black Widow movie from this woman! We can and it’s stupendous.
3. Amma Asante
The actor-turned-filmmaker has been rumored as a top choice for the film since April and has a bold eye for presenting emotionally charged, complex narratives. Asante recently wowed critics with her interracial marriage story A United Kingdom, but she truly made herself a name to look out for with the period drama Belle – a rare movie that interrogates the racial tensions of 18th century aristocratic England. If chosen to direct Black Widow, Asante could assuredly peel back the layers on Natasha Romanoff’s cool exteriors to reveal the complexity of the character.
2. Karyn Kusama
One of the most versatile independent filmmakers today, Kusama has made a name for herself as a confident risk-taker with an eye for genre storytelling. Her 2000 breakthrough movie Girlfight proved her prowess for action scenes with an emotional core to them while Jennifer’s Body showcased her grasp of both horror and comedy. However, it’s her 2015 film The Invitation that remains the most impressive, revealing Kusama to be the sort of taut storyteller who could infuse the Black Widow movie with tension but also lashings of wit and action to maintain Black Widow’s vibe.
We don’t care what anyone says – Punisher: War Zone remains one of the greatest R-rated superhero movies ever made. Alexander utilizes the most cartoonish displays of violence and explosions possible to really bring the comic books to life and it absolutely works. The film was foolishly maligned upon release, but it has rightfully become a cult classic – arguably the filmmaker was way ahead of her time. Since then, Alexander has continued to work as a genre director on superhero shows like Arrow and Supergirl, which suggests she’s more than ready to approach another big budget superhero movie and we think the Black Widow movie should be it.