A Black Widow movie was absent from the schedule of films Marvel Studios announced Tuesday during a fan event inside Disney’s El Capitan Theater.
Instead, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige introduced a new title revolving around a female character, “Captain Marvel.”
That film will star a female version of the superhero with the comicbook’s Carol Danvers and her alter ego Ms. Marvel being turned into the bigscreen heroine that Marvel hopes will launch a new franchise on July 6, 2018.
Marvel has yet to cast the role, and no director or writer has been announced.
“Captain Marvel” will be Marvel’s first film to star a female character. A member of the United States Air Force, Danvers gains superpowers after her genes are fused with that of the alien race known as the Kree.
“This film has been in the works almost as long as ‘Doctor Strange’ or ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ before it came out, and one of the key things was figuring out what we wanted to do with it,” Feige said. “Her adventures are very earthbound, but her powers are based in the cosmic realm.”
But Marvel still has big plans for Johansson’s Black Widow.The character, who debuted in 2010’s “Iron Man 2,” plays a key role in next summer’s “The Avengers: Age of Ultron,” and has her own figure in Disney Infinity 2.0.
“Her part in ‘Age of Ultron’ is very big,” Feige said. “It’s a key part that’s a linchpin to future films.”
In previous interviews Feige had said, “We learn more about her past and learn more about where she came from” in “Age of Ultron.” “The notion of exploring that even further in her own film would be great, and we have some development work with that.”
But while developing that project, Marvel found it would have to fill in her backstory as a Russian spy, which would force Marvel to produce a prequel film, something it hasn’t yet done, Feige said.
Instead, Johansson’s character will continue to be fleshed out in future Marvel movies, with her character playing a large role in sequels leading up to “The Avengers: Infinity War.”
Feige has long been high on the character even before her role was expanded for April’s “Captain America: The Winter Soldier.” When promoting the homevideo release for “Iron Man 2,” in 2010, he said, “We’ve already started discussions with Scarlett (Johansson) about the idea of a solo movie and have begun putting together concepts, but ‘The Avengers’ comes first.”