Black Widow could have hit the theatres in 2004, if not for Charlize Theron’s box office disaster.
After waiting for years, Marvel Studios finally came up with a standalone Black Widow movie in 2021.
Initially appearing on screen through Jon Favreau’s Iron Man 2, Scarlett Johansson finally got her own movie like her male counterparts. However, according to Lionsgate, Black Widow was one of the easiest characters to adapt for a film.
So why exactly was a Black Widow standalone movie delayed? According to the new book, MCU: Reign of Marvel Studios, it has been revealed that Lionsgate studio had previously pitched for a Black Widow movie in 2004. But unfortunately, Charlize Theron’s box office bomb killed the idea and scrapped it from happening.
Lionsgate Had Pitched For a Black Widow Movie In 2004
Scarlett Johansson‘s Black Widow has been one of the most appreciated, badass female characters of all time. Appearing for the first time in Jon Favreau’s Iron Man 2, Johansson stole the show with her screen presence.
But what most people might not know is that a Black Widow movie was in development long before the first installment of Iron Man hit the theatres.
Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow
According to MCU: Reign of Marvel Studios, David Hayter was coming off the comic book movie success of both 2000’s X-Men and 2003’s X2, that’s when Lionsgate offered him an opportunity to write a Black Widow script.
In 2004, Lionsgate Studios put its efforts into making a standalone Black Widow movie, as they believed it was one of the easiest Marvel characters to adapt for film.
Lionsgate almost made a Black Widow movie in 2004
David Hayter therefore created a fairly faithful adaptation of the super spy’s origin story from the comics. But unfortunately, the project never saw the light of the day.
Wound up being doomed by a whole bunch of other similar features that were coming out around the same time, the Black Widow movie failed to go into production and hit the silver screen.
Charlize Theron’s Box Office Bomb Scrapped Black Widow
Apparently, according to MCU: Reign of Marvel Studios, David Hayter mentioned how his work went in vain because other projects that were almost similar to Black Widow were being slammed by critics. Failing to make an impact at the box office, movies like BloodRayne, Ultraviolet, and Aeon Flux, scrapped MCU’s Black Widow from happening.
Charlize Theron’s Aeon Flux (2005)
“Unfortunately, as I was coming up on the final draft, a number of female vigilante movies came out. We had Tomb Raider and Kill Bill, which were the ones that worked, but then we had BloodRayne, Ultraviolet, and Aeon Flux. Aeon Flux didn’t open well, and three days after it opened the studio said, ‘we don’t think it’s time to do this movie.’”
Recalling how Charlize Theron‘s Aeon Flux turned into a box office disaster, David Hayter mentioned that Lionsgate withdrew the project. Accepting the login behind Lionsgate’s worries, Hayter dropped the script and recalled his wasted time and energy.
Charlize Theron’s Aeon Flux scrapped Black Widow from happening
“I accepted their login in terms of the saturation of the marketplace, but it was pretty painful. I had not only invested a lot of time in that movie, but I had also named my daughter, who was born in that time period, Natasha.”
A decade later in 2014, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, featured Black Widow as the second lead, and then in 2021 finally MCU came up with a standalone Black Widow movie.