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Marvel fans launch an online campaign for a #BlackWidowMovie

If Marvel won't listen to the demand for a Black Widow movie, Tumblr fans have decided they just need to get louder.


Aja Romano

Internet Culture

Posted on Oct 28, 2014   Updated on May 30, 2021, 7:59 am CDT

If you’ve somehow managed to avoid the Internet’s demand for a Black Widow movie, then that’s all going to change on November 2—at least if a planned hashtag campaign spearheaded by frustrated Tumblr fans does its job.

In the wake of DC’s surprise announcement that a Wonder Woman movie—the holy grail of superhero films—is being planned for 2017, many Marvel fans are turning expectantly to cinema’s current golden child. After all, if Marvel Studios really is too big to fail, as the blockbuster success of Guardians of the Galaxy has led many to speculate, then there’s no reason not to do a Black Widow movie, right?

Not according to Marvel Studios itself. Studio president Kevin Feige recently stated bluntly that there are no plans to produce a Black Widow movie through at least 2017.

To a large number of Tumblr users, that means that the only option is to get even louder.

Tumbler user thebeckyford took to the platform yesterday to make a modest but powerful suggestion. “I would like to propose a black widow offensive,” she wrote.

On an agreed day (maybe a week from today, Sunday 2nd November to allow for awareness) everyone in support of a black widow movie tweets marvelentertainment using the hashtag #BlackWidowMovie demonstrating the wide fan base in favour of it. It’s a small gesture to be sure, but who knows. Encouragement doesn’t hurt. And mentioning that DC have female and people of colour led movies in the works can’t hurt either.

The idea was an immediate hit; her post garnered over 8,500 notes in less than a day. As the Tumblr “Where Is My Black Widow Movie?” pointed out in reblogging the post, the ideal outcome of the hashtag is that it becomes too big for the most powerful Marvel and Disney executives to ignore:

Probably more than half the people on the list above have had to field “where is my Black Widow movie?” questions. They aren’t the enemy, either. They don’t need to be told “hey, people are interested”; they need ammunition to go to the people higher than them on the food chain to be like “Hey, these fans are passionate and invested and loud and the only way we’re going to get them to stop talking about this is to give Black Widow a movie.”

But on Reddit’s Marvel subforum, where an optimistic Tumblr user dropped by to invite the community to join the planned campaign, responses ranged from incredulous (“Do people really want a Black Widow movie? Why?”) to cynical to negative. “If the motivation is to force a female-led or POC-led movie, there are far more compelling possibilities,” wrote redditor TurkCLE

These kinds of responses only prove how important a Black Widow movie is to her many fans, who are frustrated by the lack of women in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Not only has Black Widow’s visibility on the Avengers team been systematically downgraded and derided by the mainstream media, but so far she’s the only female heroine on the Marvel radar who’s within shooting distance of having her own movie. Though many people cite Captain Marvel (Carol Danvers) or Ms. Marvel (Kamala Khan) as competitors for the “first female Marvel superhero film” crown, their followings among comics readers pale in comparison to that of Natasha Romanova. Black Widow is, after all, the only female member of the elite superhero team to appear in the film franchise, not once but four times so far. An optimistic IMDd user has listed “Black Widow” as one of Scarlett Johansson’s upcoming films, as if fans can will the film into being with enough open-source edits.

Still, despite what seems to be everpresent social media agitation for the film, Marvel seems content continuing to churn out movies about blond men named Chris. It seems increasingly likely that if a Black Widow film happens, it will only result from a much larger social media mobilization than we’ve yet seen. And, hey, it could still happen: After all, it only took 30,000 tweets and a leaked test scene to get Marvel to finally bring us the Deadpool movie we’ve wanted for years.

If Marvel can listen to its fanbase’s demand for a movie about a snarky sociopathic vigilante antihero, then surely it can listen to those fans’ requests for a movie about a sly, ass-kicking, uber-competent superspy with a dark past and a hard-won place on the most elite superhero squad around.

And if it can’t, then we may have bigger problems to address.

Photo via tales2astonish/Flickr; CC-BY-SA 2.0

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*First Published: Oct 28, 2014, 12:18 pm CDT