Speculation aside, if YouTube user Christopher Haley‘s stylish animated opening for a fictional Black Widow movie is any indication of what we can expect from such a venture, the case for Johansson’s character to go solo is pretty darn strong.
According to Haley, the James Bond-inspired intro he created was his final project for an After Effects class. Set to the tune of Portishead’s “Sour Times,” the opening hints at an adventure that has Black Widow facing off against the assassin who took her place — and her codename — when she left the notorious Soviet espionage program that trained her to be a killing machine.
Haley described his fictional storyline for the film as follows:
Cut off one head, two more shall take it’s place. . . For this speculative title sequence of a Black Widow film I decided Black Widow’s villain would be. . . Black Widow. Yelena Belova, to be specific. Belova believes herself to be the superior Black Widow, and in some ways she is right. Swift and ruthless, Belova is the most talented assassin to graduate from the Red Room–and now she is Hydra’s most deadly weapon. At Belova’s side is a super-soldier of her own, Alexi Shostakov–the Red Guardian, who also happens to be Natasha’s former lover. When the new heads of Hydra make a play for the power of the infinity stones it is up to S.H.I.E.L.D.’s top agent to stop them.
Not only did he create a plausible plot and compelling opening for the film, but Haley also offered up some potential casting that seems spot-on for such a project.
Along with Johansson as Natasha Romanoff, the fictional film’s cast would include Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl) as Yelena Belova, the new Black Widow, as well as Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol actor Samuli Edelmann as Red Guardian. He also has Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. actors Clark Gregg and Ming-Na Wen reprising their roles from the hit series to bring some covert S.H.I.E.L.D. action into the mix.
Oh, and his hypothetical project would also see Ghost Protocol director Brad Bird behind the camera, as well as put J.J. Abrams on the executive production team, which seem like entirely possible moves given both of their well-established connections to the Walt Disney Pictures family.
Basically, if Marvel Studios isn’t certain which direction to go with Black Widow, this fan-made intro is one heck of a highway sign.