BLACK WIDOW: Writer Of Scrapped 2004 Movie Reveals His Plans For An Awesome "Needle-Drop" Moment

BLACK WIDOW: Writer Of Scrapped 2004 Movie Reveals His Plans For An Awesome "Needle-Drop" Moment BLACK WIDOW: Writer Of Scrapped 2004 Movie Reveals His Plans For An Awesome "Needle-Drop" Moment

A Black Widow movie was in the works long before Marvel Studios put the spotlight on Natasha Romanoff, and filmmaker David Hayter has revealed his plans for a "needle-drop" moment in the scrapped project.

By JoshWilding - Dec 29, 2023 04:12 AM EST
Filed Under: Black Widow

Marvel spent years trying to get a Black Widow movie off the ground and, way back in 2004, filmmaker David Hayter penned a screenplay for a solo project revolving around Natasha Romanoff. 

Hayter, who is the voice of Solid Snake in the Metal Gear Solid franchise, is known for writing movies like X-Men, X2, and Watchmen, and stepped behind the camera to helm Wolves in 2014. Now, he's revealed a "needle drop" moment he had planned for his Black Widow project. 

Unfortunately for the movie, it was being developed at a time when Elektra and Catwoman bombed and left Hollywood executives convinced that female-led superhero adaptations couldn't work. That attitude didn't change until Wonder Woman was released in 2017. 

As for Natasha, she made her MCU debut in 2010's Iron Man 2 and later headlined her own spin-off during the pandemic. 

Back in 2011, Hayter said this about what he had planned for Black Widow and the "painful" truth of why it didn't happen. 

"What I tried to do was use the backdrop of the splintered Soviet Empire - a lawless insane asylum with four hundred some odd nuclear missile silos.  It was all about loose nukes, and I felt it was very timely and very cool. 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 and 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.' I accepted their logic 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 - after the lead character in Black Widow. I named my daughter after a movie that I wasn’t working on anymore."

It was probably for the best that this project fell apart as it's unlikely Marvel Studios would have been able to utilise the character in its movies had the character's film rights been tied up with another studio. 

There are many comic book adaptations which fell apart in the early-to-mid 2000s and Black Widow is simply one of many. It's a project Hayter was clearly passionate about, anyway, and we can't help but think it might have been pretty good!

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bkmeijer1
bkmeijer1 - 12/29/2023, 4:58 AM
"Elektra and Catwoman bombed and left Hollywood executives convinced that female-led superhero adaptations couldn't work"

I'm sure it was the female lead, and not just the abysmal writing that was the reason why it didn't work.
Fogs
Fogs - 12/29/2023, 5:13 AM
@bkmeijer1 - I know, right? Cause we never had female-led good films in the history of the world before.
dagenspear
dagenspear - 12/29/2023, 5:33 AM
@Fogs -
@bkmeijer1 -

It happens. If things are huge hits, they oversaturate the marketplace with things like it. We saw this with Dark Knight and MCU, even if they're not replicating it and it's failing, but it succeeded HUGELY that ONE TIME, so they keep chasing that monkey. The issue is, I think, to me, people among the studios viewing female led superhero movies as a genre at all, instead of just seeing them as superhero movies that happen to have women in them. In a way I think this is still may be an issue, but on both ends of the spectrum, in some throwing around the "MSheU" term as the blame for the writing issues within that run of those movies, and I think maybe others arguing for it BECAUSE it's female led. For some reason, I think it being women is, in theory maybe, being made one of the more important things about it, for little strong reason to me, not focusing enough on the criticisms of the writing, to me.
Apophis71
Apophis71 - 12/29/2023, 7:02 AM
@dagenspear - That is oft a problem, film starring white dude fails it was just a bad film but to some if it stars anything else it seems the blame has oft been viewed more regarding the other of it than just that it was bad which is odd to me. Read a while back a statistical breakdown on how woke a film is viewed to box office success and if anything it was slightly skewed in favour of films that were ranked more woke but generaly very weak statistical correlation...

...more a case that if films flop without being viewed political and with white leads folk move on and forget about them (in part as there are so many of those) but if it has a non-white or female lead a spotlight is put on it. Same goes with other aspects of life, as in criminality and terrorism or whatever where oft an entire group can be viewed more negatively than is statisticaly fair due to the actions of a minority of said group, more attention paid to the bad when the culprits are percieved as other skewing opinions.

Ultimately bad film are bad due to poor writing, end of story, and in theory I would think equaly well written action films those starring good looking females should to my mind have more chance of success over those starring men amongst male demograhic viewers cos, well, has added eye candy appeal over being good, lol.
dragon316
dragon316 - 12/29/2023, 7:52 AM
@bkmeijer1 - so did steel mostly costumes suck Electra was better ones get away with Catwoman not sure what to make of it her costume then how she got her powers
bkmeijer1
bkmeijer1 - 12/29/2023, 8:40 AM
@dagenspear - exactly. Shouting things like MSHU and Go Woke Go Broke just takes away from the important problem indeed. If those things do make it suck, it's because of writing.
marvel72
marvel72 - 12/29/2023, 9:32 AM
@bkmeijer1 - You can see why they call it the MSHEU.

If you add up all the new female characters that either.

Replace a current male character with a female version like She-Hulk, Kate Bishop,Captain Carter, Shuri and so on.

Gender swap a male like characters in Eternals

Male characters are made into jokes Ant-Man, Thor and Red Guardian for example.

Then add up the new male characters.

You can see why it's called the MSHEU.
bkmeijer1
bkmeijer1 - 12/29/2023, 11:03 AM
@marvel72 - I don't see the problem. Female characters are turned into jokes too, so that's just criticism on all characters.

And still, the problem isn't the female characters themselves. They are comic characters. Just (relatively) badly written ones.
dagenspear
dagenspear - 12/29/2023, 11:19 AM
@marvel72 - Not a single one of them has actually replaced anybody. You're making that up. She-Hulk didn't replace Hulk. Kate didn't replace Hawkeye (as Clint literally worked with her). Peggy didn't replace Steve (she's only really been in what if and died as quickly as she came in live action). Shuri comes the closest, but I think you know as well as I do that using what happened there to spin some political nonsense may be not classy taste considering outside movie problems.

Thor and Ant-Man were already jokes. That had nothing to do with women. Red Guardian is just an irrelevant example, he's not an important character.

Again, making up political garbage and trying to pretend it's more than that.
dagenspear
dagenspear - 12/29/2023, 11:21 AM
@bkmeijer1 - I don't think I've seen a single female character turned into a joke. So there may be an imbalance. However, LORD willing, they're making mountains of molehills for a lot of their argument.
marvel72
marvel72 - 12/29/2023, 2:20 PM
@dagenspear - Kate Bishop has replaced Hawkeye or she will.

No Steve Rogers as Captain America

Shuri is The Black Panther

No more Tony Stark but we have Ironheart on the way.

Well you can believe what you want but my opinion is right and how I see things is correct.

bkmeijer1
bkmeijer1 - 12/29/2023, 2:41 PM
@dagenspear - not necessarily a joke, but most are quirky and jokesters. Out of all characters, there are only a few serious ones left
dagenspear
dagenspear - 12/29/2023, 7:35 PM
@bkmeijer1 - But I think that's a different issue in the writing of these. For instance, I totally dig Yelena and Kate's dynamic in that type of attitude.
dagenspear
dagenspear - 12/29/2023, 7:44 PM
@marvel72 - She will? So it isn't the MSheU, it's the MWillSheU? And that's only 1 character.
Sam is replacing Steve, not Peggy. Making stuff up there again.

You know why that happened. But sure, but you seem to want to use a real life situation to justify dumb political nonsense and outrage over nothing.

That's nonsense. Only thing in common is Iron in the first part of the name and armor. You might as well say John Walker replaced Steve too because he has super soldier powers and uses the american flag as his shtick.

You're mostly factually incorrect and, just like SJW's, making everything about politics. Wow, you really showed me, with your blanket statement that only actually really equates to 1 character, and maybe 2 characters at best. That's not an MSheU anymore than MHeU was a thing. You have no actual argument.
bkmeijer1
bkmeijer1 - 12/30/2023, 3:13 AM
@dagenspear - it definitely works for some characters, but it's not really interesting for all characters or in the long run. Character tension is always lighthearted, and that kinda gets boring quickly
dagenspear
dagenspear - 12/30/2023, 4:01 AM
@bkmeijer1 - In a way it's why I liked the tenseness of Civil War, not just the movie. I first heard about that storyline playing the Ultimate Alliance 2 game back in the day and I was very engaged even if I barely knew as much many of these characters at the time.
bkmeijer1
bkmeijer1 - 12/30/2023, 10:33 AM
@dagenspear - exactly. It's why Avengers, Age of Ultron, all Guardians movies, Civil War and Infinity War all work so good imo. The best conflict comes from characters with clashing ideologies. I really feel that's what is missing right now in the MCU.
dagenspear
dagenspear - 12/30/2023, 11:02 AM
@bkmeijer1 - Maybe so. Not enough drama.
ObserverIO
ObserverIO - 12/29/2023, 5:15 AM
For some reason I remember this being a David Goyer project. I'm getting my Davids mixed up.
Cass
Cass - 12/29/2023, 6:19 AM
The voice of Solid Snake and the writer of X-men and X2. He could do nothing else and that would be an absolutely legendary career.
BritishMonkey
BritishMonkey - 12/29/2023, 7:17 AM
They should've gotten him back for MCU's Black Widow and make it the MGS inspired film it should've been.
dagenspear
dagenspear - 12/29/2023, 8:37 AM
A soviet russian missile crisis Black Widow movie I think could've been pretty cool. Way more than the watered down big ol family story we got.
HammerLegFoot
HammerLegFoot - 12/29/2023, 9:04 AM
What does needle drop tom sawyer mean?
mountainman
mountainman - 12/29/2023, 10:05 AM
@HammerLegFoot - I’m trying to figure this out too. The best guess I have is to play “Tom Sawyer” by Rush during a particular scene. While an awesome song, I don’t see how this is newsworthy.
Deadinside
Deadinside - 12/29/2023, 11:19 AM
@mountainman - That is precisely what that means!
James Gunn has several "needle drops" in his movies!☮👍
marvel72
marvel72 - 12/29/2023, 9:24 AM
Black Widow was crap, they made Natasha invulnerable she falls from a Window and walks away like it was nothing. They made Taskmaster a woman when you can clearly see its a man in the costume until the reveal at the end. Red Guardian was a pussy, he is meant to be the equivalent of Captain America, what a joke.Women in the MCU get away with the crimes they commit,take that woman can't remember her name that kidnapped all those young girls and made them assassin's, she got away with that.

Probably the start of the downfall of the MCU.
mountainman
mountainman - 12/29/2023, 10:07 AM
@marvel72 - I think that the movie was good before the prison break. I can forgive the falling from the window scene as many action movies do stuff like this. It was really from the prison break to the end that it completely fell apart.

Imagine a Black Widow movie at the start of Phase 3, made with a similar tone to Winter Soldier.
Apophis71
Apophis71 - 12/29/2023, 1:57 PM
@mountainman - I just viewed the fall scene as a retcon that she always had a lesser form of Super Soldier Serum like the character had in the source so never see the big deal about that when nobody goes on about how they stripped mention of her having had that jab in prior films and instead gave it to Bucky who never did in the comics.

Yeh the final act of the film had a load of problems but no more so than a LOT of CBM's, esp MCU ones and the first half of the film at least was better than most for me even if dragged down by the final act into a middling MCU.
marvel72
marvel72 - 12/29/2023, 2:23 PM
@mountainman - Exactly after The Winter Soldier would have been the perfect opportunity but again wait until she dies to release a movie.

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