Black Widow film writer Jac Schaeffer recently stated she is “not interested in adhering to comic canon that is discriminatory in any way or that violates my values system.”
She made the comments in an interview with Inverse, where she expects to receive a negative reaction. She added, “When people react with hate, it saddens me. I think it’s a shame. But that’s not where I want to put my energy. I’m not interested in the loud, sour-grapes voices.”
Schaeffer did praise Black Widow’s story arc in Avengers: Endgame that sees the character sacrifice her life in order to help restore the lives of everyone Thanos snapped out of existence in Avengers: Infinity War.
On Black Widow’s death, Schaeffer told Inverse, “I cried like a baby. I was very moved by it.”
“It was a strange feeling. I have some proprietary feelings because if you are a writer who gets very emotionally invested in your work — which I think is most writers — the characters feel very real to you. So seeing her death in a movie that I didn’t have anything to do with — it was a little bit similar to seeing an ex-boyfriend with another partner. There’s a weird sort of removal that feels wrong and right at the same time. But her arc in the movie is wonderful.”
She would go on to provide some details about what we can expect in Black Widow and had quite a bit of praise for the close-up combat:
“The fighting [in Black Widow] is a lot of close contact, hand-to-hand combat. It’s very visceral. There’s a lot of aggression and power in a very human way that I find really satisfying and really exciting to watch, but it’s the polar opposite to writing for super-powered characters.”
The Black Widow film is expected to see Scarlett Johansson’s Natasha Romanoff go toe to toe with Taskmaster after descriptions of footage shown at San Diego Comic-Con revealed Black Widow faces off against a masked figure who mirrors her combat techniques.
The movie will take place following the events of Captain America: Civil War according to David Harbour. Harbour, who will be playing Red Guardian, the Captain America of Russia, told IGN, “They’ve known each other for a while and there’s a complex history there. This movie happens right after Captain America: Civil War, and so those events do factor in.”
Along with Red Guardian and Taskmaster the film is expected to debut Yelena Bolova, who will be portrayed by Florence Pugh.
Marvel Cinematic Universe
Schaeffer, who also contributed to Captain Marvel and will be showrunning the upcoming WandaVision series on Disney+ added, “I wasn’t a huge superhero movie fan before starting to work [at Marvel], but now that I’m doing it, there’s just so much opportunity to make big, positive statements.” She continued, “Especially something like Captain Marvel and Black Widow, to have these female-centered stories — I just can’t not be involved in that.”
Schaeffer would go into detail about her ongoing experience with WandaVision and what it’s like to be showrunning a TV series without previous TV writing credits. Schaeffer states, “It’s highly unusual. It’s kind of ridiculous.” However, she adds that showrunning is “the most satisfying role that I’ve had. It combines almost everything. While I think I will get back to directing at some point, right now running a show – I feel like the luckiest person in the world. It’s a really phenomenal gig.”
She goes on to discuss the makeup of the writing room for WandaVision indicating there are four women on a staff of eight writes. Schaeffe states the writer’s room’s makeup is “incredibly intentional, and it was very much supported by Marvel.” She adds, “I felt incredibly strongly that we needed women and people of color and people of all backgrounds and perspectives in the room. I believe — I think it is fact — that stories are better the more perspectives you have.”
Schaeffer also called for superhero films to stop “glamorizing guns and weaponry.” She stated:
“I would like to see alternatives to violence in superhero movies. Maybe I would qualify that by saying, alternatives to glamorizing guns and weaponry. That’s one of the reasons that I love Captain Marvel — it’s all about inner power. And the destruction is not at the expense of human life.”
Finally, she concluded by indicating she wants to change the world through the film projects she joins.
“I choose to be a part of projects that are about positive representation. We need to see women, we need to see people of color, we need to see nuanced experiences, and we need to see different perspectives on screen. I choose to work with people who are interested in changing perspectives for the better, and putting a world on screen that is something we can aspire to and have conversations about, and moving in a direction that will create a world I hope will be better for my children.”