The upcoming Avengers movie follows on from several other movies based on the Marvel universe: Iron Man 1 & 2, Thor, Captain America and the Hulk reboot.

If I'm not mistaken Black Widow appears in Iron Man 2, and Hawkeye makes a bit-part appearance in Thor.

Is there any reason they were not featured in their own movies?

I'm only concerned with an in-universe reason possibly linked back to their role in the Avengers comics, not an out-of-universe reason (which might be subjective and devolve into 'Why did director X do Y, that sucks?' as warned against in the faq).

Edit: the format of most super hero movies is action-packed, excitement-filled stories. If Black Widow and Hawkeye's in-universe role in the Avengers is not conducive to a good film premise it may not have been suggested and/or accepted.

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    How can there be an in-universe explanation for why characters don't have a movie? Characters in movies don't know they're in movies.
    – Questioner
    Commented Jun 2, 2012 at 18:43
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    The "in-universe role in the avengers" of those characters is whether or not they can help the team save the world. Whether or not they are "conducive to good film premise" is a completely out-of-universe consideration. I'm sorry to have to ask, and I mean no disrespect, but do you know what "in-universe" means?
    – Questioner
    Commented Jun 4, 2012 at 2:40
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    I would have loved a Black Widow & Hawkeye prequel in phase 2. Commented Oct 28, 2015 at 22:58
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    @Questioner you are wrong, Deadpool know that he has a movie
    – user902383
    Commented Apr 21, 2016 at 12:48
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    Why isn't there a movie where a bunny and a unicorn have a baby Jesus and it saves the dinosaurs? (But in a good way.) Commented Apr 21, 2016 at 15:15

5 Answers 5


I think an in-universe reason would make no sense since Marvel has created a new universe for these films - the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

That said, there are plans to make Hawkeye and Black Widow movies.

Black Widow Solo film in discussion

Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige has confirmed that discussions are already in the works to have Scarlett Johansson reprise her role as Natasha Romanoff in a Black Widow spinoff film, though the project will take a backburner while The Avengers is in development.


Black Widow, S.H.I.E.L.D., Hawkeye, And Dr. Strange Movies Planned Post-'Avengers,' Says Kevin Feige

Black Widow, Hawkeye, and the spy organization, S.H.I.E.L.D. — all of whom are more than worthy and capable of carrying their own films.

  • @RogueJedi Dr Strange is. More helpfully the question should probably be closed, as it's unanswerable.
    – OrangeDog
    Commented Apr 21, 2016 at 14:08
  • @RogueJedi Kevin Feige Says Marvel Is "Committing" To Black Widow Solo Film comicbookresources.com/article/… Commented May 6, 2016 at 17:57

The choice of which characters to make movies about is completely out-of-universe. I'm sure you could come up with an in-universe explanation about the powers/noteworthiness/merit/whatever of various characters that would justify Iron Man, Thor, Hulk, and Cap being considered bigger "stars" in-universe, but it's similar factors in the real world that led to them getting movies made about them.


I for one think Black Widow and Hawkeye haven't had their own movies so far because no director thinks they can make it dramatic enough for it to be a super-hit at the box office.

Because, let's face it, unlike The Hulk, Captain America and Iron Man, the Black Widow and Hawkeye have no powers that require special effects!

Sure, Hawkeye's got his arrows for a couple of explosions and Black Widow's got her martial arts, but I don't quite think they have what it takes to compete (solo) in the same league as the other heroes' movies.

That said, I think they're brilliant in a group. So, no offence to the fans.

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    Cap's powers don't require special effects either, not beyond what you'd see in any action movie. And, for that matter, Batman has no superpowers at all and has had more successful movies than any other superhero I can think of. Powers have nothing to do with it. It's about the popularity of the characters. Commented Oct 29, 2015 at 5:18

Black Widow is having her own film tie-in comic miniseries:

A brand-new Black Widow solo adventure from the Marvel Cinematic Universe!

Before Natasha assembles with the Avengers Initiative, see her in this hard-hitting espionage adventure set between the events of IRON MAN 2 and MARVEL’S THE AVENGERS!

This will probably fill in the lack of film, and it wouldn't be a stretch to expect a similar tie-in for Hawkeye either.

  • So what exactly happened to this?
    – Prometheus
    Commented Nov 8, 2019 at 17:52
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    @Hashim I couldn't remember so I googled the quote and edited in the answer. It was a Comic Miniseries
    – AncientSwordRage
    Commented Nov 8, 2019 at 18:04

I think what you're trying to ask is "Are the personalities/skills/roles/etc. of Hawkeye and Black Widow less interesting or fun to watch than Iron Man, Cap, Thor, and Hulk?"

I think the answer to that is clearly no--the right people can make a good movie out of any half-decent character. The only reason Hawkeye and Widow haven't had movies (yet) is that they're less popular. Marvel used their biggest names (that they still had the movie rights to) to establish the Marvel Cinematic Universe; now that they've got that foundation in place, they can experiment a little, but leading off with Hawkeye, Ant-Man, etc. would have been a bad move.

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