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Scarlett Johansson webs $15 million payday for Black Widow film

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Oct 11, 2018, 12:16 PM EDT (Updated)

Holy cow! Or rather, holy eight-legged, web-spinning, venomous spider! A Black Widow spinoff movie is actually happening at Marvel Studios with Scarlett Johansson in the lead — and it's just netted its star a tidy payday.

According to a new report from The Hollywood Reporter, the actress has locked down a $15 million deal to play Natasha Romanoff in her very own film. This is reportedly on par with what Chris Evans and Chris Hemsworth were paid for Avengers: Infinity War, as well as Captain America: Civil War and Thor: Ragnarok, respectively. Both Chrises are also getting the same amount for next year's fourth Avengers movie, which was directed by the Russo Brothers and is currently without a subtitle.

Over the summer, the Black Widow project found its director in Australian filmmaker Cate Shortland (Lore). Around the same time, the latest draft of the script was being penned by Jac Schaeffer (The Hustle) and was said to focus on Romanoff's Russian-based adventures before the events of the first Avengers film.

Johansson's Black Widow made her MCU debut in 2010's Iron Man 2 and steadily became a bigger character, eventually joining the Avengers and fending off the Chitauri invasion of New York in 2012. Romanoff's backstory as a Russian assassin was hinted at in Age of Ultron when Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) played mind games with each of the Avengers, showing them their worst, deep-seated fears/memories.

With Captain Marvel arriving this March, it's high time that Marvel Studios began to give female heroes their due. Moreover, the Russian spy elements of Romanoff's story have highly relevant political overtones that are ripe to be explored and exploited.

As one of the surviving members of Thanos' Infinity Gauntlet snap, Black Widow will have a major role in helping save the universe in Avengers 4, which hits theaters on May 3, 2019.

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