Long before James Gunn rewrote "Guardians of the Galaxy" as an ode to super sounds of the '70s and wise-cracking space raccoons, Nicole Perlman was in charge of the film's merry band of outlaws. As part of Marvel's now defunct screenwriting program, Perlman chose "Guardians of the Galaxy" from the comic-book giant's archives and spent two and a half years working on the screenplay for the blockbuster.
"When it got to a place where Marvel was actually excited to make the movie, they wanted to bring in a writer-director with a very specific visual style and comedic sense to come and put his stamp on the movie as well," Perlman told HuffPost Entertainment in an interview last month. "I did get to go out to the set and hang out with James, but it was very much a handing off." (Both Perlman and Gunn received credit from the Writers Guild of America for their work.)
"Guardians" grossed more than $94 million during its opening weekend, and it's not the only Marvel project Perlman tackled: Between 2010 and 2011, she's also wrote a script treatment for a possible Black Widow movie.
"I think the Black Widow movie will definitely happen," Perlman said of the superhero, played by Scarlett Johansson in the current Marvel Cinematic Universe. "I would be surprised if it happened before some of the other movies, which they've planned out to 2019 at this point. It's definitely something that has been on their radar, but it is a question of them setting up all these different phases. They want to expand their universe a little bit, and then they can play with the smaller movies that they've been developing."
As Perlman indicated on Twitter on Tuesday, she's not currently working on a Black Widow movie, and Marvel has no concrete plans for the film at this time. The studio recently announced its release schedule through 2019, but did not reveal any new titles beyond "Captain America 3," which is out on May 6, 2016. (It's expected that "Doctor Strange" will arrive that year as well.)
"I think what's great about Marvel is that they're not going for quantity over quality," Perlman said when asked what it's like to work for the company. "They want to keep producing two or three movies a year that they feel really good about. They're not going to put something out there just because they have to. I think because of that they keep things within their grasp. They have a great creative community. It feels like they know that by taking risks, they've been rewarded. I think that's sort of an unusual attitude for a studio."
"Guardians of the Galaxy" is out now.