Scarlett Johansson Opens Up About The Making of Marvel Studios ‘Black Widow’. Marvel Alumni, Scarlett Johansson recently shared insight with Entertainment Weekly (EW) into the making of Black Widow, the long awaited untold story of Natasha Romanoff in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
EW asked about Scarlett’s thoughts on why it took so long to create a stand-alone Black Widow film in the MCU. To which she admitted that either way she was content with the decision to either make the film or move on to new heroes and content. “I was like, I think I’m good,” Johansson admits. “If [we’re] going to do this, it had to be creatively fulfilling. I’ve been working for such a long time, and I have to feel like I’m challenged. I don’t want to do the same thing that I’d already done before. This film is very much a result of that journey, my own personal journey,” she shared.
“I feel that I probably wasn’t as willing or able to go to the kind of uncomfortable, embarrassing, ugly places before. I think it’s just as you get older, you trust yourself more. Maybe I wouldn’t even have been as curious about that part of [Natasha] before,” Johansson says. “Maybe I would’ve been more interested in wearing all these masks, and now I’m more interested in what’s behind them.”
CCO of Marvel Studios, Kevin Feige, was asked a similar sentiment of “Why release a Black Widow movie now?” To which he explained that audiences may not be as invested in a characters backstory if we were still actively following along in their journey. “We had been planning the conclusion for the Infinity Saga for the past five or six years, and Natasha’s journey within those films took the priority,” Feige explains. “The notion of breaking out for a stand-alone film that takes place in the past, for a character that we already knew and were already following, didn’t feel right.”
Marvel Studios has also hinted that events taking place in the Black Widow film would have spoiled the stories for other Marvel films after Captain America: Civil War and the new film will give unprecedented access to Natasha past that may help to explain her actions and sacrifice in Avengers: Endgame.
When asked about when she knew it was time to share Natasha’s story, both Scarlett and Director Cate Shortland shared the same sentiment. It truly began when the pair met for the first time to discuss to film and realized they had equal passion to take care of the characters integrity and tell a truly epic story with a hard working woman at the center.
“We just bonded over stories about trust and about intimacy and about women surviving,” Shortland says of that initial chat. “You didn’t have to be a superhero to identify with a woman who has had a really tough childhood and has survived and has a huge heart and helps other people,” shared Shortland. “When I looked at the past films, there’s a lot of sitting outside of the character, so that she is seen and kind of objectified,” Shortland adds. “Oftentimes we don’t really get to see who she is when she’s by herself — who she is when she takes off the action-hero facade.”
Though Johansson and Shortland had some time to discuss how the film would play out Johansson did not get nearly as much time to meet and get comfortable with her co-stars, particularly Florence Pugh, who has been working non-stop for the past few years on other titles such as Midsommar and Little Women. The two met briefly before moving immediately into action sequences together. Scarlett still finds it humorous. “Immediately we were in each other’s space, like, ‘All right, I’m going to grab your armpit, and you put your hand under my knee in a pretzel,’” Johansson recalls.
“I remember thinking at the time, ‘That is one way of getting to know one another,’” Florence Pugh (Yelena Belova) added with a laugh.
Scarlett was also asked where she thinks Natasha gets her resilience and strength. “I think this character’s strength really lies in her vulnerability and her acceptance of that,” she shared. “She has emotional intelligence that has allowed her to survive without any real superpowers. She’s someone who is a problem-solver. She’s a pragmatic person. I think a lot of those qualities are inherently female.”
Finally EW asked what Scarlett hopes Black Widow means for the future of the MCU and she did not hold back. “I hope that this film continues pushing that boundary, so that we can actually have more female superheroes who are inherently female, and aren’t just Batman in heels or whatever,” Scarlett shares of her final thoughts.
It is great to see that though we as audience members may feel the film is long over due that Marvel is taking care to tell the story in the right way and with the amount of care and forward thinking they have put into the other films in the MCU.We can not wait to see Scarlett Johansson back in-action in Black Widow coming to theaters May 1st.
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Featured Photo Credit: Andy Park