Tag: black widow movie

Marvel Is finally committing to a movie focused on Black Widow

Marvel Is finally committing to a movie focused on Black Widow

After making superhero movie after superhero movie without a female lead, Marvel Studios is finally committing to more female super hero leads. Earlier this year Marvel announced it would release Captain Marvel and now President Kevin Feige says a solo Black Widow movie could be coming soon.

The film has not been completely confirmed yet, but Feige told Deadline: “I would say certainly the one [movie] creatively and emotionally that we are most committing to doing is Black Widow.” This would of course not happen until as early as 2019 as a slew of Marvel films are already lined up, none of which have female leads.

The part of Black Widow a.k.a. Natasha Romanoff is played by Scarlett Johansson and has made bad ass appearances all across the Marvel universe. She’s been in films like Iron Man 2, the Captain America movies, and The Avengers series, where audiences got a look at her controversial origin story: a killer ballerina who undergoes forced sterilization and eventually falls for the Hulk despite zero buildup to that realization in past films.

The later plot point had many fans complaining the character’s story was anti-feminist. With Black Widow being one of the few female heroes in the comic universe and even Johansson’s cast mates calling her character a slut and whore, the outrage was not misplaced.

But what does Johansson have to say about this potential step up for her character? “The character has a really rich origin story,” she told Collider. “In my mind, there’s room for plenty more Black Widow and certainly more-I think I could see her in a standalone film.”

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Scarlett Johansson on the scrutiny of Black Widow

Scarlett Johansson on the scrutiny of Black Widow

Black Widow never has it easy. Onscreen, Natasha Romanov has an agonizing backstory and is working like hell to do enough good to erase the red from her moral ledger, redeeming a history of bad deeds that we are only allowed to imagine with acts of heroism that defy belief.

Offscreen, much of what Scarlett Johansson’s character does is scrutinized through the lens of gender politics. As one of the few female protagonists in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (until recently), some view her not just as an individual character but as a representative for all womankind. That’s heavy lifting even for a superhero.

Amid accusations that her story arc in Avengers: Age of Ultron was stereotyped and offensive — because, like Tony Stark, she expressed a desire to step back from saving the world (and maybe find someone in it to love, and love her back) — Black Widow became a lightning rod.

Some accused writer-director Joss Whedon of sexism for a storyline that involved Widow developing romantic feelings for Mark Ruffalo’s Bruce Banner in the comic-book version of the Beauty and the Beast folktale. Others were outraged that Widow expressed regret over the juvenile assassin program that forced her to be sterilized. Still others took offense at that complaint, saying the desire to have a family doesn’t mean a woman can’t have a career (beating the hell out of evildoers, or otherwise).

Scarlett Johansson on the scrutiny of Black Widow

NPR’s pop culture critic Linda Holmes astutely noted that even if you swapped out Widow’s story in Ultron with the arcs of any of her male co-Avengers, each would still “raise questions of whether the story was influenced by gender stereotypes.” If she was Iron Man, she’d be the problem-causer. If she was Captain America, she’d be the uptight one. If she was Hulk, she’d have out-of-control emotions. And so on …

Add to that the scarcity of Black Widow toys, which caused universal uproar, even from Ruffalo, who tweeted about the need for Marvel merchandising to do a better job of inviting young girls to play in this universe, and Natasha Romanov starts to emerge not just as a warrior but a battlefield.

Which brings us to Captain America: Civil War. Where does Natasha’s fifth appearance in the Marvel Cinematic Universe find her?

This time, she’s on the side of order, aligning — at least for a while — with Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man in trying to get Captain America to honor the global Sokovia Accords that force “enhanced individuals” to operate under government control.

In one scene EW watched being filmed this summer, she and Tony Stark have a quiet moment after being given an ultimatum to bring down the rogue Cap — or else the U.S. government will do it in permanent fashion.

Stark rubs at the center of his chest, where his ARC reactor was once embedded. “You know the problem with a fully functional heart…? It’s stressful,” he tells Natasha.

Scarlett Johansson on the scrutiny of Black Widow

Scarlett Johansson Interview

During a break in filming, we caught up with Johansson, and asked what she thinks of the tug-of-war over her character.

During a break in filming, we caught up with Johansson, and asked what she thinks of the tug-of-war over her character.

Where is Natasha’s head these days? In what state do we find her after the events of Age of Ultron?

Scarlett Johansson: My gosh, this is like a therapy session! When we last saw her I think the stakes were astronomical. And she basically had to make this choice between [duty] and what she probably deserves. I think up until this point, she has put the hours in and is ready for…

To be, or not to be, an Avenger?

[Laughs] You know, I don’t think she’s ever aspired to become an Avenger. That’s not really a choice that she made. It’s kind of like the events in her life led her to that point and when we see her [in Civil War], she’s finally capable of making a choice for herself. Which is kind of a milestone in someone’s life when they’ve not really participated in the decisions that were made for them. She’s finally at a place where she’s going, “Okay, I actually kind of know what I want. And I think I kind of deserve it.”

But she’s still in the fight. So is that what she wants?

Unfortunately the events that took place … she has this kind of greater calling and this huge pull towards doing what’s right for the greater good. And she chooses that, and it’s a really heroic thing that she does, I think.

Widow appeared to be leading the team of new Avengers we saw at the end of Ultron, gathered at their headquarters.

Yeah, I don’t know if she’s leading this team but she’s certainly, she’s — I think Natasha’s a very strategic thinker and that’s her strongpoint. Her superpowers, if you want to call them that, are her experience, her ability to make usually the right decision in a quick moment, in a tight minute. And she’s not personally invested. I mean, that’s what she tells herself anyway. And so that keeps her head kind of level and clear.

She seems to be leaning strongly toward Iron Man’s side of things.
I think when you find her in Civil War, she’s looking to strategize her position, putting herself in a place where she is able to let the powers that be fight it out or whatever amongst themselves. She’s always a little bit on the perimeter so she can have a better perspective of what’s really going on.

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A Black Widow Movie Is a ‘No-Brainer’

A Black Widow Movie Is a 'No-Brainer'

Collider recently spoke with Captain America: Civil War directors Anthony and Joe Russo and they chatted about doing a standalone Black Widow film. They both endorse it, with Anthony saying, “It’s a no-brainer, right?” and Joe adding, “I don’t think [it’ll take] much. I think it’s just a function of where on the slate it goes. She’s a badass.”

Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow first arrived in theaters in Iron Man 2 and since then has become a mainstay of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Yet, despite other Avengers stars like Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, and even Ant-Man getting time to shine, it appears Black Widow will get a decade of Marvel movies under her belt without ever getting her own spotlight. And she’s helped save the world, like, four times.

In Tales From the Script, X-Men writer David Hayter said he was working on a Black Widow movie, set into motion during a successful run of female action flicks like Kill Bill, Tomb Raider, and Resident Evil.

But when the studios followed this trend with a run of awful films, including Aeon Flux, they decided to pull the plug on a Black Widow film. Imagine if they stopped making male action hero films just because of Green Lantern or X-Men Origins: Wolverine?

A Black Widow Movie Is a 'No-Brainer'

Besides, Scarlett Johansson is a big moneymaker. Other than Samuel L. Jackson, she has by the far the best box-office totals of any other Avengers star. And she has already proven that she can headline an action film by herself — Lucy opened on the same day in 2014 as Dwayne Johnson’s Hercules and earned $15 million more, despite being R-rated. Moviegoers have proven they are happy to see a good action movie with a female lead — Mad Max: Fury Road, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Sicario, and Spy are just a few recent examples. And The Hunger Games franchise has made more than $2 billion.

Putting aside the business of moviemaking, there are artistic reasons to make a Black Widow film, not least of all: She’s an interesting character. There are various origin stories, but basically she was trained to be an assassin and is a villainous character before she finds redemption through the Avengers — a story that would be a nice addition to Marvel’s slate.

We’re going to have to wait until 2018 to get a movie with a female hero in the title, and even then the Wasp is sharing it with Ant-Man. It won’t be until 2019 that we get our first true female lead, Captain Marvel. Yet a character we all know and like played by a huge movie star who has already stated interest in giving it a go, only gets to be a supporting character.

There is a wild gender imbalance in comic book movies, and while one Black Widow movie won’t solve this problem, it’s a step in the right direction.

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