Tag: natasha romanoff

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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Scarlett Johansson is a killing machine on The Avengers

Scarlett Johansson is a killing machine on The Avengers

A highly trained spy working for the international peacekeeping organization, S.H.I.E.L.D. Whedon confirmed that Johansson’s Romanoff would be the only female member of the Avengers, but not the only female character in the film.

The Avengers is an American superhero film produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Pictures1, based upon the Marvel Comics superhero team of the same name. It is part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which crosses over several Marvel superhero films including Iron Man (2008), The Incredible Hulk (2008), Iron Man 2 (2010), Thor (2011) and Captain America: The First Avenger (2011).

The film is written and directed by Joss Whedon and features an ensemble cast, which includes Robert Downey, Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner and Samuel L. Jackson. In The Avengers, Nick Fury, director of the peacekeeping organization S.H.I.E.L.D., recruits Iron Man, Hulk, Thor, and Captain America to save the world from destruction.

Scarlett Johansson is a killing machine on The Avengers

Development of The Avengers began when Marvel Studios received a grant from Merrill Lynch in April 2005. After the success of the film Iron Man, Marvel announced that The Avengers would be released in July 2011. With the signing of Scarlett Johansson in March 2009, the film was pushed back for a 2012 release. Whedon was brought on board in April 2010 and rewrote the screenplay that was originally written by Zak Penn. Production began in April 2011 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, before moving to Cleveland, Ohio, in August and New York City in September.

Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff (Black Widow)

A highly trained spy working for the international peacekeeping organization, S.H.I.E.L.D. Whedon confirmed that Johansson’s Romanoff would be the only female member of the Avengers, but not the only female character in the film. Regarding the character’s abilities to measure up to her teammates Johansson recounted, “The other day we were doing this big reveal shot of all the Avengers.

Thor has got his hammer, Cap’s got his shield, Hawkeye has his bow and arrow, and Hulk is huge. Then it pans over to me and I’ve got guns. Iron Man’s like, hovering above all of us, ready to go… I was like, ‘Joss… um… do I look okay holding these guns?’ and he responded ‘She’s a total badass. She’s a killing machine.'”

Read Full Production Notes for The Avengers

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