You would think that the idea of a “Black Widow” solo film would have been an easy sell to Scarlett Johansson. After years playing second fiddle, co-starring in “Captain America” and “Avengers” films, the character of Black Widow seemed primed and ready to go for a solo adventure. But according to a new interview with EW, when Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige approached the actress about her own “Black Widow” film, Johansson wasn’t immediately sold.
“I was like, I think I’m good,” Johansson admits. “If we [were] 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.”
Johansson eventually changed her mind after meeting with director Cate Shortland, with the filmmaker pitching her idea of how to approach a “Black Widow” film. And as the director explained, the upcoming solo film will show a new side of Natasha.
“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,” the director said. “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.”
Also, as Feige described, a prequel can’t just be a prequel full of fan service. There has to be a real reason why audiences are invited back in time to explore a special part of the MCU that hasn’t been discussed previously.
“A prequel that simply filled in the blanks of things you already know is not very exciting,” Feige explained. “How does she get her Widow stingers for the first time? How did she learn to do a flip? That doesn’t matter.”
(He’s surely not talking about a certain “Star Wars” prequel that was released recently that didn’t do so well, featuring a scene where a fan-favorite character comes up with his own name? Nope, definitely not.)
Ultimately, Johnasson believes that now is the perfect time to release “Black Widow,” even if the character died in “Avengers: Endgame” and fans have been asking for a solo film for years.
“For anyone who said to me, ‘Oh, this [‘Black Widow’ film] should’ve happened five or 10 years ago,’ I’m like, it would not have been as substantial,” she said. “We just would not have been able to do it. This film is happening now as a result of what’s going on in the zeitgeist, and I think it’s pretty cool.”
“Black Widow” arrives in theaters on May 1, unless coronavirus has anything to say about it.