How Breaking Bad Inspired Black Widow's Tricky Story Arc In Captain America: Civil War

While we may never get that Black Widow solo movie, Natasha Romanoff will have a large part to play in Captain America: Civil War. As it turns out, we have Breaking Bad to thank for that. 

Joe and Anthony Russo, who co-directed The Winter Soldier, return for this next chapter in the Cap saga. While in between takes on the Civil War set in Atlanta last summer, Joe said of Cap’s new best gal, 

We made some strong choices with Natasha in this movie, and it’s a tricky arc that she has to play in the film. It’s something that, you know, you always want to surprise people. You don’t want to make choices that are easy. I always said, what I loved about Breaking Bad is Vince Gilligan always wrote himself into the hardest corner. I’d watch an episode, and go I have no fucking idea how he’s going to solve this next week, and he would solve it. That’s compelling narrative. That’s compelling storytelling, to me. We made a similar choice with her in this film … but it’s tricky because you have to monitor constantly throughout the filmmaking making sure you’re getting the subtleties of the arc and what she’s doing.

The film sees the introduction of the Sokovia Accords, which enforces harsher restrictions on superhuman activity and a system of accountability on the Avengers. The action splits the team in two with some rallying around Iron Man in support and others around Captain America against it. The conflict is exacerbated when The Winter Soldier comes back into the scene and the government is hellbent on taking him down. 

According to screenwriter Christopher Markus, who co-wrote Civil War with Stephen McFeely, it’s difficult for Natasha to pick aside. Though she has a history with Steve Rogers, she’s always been a double agent of sorts with loyalties for sale. Now she’s forced to fight for what she personally believes, which is counter to her nature. 

In the film’s big face-off, which is a 15-minute-long IMAX sequence, Natasha joins Team Iron Man, which consists of War Machine (Don Cheadle), Vision (Paul Bettany), and Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman), the latter of which has his own allegiances. On the opposite side are Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), Falcon (Anthony Mackie), Ant-Man (Paul Rudd), Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen), and The Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan). Though it’s unclear if these teams will last. Just look at what transpired in the comics. 

Also featured in the cast are Martin Freeman as Everett Ross, Emily VanCamp as Agent 13, Daniel Bruhl as Baron Zemo, William Hurt as General Thaddeus "Thunderbolt" Ross, and Tom Holland as Spider-Man. See him in the above trailer!

Captain America: Civil War will hit theaters on May 6.