Scarlett Johansson Explains Why Black Widow’s Concept Is ‘Genius’

Scarlett Johansson in Black Widow

Cate Shortland’s Black Widow movie remains a mystery. It’s one of Marvel’s only prequels (technically, Captain America: The First Avenger and Brie Larson’s Captain Marvel count as prequels to the main MCU timeline), and it’s focusing its storyline on a character we all watched die in Avengers: Endgame. But because the movie is able to throw caution to the wind and drop Natasha (Scarlett Johansson) in the middle of a family drama, the lead actress is priming fans by telling them how “genius” Kevin Feige’s approach to this movie is.

During an interview with Total Film (via Games Radar), Scarlett Johansson was explaining how she had a hard time coming to grips with the type of movie that Black Widow means to be, saying:

I think part of Kevin Feige’s genius is that he always thinks about what fans expect out of these films, and then gives them something that they never could’ve dreamed of. The idea of Natasha Romanoff in a family drama is the least expected thing, and I had to wrap my head around what that was going to be because there’s such a big tonal shift.

Up until this point, Natasha (Johansson) has been a loner with a mysterious past. We saw hints of her Widow training – revealed with Scarlet Witch got into her head in Avengers: Age of Ultron. But the idea that Nat had a family? No, we wouldn’t have predicted that a Black Widow movie would open up that door into the super spy’s closet.

What does make sense is that Black Widow gets to be the MCU’s answer to a James Bond thriller, with international espionage and a superpowered villain in Taskmaster who can mirror the abilities of any subject that he studies. And from the looks of the latest full trailer, he has studied the fighting styles of Captain America, Hawkeye and Widow, herself.

But what Scarlett Johansson is saying about Kevin Feige is what helps the MCU stand out, for its fans. They don’t just offer up a superhero movie. They take the characters that we love and put them into genre films that we don’t anticipate. Spider-Man: Homecoming becomes a coming-of-age John Hughes film. Captain America: The Winter Soldier becomes a 70s-era political thriller. Fans are kept guessing, and we’ll now wait to see what Black Widow becomes.

At the moment, the release date for Black Widow is up in the air, though we expect the theatrical picture to clarify in the coming weeks as blockbusters jockey for position and 2020 backfills its calendar. Keep it locked here on CinemaBlend for the latest updates.

Sean O'Connell
Managing Editor

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Sean created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.