Black Widow Director Explains What Makes The Action So Different From Other Marvel Movies

Black Widow in the air

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The Marvel Cinematic Universe has become a well-oiled machine over the past decade and change of filmmaking. As such, the public is eager to see what comes next in Phase Four. The next slate of movies will start with Cate Shortland's Black Widow, which will finally give the Scarlett Johansson's Avenger her own solo flick. And now the filmmaker has explained why the movie's action will be a unique experience for Marvel fans.

Scarlett Johansson's Black Widow made her MCU debut in 2010's Iron Man 2, and has appeared in a whopping eight major appearances thus far. But Black Widow will mark the character's first solo flick, and will unpack her mysterious past. There will obviously be plenty of thrilling action sequences, and now Cate Shortland has spoken to Natasha's skills and vulnerabilities, and how that affects the way the spinoff approached fights. As the director put it,

She’s the only character that doesn’t have superpowers. We saw that as a strength, because she always has to dig really deep to get out of shit situations. And we just put her in a lot of hard situations. I thought about women walking to the train station being attacked, and what happens. Natasha’s like [Jodie Foster’s Clarice] from The Silence Of The Lambs. It’s great, because when she holds her gun, it shakes. But she’s still really tough inside, and resilient. And I wanted to bring that to the character. So you’re not just watching her fly through situations, knowing she’ll get out of it. You want to see her grit and determination. And that’s what we got.

Does the wait for Black Widow's release suddenly feel particularly excruciating, or is it just me? Because it looks like Natasha Romanoff's first solo adventure will really highlight both the character's strengths and vulnerability. That'll be especially true during action sequences, as Nat doesn't have any superheroic abilities to lean back on when things get tough. Or when fighting an enemy with photographic reflexes.

Cate Shortland's comments to Total Film shows how methodically the filmmaker approached the fights of Black Widow. While the trailers have shown some epic action, the title character's lack of powers sure to raise the stakes of each bit of fight choreography. And while we know that Nat will make it out alive to eventually appear in Avengers: Infinity War, it'll likely be at a cost.

Marvel fans can re-watch Scarlett Johansson's tenure in the MCU on Disney+. You can use this link to sign up for the streaming service.

Fans have been calling for Black Widow to get her own solo movie for years, so the upcoming blockbuster has a ton of hype around it. This is especially true considering the character's death in Avengers: Endgame. Natasha sacrificed herself so the Avengers could procure the Soul Stone during the Time Heist, and action which should (hopefully) make even more sense after her solo movie is released.

Black Widow wasn't given a lakeside funeral like Tony Stark, but Cate Shortland's upcoming blockbuster will no doubt provide closure for both the fandom and even Scarlett Johansson herself. Fans are also eager to see the trajectory of Florence Pugh's newcomer Yelena, especially if someone else will take on the mantle of Black Widow in the MCU.

At the time of writing Black Widow is currently expected to hit theaters on November 6th. In the meantime, check out our 2020 release list to plan your next movie experience.

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Graduated with degrees theater and literature from Ramapo College of New Jersey. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid. He's particularly proud of covering horror franchises like Scream and Halloween, as well as movie musicals like West Side Story. Favorite interviews include Steven Spielberg, Spike Lee, Jamie Lee Curtis, and more.