Why Black Widow Needed To Poke Fun At Scarlett Johansson’s Famous Fighting Pose, According To The Director

Black Widow posing in Iron Man 2

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Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe finally began with shows on Disney+, but the franchise will return to theaters with Cate Shortland’s Black Widow. Fans are eager to finally see Scarlett Johansson take the limelight in the delayed movie, although Florence Pugh’s character Yelena is shown poking fun at Natasha’s signature action pose. But it turns out Black Widow has deeper commentary about this plot point.

Black Widow is a unique movie, as it’ll no doubt give closure to fans following the character’s death in Avengers: Endgame. While revealing Natasha’s dark past, the movie will also unpack the way the character has been viewed previously in the MCU. During a conversation with CinemaBlend’s own Sean O’Connell (as seen in the video above), director Cate Shortland addressed the jokes about Nat’s fighting pose in Black Widow, saying:

That joke comes from the idea that in previous films perhaps Scarlett has had to be a bit more of an object. So even when she was fighting, there was this idea of showing. And that was what we wanted to take out of this film. So when gave that line to Florence to point the figure at the idea that sometimes some of the stuff she’d done before was perhaps for the audience. And now we want to say ‘This is much more visceral. And it’s going to get dirty.’

Well, there you have it. While the Black Widow trailers show Florence Pugh’s Yelena poking fun at her big sister, it seems the bit about her signature pose is part of a larger conversation. Because with Scarlett Johansson seemingly ending her tenure in the MCU, Cate Shortland and company wanted to peel back any artifice to the title character.

Marvel fans can catch Black Widow for an additional price on Disney+ as well as theaters. You can use this link to sign up for the streaming service.

Over the past decade of Marvel movies, there’s been a call for more representation-- both in front and behind the camera. And as more women and people of color take center stage, there’s also been discussion about the missteps that occurred along the way. There was a ton of pressure for Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow as the sole female Avenger during Phase One, and Cate Shortland seems to think the male gaze sometimes affected how she was shot. That includes Nat’s signature pose.

As seen in the trailers for Black Widow, Florence Pugh’s new character Yelena isn’t a huge fan of her sister’s signature pose. She goes so far as to call Natasha a poser, in what looks like a running joke in the new Marvel blockbuster. We’ll just have to wait and see how their dynamic plays out, and just how gritty and dirty the action of the highly anticipated blockbuster ultimately is.

Black Widow will arrive in theaters and Disney+ on July 9th. Be sure to check out the 2021 movie release dates 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.