The climactic conclusion to the first three storyline “Phases” of the Marvel Cinematic Universe saw the cosmic-level existential threat of Thanos being dealt with once and for all. But that victory required sacrifice not just to attain (thanks to Iron Man) but also to set up the final confrontation to begin with. That part was partly achieve through the heroic sacrifice of Agent Romanov, the Black Widow, played by Scarlett Johansson since 2010’s “Iron Man 2.” So when Marvel Studios announced that the new Phase 4 of the MCU would start with a solo “Black Widow” film, there were questions on how the character survived to even star in it.
But as hinted in early information for Marvel Studios’ “Black Widow,” the film’s story will be a prequel similar to 2019’s “Captain Marvel.” And as finally elaborated on by The Hollywood Reporter, this initial foray into the MCU Phase 4 of storylines actually happens in between 2016’s “Captain America: Civil War” and 2018’s “Avengers: Infinity War.” With Cate Shortland directing, this movie brings back Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanov, Russian spy, SHIELD agent and Avenger, in an adventure to revisit her dark past, as teased by the first trailer released.
The preview begins with Johansson’s Natasha musing about her assassin training, plus her time with SHIELD and the Avengers. Following the end of “Civil War” the Black Widow returns to Russia to begin delving back into her origins. In doing so she revisits the former training center for female spies like her, who are collectively called the Black Widows. Enlisting the aid of her fellow Widow Yelena Belova (Florence Pugh) and Russia’s own Captain America-esque super-soldier Red Guardian (David Harbour), Natasha investigates a classified experiment overseen by veteran Widow Melina (Rachel Weisz), while confronting mercenary guards led by the Taskmaster.
Attendees of the 2019 San Diego Comic-Con in July and D23 in August would have already been privy to some of the scenes featured in this trailer. Scarlett Johansson herself remarks on how, as the headlining star of a solo movie, she now feels a greater degree of control in the direction of the plot than when she was either a supporting character (“Iron Man”) or a team member (“Avengers”).
“I know her better than anybody,” the actress says of her character. “What was her childhood like? What is her relationship to figures of authority? This character is gritty and multi-dimensional but has a lot of trauma and has led an unexamined life. In order to operate at this elite level, she has probably had to push away a lot of stuff.” Exactly what sort of personal stuff Natasha has pushed away will be revealed when “Black Widow” arrives in cinemas on May next year.
Image courtesy of Cinema Blend