BLACK WIDOW: 10 Biggest Reveals About The Movie From The Latest Issue Of Entertainment Weekly

We don't know whether Black Widow will still meet its May 1st release date, but the latest issue of Entertainment Weekly reveals some big new details about the film, and we've rounded them up here for you!

Black Widow is currently scheduled to arrive in theaters on May 1st, but with so many delays thanks to the Coronavirus pandemic, it's entirely possible that the movie will be delayed. 

Time will tell on that front, but the Marvel Studios movie recently covered the latest issue of Entertainment Weekly, and we've now rounded up intel from that to bring you an in-depth guide to all the biggest reveals. That includes comments from stars Scarlett Johansson and David Harbour, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige, and director Cate Shortland. 

From details on why this isn't a typical origin story to how Black Widow sets the stage for what comes next in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, there's a lot to sink your teeth into here! 

To take a look through these biggest reveals, simply click on the "Next" button down below. 

Why Kevin Feige Didn't Want A Straightforward Origin Story


Previous MCU movies have dropped some big hints about Natasha's past, with references or flashbacks to her first meeting with Hawkeye in Budapest and the time she spent in the Red Room. With that in mind, many fans expected Black Widow to be a straightforward origin story. 

Instead, it will be set between the events of Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War, a surprising move which means we won't get to visit the hero's early years. 

"A prequel that simply filled in the blanks of things you already know is not very exciting," Feige argues. "How does she get her Widow stingers for the first time? How did she learn to do a flip? That doesn’t matter." It's a valid point, but many fans were hoping to see all that here!

Natasha Romanoff's "Family"


In the trailers for Black Widow, characters like Melina, Alexei, and Yelena have been described as Natasha's mother, father, and sister. Avengers: Endgame revealed that she never actually even knew her father's name, so you probably won't be surprised to learn that they're not her real family.

Instead, the site reveals that this foursome went undercover as a family when Natasha was just a child, so they have a lot of history together. Melina Vostokoff is described as being "mysterious" and someone else who trained as Widow, while Yelena Belova is another Red Room alum who Natasha now views as an "estranged little sister."

Finally, there's David Habour's Red Guardian, Russia's answer to Captain America. "I thought it would be a straightforward action movie," the actor admits, "and then it wound up being a real character study of a dysfunctional family."

Scarlett Johansson's Reaction To That Age Of Ultron Scene


Joss Whedon delved into Black Widow's Red Room history in Avengers: Age of Ultron when he introduced a romantic element to Natasha's relationship with Bruce Banner. 

That alone was pretty controversial, but something which really angered a lot of fans was the filmmaker's decision to reveal that the hero had been forced to undergo sterilization years earlier and seemingly viewed herself as a monster as a result. Johansson didn't have much to say about that, but pointed out that filming those scenes required some movie magic. 

"[It was] ironic because I was also really pregnant at the time," the actress reveals with a laugh.

Why Black Widow Wasn't Part Of The Infinity Saga


It's definitely surprising that Black Widow is the movie Marvel Studios has chosen to kick off Phase 4 as Avengers: Endgame set the stage for whole new era of storytelling. However, there's a good reason why Feige decided against including this spinoff in the series now known as the "Infinity Saga."

Johansson reveals that she and Feige first discussed the possibility of a Black Widow movie during the press tour for The Avengers as just "a tiny speck on an idea," and the Marvel Studios President ultimately decided to prioritise Natasha's story as part of the wider MCU during that period. 

"We had been planning the conclusion for the Infinity Saga for the past five or six years, and Natasha’s journey within those films took the priority," he explains. "The notion of breaking out for a stand-alone film that takes place in the past, for a character that we already knew and were already following, didn’t feel right."

The MCU's Female-Led Future


When The Avengers was released in 2012, Black Widow was the MCU's only female Avenger. Things have changed a lot since then, of course, and the likes of Captain Marvel, Okoye, and the Scarlet Witch have since assembled alongside the rest of Earth's Mightiest Heroes. 

As a result, a female-led superhero movie is no longer a novelty, and Johansson sees that as a good thing. "For anyone who said to me, ‘Oh, this [Black Widow film] should’ve happened five or 10 years ago,’ I’m like, it would not have been as substantial. We just would not have been able to do it. This film is happening now as a result of what’s going on in the zeitgeist, and I think it’s pretty cool."

The actress believes that just casting female heroes isn't enough; instead, distinctly female stories should be a pritority (once being told that Black Widow "could be like Bourne, but with a woman" didn't sit well with her). "I think this character’s strength really lies in her vulnerability and her acceptance of that. She has emotional intelligence that has allowed her to survive without any real superpowers."

"She’s someone who is a problem-solver. She’s a pragmatic person. I think a lot of those qualities are inherently female."


Why Cate Shortland Decided To Direct Black Widow


Cate Shortland didn't have any real interest in directing superhero movies until Black Widow came along, but it sounds like Johansson managed to win her over. "We just bonded over stories about trust and about intimacy and about women surviving," the filmmaker reveals.

"You didn’t have to be a superhero to identify with a woman who has had a really tough childhood and has survived and has a huge heart and helps other people," Shortland continues.
Interestingly, Shortland doesn't sound overly impressed by how Black Widow has previously been portrayed in the MCU. "When I looked at the past films, there’s a lot of sitting outside of the character, so that she is seen and kind of objectified. Oftentimes we don’t really get to see who she is when she’s by herself — who she is when she takes off the action-hero facade."

How Black Widow Informs The Events Of Avengers: Endgame


The magazine doesn't exactly shed a lot of light on Black Widow's plot, but notes that Natasha ends up being drawn into a Red Room-related conspiracy which forces the hero reexamine both her history and past trauma (the latest trailer pointed to her wanting to close down the program which transformed her into a spy once and for all). 

"I thought it was interesting to explore this part of her life before she rejoins the Avengers, before she makes that ultimate sacrifice," Johansson explains. "How does she become this full person from all these broken pieces?"

There's certainly been something of a mixed response over the decision to set Black Widow between Civil War and Infinity War, especially when there's a desire among fans to dive into her early years. With any luck, we will get to see her meet the likes of Hawkeye and The Winter Soldier for the first time, but time will tell on that front. 

Black Widow's MCU Legacy


We all know how Natasha's story ends, and with Black Widow likely to be a one-off adventure for the fallen Avenger, what does Johansson hope will be the hero's legacy moving forward?

"I hope that this film continues pushing that boundary, so that we can actually have more female superheroes who are inherently female, and aren’t just Batman in heels or whatever."

The future certainly looks bright for female superheroes on the big screen, and there's no denying that Johansson and her take on Black Widow have been a big part of making that happen.

What The Movie Means To Scarlett Johansson


"This film is very much a result of that journey, my own personal journey," Johansson says of the decade she's spent playing this character. "I feel that I probably wasn’t as willing or able to go to the kind of uncomfortable, embarrassing, ugly places before. I think it’s just as you get older, you trust yourself more."

Despite spending years being badgered about a Black Widow solo movie, the actress admits that she was privately unsure whether that was something she even wanted to happen. 

"I was like, I think I’m good," she admits. "If we [were] going to do this, it had to be creatively fulfilling. I’ve been working for such a long time, and I have to feel like I’m challenged. I don’t want to do the same thing that I’d already done before." 

Scarlett Johansson's Avengers: Endgame Concern


As we've alluded to a few times here, Black Widow made the ultimate sacrifice in Avengers: Endgame when she leapt off that cliff on Vormir to her death to secure the Soul Stone for Hawkeye.

Johansson alluded to an earlier version of the scene which was a lot less personal and featured Thanos' army chasing the heroes down and forcing Natasha to end her life in the process. However, the actress was concerned that such a dark scene would have upset a lot of younger moviegoers.

"I was thinking, 'Parents will never forgive us for how these creatures look,'" she said, describing them as an "army of Dementor-type creatures." As for why it was later reshot by the Russos, Johansson added: "We wanted to leave [the audience] with the weight of that loss and the shock of it."
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