With the COVID-19 pandemic stabilizing in North-America and Europe it looks as though the summer movie release schedule is on. And that means on July 9th Black Widow will finally be released after a delay of 14 months. A Black Widow movie has been rumored to be in development ever since the release of Iron Man 2, with attempts as early as 2004. Iron Man 2 was the first movie starring Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow. These rumors solidified after the release of The Avengers in 2012. Yet it has taken 8 years, not including the pandemic delay to get a Black Widow movie made. Why? Well, let’s just after its release it will only be the second Marvel movie with a woman in the main role, after Captain Marvel. Years after DCEU started seeing the light with the realization that Batman and Superman could not draw an audience.
It was Wonder Woman in 2017 starring Gal Gadot that proved female superheroes could draw box office takings of up to $ 800 million. Why an attempt was not made sooner is beyond me. I don’t think many people had heard of Dr. Strange, Ant-Man or Black Panther. Scarlett Johansson has been a famous actress for over 20 years, with Black Widow she will join the female spy movie sub-genre that already includes Atomic Blonde and Red Sparrow. Directed by Cate Shortland Disney is continuing the wisdom that a female superhero movie requires a woman’s touch. As there is need to draw a female audience, they may not be wrong. Black Widow also stars Florence Pugh as a new iteration of Black Widow while Rachel Weisz will do the same as an older iteration. The movie also stars David Harbour, known for his role as ‘Fat Rambo’ from Stranger Things.
What has Black Widow been up to?
So, the new Black Widow movie is not shy on A-list celebrities, but what about the story. Didn’t Natasha Romanoff die in the Avengers: Endgame (spoiler alert!). Yes, another one of those suspicious moment when they killed the best-known female superhero right before she was to star in her own movie. Instead, Black Widow is set just after the event of Captain America: Civil War. Not only is on the run from SHIELD, or what’s left of it, but also her past. After the events of The Winter Soldier the whole world knows who she was before joining SHIELD and what she did. In Black Widow, her past will catch up with her. So far we have only gleaned snippets of her life as an KGB-assassin, but now we will learn everything including the mysterious entity known as Red Room which trained her.
As the movie has had several delays the promotion material has also been updated. A few weeks ago, we got the third official trailer. It is notably darker than the first, with more emphasize placed on the consequences of Natasha joining SHIELD. The conspiracy and moment of betrayal hinted at in the trailer place this movie more in the spy-genre along with The Winter Soldier and Civil War. And it so happens those are my two favorite MCU movies. That is not to say there are no worries. Some have criticized the trailers, feeling there is too much family melodrama akin to Thor. Considering how the difficult relationship between Thor and Loki and the rest of the family has been a fan favorite I am not convinced this is a problem. I just hope the special effect will be up to snuff and so must the villain called Taskmaster.
July 9th, don’t forget it
As mentioned Black Widow will be out on July 9th, just over two months. With little else screening before or after I think this movie will do marvelously at the box office. See you back here for the review.