After years of fans begging for a solo film based on Scarlett Johansson’s portrayal of Black Widow in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the time has finally come for the secret agent to take center stage.
Marvel’s Black Widow hits theaters and streams (via Disney+ Premier Access) on July 9 and promises to take audiences on an action-packed ride. While many fans may assume this is an origin story, the film takes place between the team-splitting drama of Captain America: Civil War and the action of Avengers: Infinity War.
That said, Natasha Romanoff will be teaming up with ghosts from her past in order to fix her future. Fellow members of the Black Widow Program, a Soviet Russian brainwashing operation that aims to create the perfect soldier, will play a major part in this solo film.
Though the Black Widow film has been a long time coming thanks to fan demands, it wasn’t free of roadblocks over the past year. The movie’s original release date was May 1, 2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic derailed that plan. Marvel pushed back to Nov. 6, but ultimately decided to aim for 2021 instead.
Some lucky fans and reviewers have had a chance to see the film before its public release on July 9. Many of the first reactions on social media have been positive, saying that Black Widow keeps the Marvel spirit but adds twists to the superhero genre.
I watched #BlackWidow yesterday and it's as refreshingly different to other Marvel Studios releases as it is to just have these big movies back. The leads are awesome and the story does some unexpected things. It's the most adult MCU release yet, but still offers a few laughs. pic.twitter.com/ib9F0rX09t
— Rob Keyes (@rob_keyes) June 17, 2021
#BlackWidow shows exactly why Natasha Romanoff was the glue that held the Avengers together. Shades of John Wick fight scenes & inventive action sequences wrapped in a heartfelt & poignant story about family & how the world treats girls. Excited to see Yelena carry the torch.
— Alisha Grauso (@AlishaGrauso) June 17, 2021
I saw #BlackWidow last night & I'm happy to say that it's incredibly fun & deeply emotional. Action feels WINTER SOLDIER level. Pugh, Johansson, Weisz & Harbour are outstanding together. Balances a tone that is dark, grounded, raw & real. Even after ENDGAME, you feel the stakes. pic.twitter.com/BKuvCPROrU
— Kevin McCarthy (@KevinMcCarthyTV) June 17, 2021
While the film is objectively serious, reviewers have been quick to note that Black Widow has some lighter moments.
Honestly blown away by #BlackWidow. It’s low-key one of Marvel’s finest – an emotional story with great performance and a high-stakes chase through a “Russian JCPenney” that might be one of the zaniest and most badass action scenes in MCU history. Fans are gonna love it
— ben mekler (@benmekler) June 17, 2021
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Stars Johansson and Florence Pugh, as Yelena Belova, are garnering loads of praise from reviewers. So is David Harbour of Stranger Things fame, playing the “Red Guardian.”
Scarlett Johansson and Florence Pugh are brilliant as Natasha Romanoff and Yelena Belova (especially when they are together!) in #BlackWidow. Epic spy thriller.
The relationship is so fun to watch develop and fits into the MCU history really well. You're gonna feel things. pic.twitter.com/GQiRcjvTeX
— BD (@BrandonDavisBD) June 17, 2021
Had a chance to see early release of #BlackWidow it is excellent. Like of lot of the latter MCU movies it is the supporting cast that really stands out specifically Florence Pugh as Yelena Belova, she makes the movie. You will enjoy it.
— Robert Littal BSO (@BSO) June 17, 2021
I saw #BlackWidow! Interlaced with the well done action and humor is some of the darker material we’ve seen in the MCU, which packs a punch. The cast is all great with Florence Pugh a standout. A couple of beats near the end I could have done without but overall I really dug it.
— Eric Goldman (@TheEricGoldman) June 17, 2021
Cate Shortland had the difficult job trying to fill in Natasha Romanoff’s backstory, but she nailed it in #BlackWidow. While entire cast was great both @Florence_Pugh and @DavidKHarbour hit home-runs with their performances. No way audiences don’t want more of both characters. pic.twitter.com/CIJTV4oxR6
— Steven Weintraub (@colliderfrosty) June 17, 2021
The best reviews, though, have been from those who waited years for Black Widow alongside the throngs of MCU fans.
I got to see #BlackWidow last night, and as someone who has been waiting since 2010 to see Natasha Romanoff get her own movie, it was well worth the wait.
The actions rips, the emotion hits and the new characters joining the MCU are standouts. MORE BLACK WIDOW MOVIES PLEASE! pic.twitter.com/R0JUHThSiF
— Hector Navarro (@Hectorisfunny) June 17, 2021
#BlackWidow might be one of my favorite solo origin movies in the MCU. There's something about seeing Natasha finally get her story that made me emotional in all the best ways. Also, Florence Pugh was born for the MCU, and her dynamic with Scarlett is a triumph
— Nora Dominick (@noradominick) June 17, 2021
Full reviews for the movie — watch out for spoilers — can be released on June 29.