Next year’s Black Widow is shaping up to be a hugely important movie for Marvel Studios. Not only is it the first chapter in Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but it also gives Scarlett Johansson’s Natasha Romanoff the standalone adventure that fans have been demanding for close to a decade.
Ironically, Natasha gets to headline her own solo flick after she was killed off in Avengers: Endgame, with Black Widow set to be a prequel that takes place following the events of Captain America: Civil War. The recently-revealed first trailer teased a more personal and emotional story than we’re used to seeing in the MCU, although the footage does feature a fair share of blockbuster action.
One of the most interesting additions to the cast is Florence Pugh, with the actress coming off the back of a stellar year that’s seen her appear in the critically-acclaimed Midsommar and Little Women. The 23 year-old plays Yelena Belova, who may be familiar to comic book fans as the most recent iteration of Black Widow, with rumors hinting that Pugh may be set to stick around and become a recurring character in the MCU.
In a recent interview, the Fighting with My Family star gave more details about Black Widow’s story, revealing that director Cate Shortland has crafted a surprisingly emotional and empowering story, one that isn’t usually found in standard superhero fare. And one that she can’t wait for young women to see.
“Cate was so good at being so vigilant about keeping this story raw and painful. It’s about emotions, and it’s about these broken girls trying to fix something that happened. It’s about fixing yourself, and how you do that. As an idea for a Marvel film, and as a young woman, it’s like, ‘Oh, my god, this is amazing’. Young women are going to see this, and they’re going to watch Scarlett in her element, and they’re going to watch this storyline, and that’s only a positive thing.”
It was obvious based on the first trailer that the relationship between Natasha and Yelena was going to form the crux of the story, and it will be interesting to see how Black Widow manages to fit more complex emotions into the standard MCU template. David Harbour certainly seems likely to offer the most comic relief, leaving Pugh and Johansson free to do the more dramatic heavy lifting.