Gamesradar – Scarlett Johansson and co tell Total Film about digging into the Avenger’s chequered past in Black Widow
Black Widow has been a long time coming. Scarlett Johansson’s red-headed, ass-kicking, non-super superhero became an instant cinematic icon the moment she punched her first nameless goon in Iron Man 2. Yet, though Johansson has spoken about her desire to make a solo movie for almost a decade, the pieces have only just fallen into place for that vision to finally become a reality. Ever since Natasha Romanoff confessed to having “red in my ledger” that she’d like to wipe out in 2012’s Avengers Assemble, viewers have known that there’s been a knotty backstory worth excavating. It’s been a lengthy wait for fans, sure, but not a frustrating one for Johansson.
“I didn’t feel the character needed to be vindicated,” she tells Total Film over Zoom after being asked about the fight to bring a solo Black Widow adventure to fruition. “When we finished Avengers: Endgame, I felt good about the work that we did. I felt that, unless we were going to go on a deep dive – which this film is… I thought, ‘OK, she’s…’”
Johansson stops for a second to meditate over her answer. She’s spent the past 10 years with Marvel’s team of spoiler-stoppers listening to her every conversation and now would not be the time to slip up, especially with the end of her Black Widow journey in sight. Behind her today, however, there are no peering press officers – just a neutral white wall with a solitary window looking out to some greenery.
“I love Natasha,” she starts up again. “She’s had an incredible 10-year journey, and I felt that she was finally able to make an active choice.” She’s referring to Black Widow’s controversial decision to sacrifice herself to retrieve the Soul Stone in Avengers: Endgame. “It seemed very in-character, that ultimate sacrifice that she makes. She’s made peace with that, and, in some ways, has known that’s her destiny all along, in a weird poetic way. When you look back on the films, that’s in there. All the films have led her to that choice – or to be able to make that choice; or for it to be a choice.”
With Natasha’s final fate sealed and her story satisfyingly told, Johansson was left questioning what was left to tell in a solo outing. For the film to be worthwhile, it would have to be creatively challenging and, as Johansson says, peel back the layers to “find the heartbeat of what this character’s journey has been”.