THE BLACK WIDOW
The Black Widow is a Marvel Comics super-hero whose history spans more than fifty years. And yet despite her longevity, despite her versatility, despite her popularity not many people know all that much about her – which I suppose is appropriate for a character that is as much spy as she is super-hero.
Soon a major motion picture about her titled, appropriately enough, BLACK WIDOW will be released and some of our followers pointed out to us that now would be a good time for us to preview the movie and give the fans background information about her history and origins. Never let it be said that I do not listen – especially when those speaking are relatives and have been known to get violent.
With this post I will begin tackling the Black Widow in three parts:
- Part one will be a preview of the upcoming movie.
- Part two will be a look at the Black Widow’s somewhat long history.
- Part three will end the post with a telling of her origins.
At least that is the game plan. But with any character that has more than fifty years of history you have to be open to the possibility that things may be longer than you expect. So forgive me if things become longer than planned. That having been said let’s take a look at the Black Widow movie.
BLACK WIDOW was produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. It was directed by Cate Shortland and written by Eric Pearson from a story by Jac Schaeffer and Ned Benson. The film stars Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff – the Black Widow! YAY!!! Since the Black Widow is supposed to have died at the end of AVENGERS: ENDGAME I don’t think I have to point out that this movie is a prequel.
Since the name “Red Room” is going to keep coming up now would probably be a good time to define what exactly is the Red Room. The Red Room was one of Department X’s espionage training facilities. Department X was the Soviet Union’s program for creating super soldiers. It was Department X that ran the Winter Soldier. For decades the Red Room had been a Cold War program to train and equip the deadliest female spies in the world – each code named Black Widow.
Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff – the Black Widow
She is an Avenger, a former agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., and a former KGB assassin. This film takes place after CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR so we find the Black Widow on the run and forced to confront her past.
Florence Pugh as Yelena Belova
She was also trained as a Black Widow in the Red Room. She is sort of a little sister to Natasha.
David Harbour as Alexei Shostakov
He is the Red Guardian – a Russian super-soldier counterpart to Captain America. He is also a father figure to Natasha and Yelena.
O-T Fagbenle as Rick Mason
He is an ally from Natasha’s S.H.I.E.L.D. days.
William Hurt as Thaddeus Ross
He is Secretary of State and an extremely familiar figure to all of us fan geeks.
Ray Winstone as Dreykov
He is the Head of the Red Room.
Rachel Weisz as Melina Vostokoff
She is another graduate of the Red Room and a Black Widow. She is a mother figure to Natasha and Yelena.
In addition Robert Downey Jr. will appear as Tony Stark.
As I said before, Natasha Romanoff is on the run and forced to confront her past in the form of a deadly conspiracy. She finds herself pursued by a force that will stop at nothing to take her out. In the process Natasha has to deal with her history and all the broken relationships she left behind her before she became a super-hero. She also has to deal with Taskmaster – a Marvel villain with the unique ability to duplicate any action he has seen performed by someone else.
In 2004 Lionsgate was trying to make a Black Widow movie but nothing came of it. By 2006 the rights reverted back to Marvel Studios. The character was then used in IRON MAN 2 and was played by Scarlett Johansson for the first time as part of a multiple films deal. In 2010 they were already talking about a standalone film for the Black Widow but the focus was on the Avengers movie and that was where she next appeared. After AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON Johansson’s contract was adjusted to increase her appearances because no one had anticipated how popular she would become. By 2017 the standalone film was a go with screen treatments, director searches, and casting. In 2018 it was reported that Johansson would earn fifteen million dollars for her Black Widow movie.
Pre-production began in February 2019. Principal photography began in May 2019. Official announcement of the film was made July 2019 with a release date set for May 2020. Filming officially wrapped in October 2019.
Originally the film was scheduled to be released on May 1, 2020. However, the coronavirus pandemic had caused the closure of theaters in many of the Asian markets. Without those Asian bucks Hollywood can no longer survive. The Black Widow has been shifted to a release date in November.
That is where we stand so far. I for one am waiting to see this film with eager anticipation. However, how I am going to be able to see it – for that matter how are all of you going to be able to see it is still a question mark. We have to prepare ourselves for the reality that our movie watching may radically change in the future. We may no longer be able to see movies the way we used to. In fact, the entire movie making industry may have to drastically change. The future has truly become an unknown territory.
On that somber note I will bid you all adieu until next time when we will take a look at the history of the Black Widow. Up, Up and away!