With more movie theaters starting to reopen, Marvel’s Black Widow shows no signs of moving from its November 6th rescheduled release date, at least for now.
Scarlett Johansson first appeared as Natasha Romanoff, a.k.a. Black Widow, a full decade ago in Iron Man 2. Since then, Natasha has gone on to become the glue that holds the Avengers together, the one always thinking two steps ahead. Most importantly, she’s always been the team leader firmly grounded in reality between Steve Rogers’ old-fashioned, naive idealism and Tony Stark’s he’d-be-a-villain-if-he-weren’t-a-hero tendencies. She’s the team balance, and 10 years later, she’s finally getting her long-overdue solo film.
It’s not the first female-led film from Marvel – that honor, of course, goes to Captain Marvel – but Black Widow was the first (and for a long time, only) female Avenger. Despite that, her life prior to joining the Avengers was shrouded in mystery, but Black Widow looks to shed light on that, going back to Nat’s roots in Russia. Interestingly, though it will dive into Natasha’s past, Johansson says Cate Shortland’s movie will also be relevant for the present. Speaking to Empire, she touched upon the film’s extremely timely themes:
“I think this film, in particular, is very much reflective of what’s going on in regards to the Time’s Up movement and the #MeToo movement. It would be such a miss if we didn’t address that stuff if this film didn’t take that head-on. I think, particularly for Cate, it was so important for her to make a movie about women who are helping other women, who lift other women up out of a very difficult situation. Someone asked me if Natasha was a feminist. Of course, she is, it’s obvious. It’s kinda an asinine question.”
As to Johansson’s last point, I mean…yeah. Really, who still isn’t sure that Nat is all about that feminist life? Everything about her story has been framed around those concepts: Having to break into in a male-dominated space and then lead, fighting for her bodily and mental autonomy, and treating her female and male fellow Avengers and S.H.I.E.L.D. agents with equal respect and consideration while also not allowing herself to lose touch with the more “feminine” aspects of herself, like allowing her deep emotions to show through and grieving the fact the choice to have children was taken away from her.
Still, it’s interesting that she frames it so distinctly. Of course, we haven’t seen more than a few minutes of footage and we have almost no details about the plot, so we can’t say whether or not it will be an overt storyline or more a thematic one. But Black Widow teaming up with Yelena Belova/a.ka. the second Black Widow a.k.a. Pale Little Spider a.k.a. Crimson Widow (Florence Pugh) and Melina Vostokoff/Iron Maiden (Rachel Weisz), as well as Johansson’s earlier comments that the torch will be passed to Pugh, lend weight to the idea this isn’t just lip service from Johansson.
Regardless, it’s nice to see Johansson state it outright instead of tiptoeing around it obliquely considering the massive backlash the outspoken Brie Larson got from angry corners of the internet for being vocal about #MeToo and gender parity on her Captain Marvel press tour. If it sticks with its early November release date, expect us to be getting more information as the publicity campaign picks up.
Black Widow is currently scheduled for release on November 6th.