‘Black Widow’: Why Scarlett Johansson Calls the Marvel Movie ‘Liberating’

The Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase 4 will kick off with Black Widow. Though it’s still many months away, fans are clamoring for any and all information they can gather on the newest entry in the MCU. Here’s what star Scarlett Johansson is saying about the new flick.

Scarlett Johansson is the highest-grossing actress of all time

Since she broke out on the scene with Lost In Translation sixteen years ago, Johansson’s career has grown leaps and bounds. Her role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe certainly helps: She’s starred in seven MCU flicks, not counting her uncredited appearance in the Captain Marvel post-credit scene.

Having been a part of the most financially successful franchise ever created on top of high-earning films like Her, Lucy, and Ghost in the Shell — the latter two of which were hits in the international market — was cemented Johansson’s place as the highest-grossing actress of all time. But she’s not done yet.

‘Black Widow’ was announced as a prequel to ‘Avengers: Endgame’

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Despite being one of the Original Six Avengers and appearing in just as many (if not more) MCU entries as her male colleagues, there was one thing missing for Johansson — her character’s own solo movie. For years, fans have pushed for a Black Widow origin story (or something of the sort) from Marvel. And now, we have one.

At San Diego Comic-Con in July 2019, after months upon months of rumors, it became official: Black Widow was coming to theaters in May 2020. Johansson was on hand to make the announcement alongside her co-stars Rachel Weisz, David Harbour, Florence Pugh, and O-T Fagbenle. 

Johansson is executive producing the film

Scarlett Johansson at the Marvel Studios Panel at 2019 Comic-Con International
Scarlett Johansson at the Marvel Studios Panel at 2019 Comic-Con International | Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images

Given her status in the MCU and Hollywood in general, it’s no surprise that Johansson is breaking ground in more ways than one with Black Widow. In addition to starring in the flick, she’s an executive producer.

On top of that, she’s reportedly making $15 million for it, which she points puts her “on an equal playing field with [her] male cohorts” like Chrises Hemsworth and Evans. As for her new role behind the scenes, Johansson tells The Hollywood Reporter it “is liberating in a way.”

“I feel like I’m in control of the destiny of this film, which gives me a lot more peace of mind,” she said.

What is ‘Black Widow’ about?

So far, here’s what we know about Black Widow. It takes place in between the events of Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War. At Comic-Con, Johnasson told Entertainment Weekly that Natasha “is in a dark place where she’s got no one to call and nowhere to go.”

Marvel has chosen to release the film during the same time that it has for it’s biggest blockbusters for the past two years: Infinity War and Endgame both were scheduled for early May, though moved up to late April.

Johansson acknowledges this timing. “The movie packs a big punch,” she said. “If that slot is reserved for movies that pack a big punch, then we’re in a good, good space.”

The rest of the ‘Black Widow’ cast

Here’s what we know about Johansson’s supporting cast. Harbour portrays Alexei, also known as the Red Guardian. The character is, like Captain America “a super-soldier, but he’s also a very complicated guy.” Meanwhile, Pugh portays Yelena, a “sister figure” for Natasha.

Weisz will play another “seasoned spy and assassin” who has gone through the Black Widow program like Natasha. Finally, Fagbenle is Mason, “a fixer” who has “a bit of a complex relationship with Natasha.” He adds that “there’s a little romantic frisson” between them.

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