‘Black Widow’: Scarlett Johansson Reveals Exactly Why She Is Ready to Move on From the Marvel Cinematic Universe

Black Widow will be Scarlett Johansson’s swan song in the Marvel Cinematic Universe when it finally premieres next month. After more than a decade playing Natasha Romanov in the MCU, Johansson says she is ready to move on. She also revealed the reason why she’s ready to put the popular character behind her.

Scarlett Johansson of Marvel Studios' 'Black Widow' at the SDCC 2019 Marvel Studios Panel on July 20, 2019.
Scarlett Johansson of Marvel Studios’ ‘Black Widow’ at the SDCC 2019 Marvel Studios Panel on July 20, 2019. | Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney

‘Black Widow’ has been a long time coming

Marvel opted to wait on a Black Widow solo film way longer than expected. Instead of making the movie and releasing it at its appropriate point in the timeline — before Avengers: Infinity War —  they decided to wait until the end of phase 3. In the meantime, they gave the first female-led solo film to Captain Marvel (Brie Larson).

Then, just weeks before Black Widow’s scheduled release date in May 2020, the pandemic hit and shut down theaters. Thanks to months of delays, Black Widow will be premiering more than two years after the character died in Avengers: Endgame.

Scarlett Johansson says she’s leaving the MCU while she’s ‘on top’

Black Widow has been one of the most important and beloved characters in the MCU since she first appeared in Iron Man 2 way back in 2010. The character has been a huge part of Johansson’s career. But she says that it’s the perfect time to move on, and she’s more than ready.

“In every way, and certainly as an actor, it’s always better to leave a situation when you’re on top,” Johansson told Total Film. “And to feel good about something. It’s great. And I feel on top with this. I really do. I’m really proud of it. So we’ll see how everybody else sees it! But I will always love my experience of it.”

‘Black Widow’ has had an ‘incredible journey’

The actor says that she loves the character of Natasha. She noted that she’s had “an incredible 10-year journey,” and she finally made an “active choice” with her decision in Avengers: Endgame.

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“It seemed very in-character, that ultimate sacrifice that she makes,” Johansson says. “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.”

The film will take a ‘deep dive’ into Natasha Romanov’s character

After Avengers: Endgame, Johansson wasn’t sure she wanted to do a Black Widow solo film. However, when they found indie director Cate Shortland, she realized a solo flick could “find the heartbeat of what this character’s journey has been.”

Shortland worked with a Russian researcher to create background files for Natasha, which was the first time that had ever been done. According to the director, Johansson combed through the files and realized “God, I really am Russian.”

‘Black Widow’ gives fans a glimpse at a specific point in Natasha’s life

Getting detailed about Natasha’s background gave the writing team a mountain of new material, but they still had to decide when to set the story. Ultimately, they landed on the time period between Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Endgame. This moment in time was chosen for a specific reason.

“That specific moment gave us the opportunity to explore the character in a period where she belongs to no one: she has no family, she’s not working for an organization,” Johansson explained.

“She’s really alone, and everything is quiet. It’s that quiet time that she’s been running from for basically her entire life, and now she has the opportunity to be self- reflective. And that’s when all this stuff creeps out.”

Black Widow hits theaters and Disney Plus Premier Access on July 9th.