Analyst: 'Black Widow's' streaming success spells 'big trouble' for theater chains

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Is Iron Man in Black Widow?

The actor was earlier rumoured to have a cameo in the Scarlett Johansson's MCU film. ... But the film is missing one much-awaited thing that MCU fans expected: the cameo of Robert Downey Jr as Tony Stark. The actor was rumoured to have a cameo in the Scarlett Johansson-starrer but was missing in the final cut. The Indian ExpressBlack Widow director explains why Scarlett Johansson starrer MCU film doesn’t have Tony Stark cameo

Black Widow corrects Avengers: Endgame error to not give Natasha a funeral

digitalspy.com 13 July, 2021 - 11:00am

Avengers: Endgame got a lot right for Marvel fans, but there was one element that rankled with a lot of dedicated MCU watchers.

Robert Downey Jr's Tony Stark got the send-off he deserved as, after he sacrificed his life to defeat Thanos once and for all, the closing moments of Endgame focused on his funeral where everybody – even Harley Keener – was in attendance to mark his tragic passing.

Everybody, that is, except for Scarlett Johansson's Natasha Romanoff, who had sacrificed herself earlier in Endgame so that the remaining Avengers could get the Soul Stone. Beyond one conversation after her death, her sacrifice wasn't marked in the same grand way as Tony's – and Marvel fans weren't happy.

After all, shouldn't it have been a joint funeral? Given that if it wasn't for Natasha's sacrifice, Tony wouldn't have been able to go all "I am Iron Man" and save the day. But no, Natasha didn't get a funeral and as far as we could tell from Endgame, nothing to mark her death or dedication to the Avengers.

With the release of Black Widow though, this major error has now been corrected to ensure that Marvel fans know Natasha's sacrifice has been remembered.

At the time of Endgame's release, co-writer Christopher Markus justified the lack of a funeral for Natasha in the movie because of who she was.

"Tony gets a funeral. Natasha doesn't. That's partly because Tony's this massive public figure and she's been a cipher the whole time. It wasn't necessarily honest to the character to give her a funeral," he said.

Co-director Joe Russo followed it up by saying that since Natasha had another MCU movie to come and Tony didn't, they had to "bring closure to Tony Stark" and there was the opportunity for Black Widow to do the same for Natasha. Since it was already telling a lot of story, Endgame just didn't have the time for both.

Given that Black Widow was taking place earlier in the MCU (since Natasha was, you know, dead), it felt unlikely that her long-awaited solo movie could bring the closure and recognition that her character deserved.

But as well as filling in the blanks in her backstory, Black Widow does rectify Endgame's mistake and marks Natasha's sacrifice. It might not be the Avengers-packed event that Tony gets, yet it feels more fitting for the character.

It's not specified exactly where, but since Valentina (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) jokes that she's "allergic to the Midwest", we could assume that it's in Ohio where Natasha and Yelena grew up with their 'parents', Melina (Rachel Weisz) and Alexei (David Harbour).

"Daughter. Sister. Avenger," the grave reads and whether it's Yelena who arranged it all or Natasha's fellow Avengers, it's a sign that she hasn't been forgotten and those who want to pay tribute can.

It almost feels like a direct response to that Endgame criticism and the scene was actually part of reshoots for Black Widow in winter 2020. (The rest of Black Widow was shot between May and September 2019.)

"I know the reaction that fans had to Scarlett's death in Endgame," director Cate Shortland told Variety. "The fact that we got to see that moment between her and her sister, it means that to me, she is eternal, you know?"

"Scarlett talked to me about it: Her character would have hated a public funeral," Shortland recalled. "So I felt like the fact that she's buried in a really private place, in the boondocks somewhere, is perfect."

Black Widow: Kevin Feige Breaks Down That 'Unique' Opening Credits Sequence

CBR - Comic Book Resources 13 July, 2021 - 07:42am

Speaking during a press conference attended by CBR, Marvel Studios President and Marvel Chief Creative Officer Kevin Feige broke down the film's opening credits and how they came to be. "We needed to set the stage for what both of these women, all of these women and characters, had gone through in their past and exactly what Ray Winstone [General Dreykov], the villain of our piece, had done and what made him so, so evil in his dealings," he explained.

In an unexpectedly bold move, Black Widow's opening credits show Dreykov meeting with numerous real-world politicians, including former U.S. President Bill Clinton and Russian President Vladimir Putin, implicating them in the crimes perpetrated by the Red Room's despicable leader. It's the sort of explicitly political commentary Marvel Studios has traditionally avoided, in no small part due to its longstanding practice of partnering with the U.S. military on its films.

For Black Widow, however, Feige and director Cate Shortland felt it was important to dive into the Red Room's sordid history for storytelling purposes. "This idea came about, and it was later in production or even in additional photography -- right, Cate? -- to showcase that moment that [Natasha and Yelena] were pulled apart, what happened after the plane took off and [David Harbour's] character [Red Guardian] sent them back with Ray Winstone," said Feige.

"It was tremendous and ended up being one of our rare opening title sequences that really helped set the tone and the backstory for Natasha's character," he added. He's not wrong, either, judging by the sequence's enthusiastic critical response.

Directed by Cate Shortland and starring Scarlett Johansson, Black Widow is currently in theaters and streaming on Disney+ Premier Access. Florence Pugh, who plays Yelena Belova, will reprise her role in the movie for the Hawkeye series on Disney+ this fall.

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