Florence Pugh And Scarlett Johansson Have Become Off-Screen Sisters

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BuzzFeed 13 July, 2021 - 02:46pm 17 views

Who is taskmaster in Black Widow?

One of the big revelations in Marvel's Black Widow is that Taskmaster—a character whose identity is hidden for 80% of the movie—is revealed to be Antonia Dreykov, played by Olga Kurylenko (Quantum of Solace, Oblivion). GizmodoMarvel's Black Widow: Let's Talk About Taskmaster

"They are very sweet on set. I came on set the other day and they were holding hands as they walked away from the scene. I was like, these guys have really bonded."

📸 ANJOS! Scarlett Johansson e Florence Pugh no red carpet do #Oscars em Hollywood, California.

Pugh says, "Lots of my downtime was actually spent strapped to Scarlett around my waist or me strapped around her neck in very hilariously risky positions and we'd just be left up there for 10 minutes and that was honestly the funniest/best time of filming Black Widow". 

The friendship between Scarlett Johansson and Florence Pugh on the set of Black Widow was unmatched 😂

The subtitles are slightly wrong. It's not "trick" but "trip".

A little chat with @Florence_Pugh & Scarlett Johansson about embarrassing superhero poses (ahem, @chrishemsworth)

#BlackWidow filmmaker Cate Shortland on Scarlett Johansson and Florence Pugh. “They were glued together the whole film. They were on a motorbike or in really small spaces together, Florence was shy until the Budapest throwdown when “she really started just coming alive.”

florence pugh and scarlett johansson behind the scenes of 'black widow'

scarlett johansson and florence pugh stan account🧎‍♀️

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Scarlett Johansson's TikTok Lookalike Has Become Internet Sensation

ComicBook.com 14 July, 2021 - 06:33am

Scarlett Johansson's latest Marvel film is sadly also likely her last, as Black Widow is set before the character's death in the Avengers: Infinity War. You never know what could happen of course, but for the foreseeable future we aren't going to see Johansson in the fan-favorite role. That doesn't mean you can't see Johansson as Widow on TikTok though or in this case an incredibly close approximation of her, thanks to TikTok Johansson lookalike Kate Johansson, who has become a star on the platform and is taking over the internet with her videos, which include a number of videos as Black Widow (via Dexerto).

Kate has amassed over 5 million followers thanks to her videos, and the likeness is stunning at times. In some videos it's so uncanny you can't even blame some for thinking it's actually Scarlett at first glance. Kate has fun with it, and even made a video in response to someone who said she was "Scarlett from Wish".

She's done a number of videos in one of several Black Widow costumes, including one where she did the "You're probably wondering" commentary over her death in Infinity War. There are also plenty of videos where she is just having fun in the costume, including several dance videos to Bills, Bills, Bills from Destiny's Child. Also yes, that song might have just ended up in my playlist, because I forgot how infectious it is.

It would actually be kind of cool to see Kate and Scarlett in a video together, so here's hoping that happens sometime down the line.

As for Black Widow, Scarlett recently revealed that this is goodbye to her MCU character, and it's nice to leave something while it is still popular.

"Honestly, I feel like it's always, it feels great to leave a party when it's still raging and I think that this film [Black Widow] feels very much like it's alive and fresh and powerful and I feel really pleased with it," Johansson told ComicBook.com. "I feel really happy with the work that we've done for this decade of time and, you know, it's bitter sweet to say, 'Goodbye,' but if you love something, you need to set it free!"

You can catch Scarlett's final run as Natasha in Black Widow, which is in theaters now.

Copyright 2020 ComicBook.com. All rights reserved.

BLACK WIDOW (2021) Review - Pop Jedi Ep. 21

Comic Book Movie 14 July, 2021 - 06:33am

Black Widow Confirms How MCU Villains See The Avengers

Screen Rant 14 July, 2021 - 06:33am

After 24 movies and three Disney+ series, Marvel has finally confirmed how the MCU's villains view the Avengers, thanks to Black Widow. The hint of the heroes being assessed in tiers of power (and presumably danger) comes thanks to Florence Pugh's Yelena Belova, who also confirms that Scarlett Johansson's Black Widow never registered as "one of the big ones".

Yelena actually takes a couple of pot-shots at the MCU's heroes, reveling in her criticism of Natasha's needless "hero pose" as an arrogant assumption that everyone is watching her. It's a fair comment, even if the meta-humor takes issue with something comic books movies have been doing for so long that the logic no longer even feels relevant. Elsewhere, Black Widow also throws shade at Captain America, calling his shield a comfort blanket (through Alexei), and has the returning General Ross refer to Ant-Man as "the incredible shrinking convict". There's a playful element to the humor, as well as great affection, considering Yelena herself ends up doing a hero pose during the film's high altitude climax.

Yelena's critique is used as an explanation for how the Widow and Dreykov always stayed under the radar - simply by avoiding the attention of the Avengers. She explains that Natasha was left to her own devices despite the risk she posed to exposing the Red Room because one of the "big ones" would end up coming to avenge her. Natasha seems taken aback at the idea that the Avengers would be ranked differently, so Yelena offers the explanation that she doubts "the god from space has to take an ibuprofen after a fight". The big ones, clearly, include Thor and Iron Man, who Yelena refers to as Nat's "super-scientist" friend and Nat ranks somewhere alongside the "not big ones" suggesting that the MCU's villains see a power hierarchy in its most famous hero team.

Thor's superpowers do fit with the logic of why MCU villains would count him as one of the big ones, and the ranking system presumably fits with the unspoken perception of Hawkeye and Black Widow being "secondary heroes" (perhaps even alongside Ant-Man). After all, Iron Man is all but called out, Captain America is a super-soldier and Hulk is a monster. Scarlet Witch's perception probably depends on how well the Red Room's surveillance worked, given she was still emerging as a hero during Civil War. And the same goes for Spider-Man, with Don Cheadle's War Machine and Anthony Mackie's Sam Wilson possibly lesser-known qualities as only really Avengers-aligned at that point. And in hindsight, Black Widow's Red Room playing a numbers game and not coming after Natasha in fear of mobilizing the "big ones" does make a lot of sense. How were they to know that it was everything that made Natasha human that made her most dangerous to them?

Black Widow Is Stuck in the Marvel Formula Just as the Rest of Marvel Is Expanding Beyond It

The Escapist 14 July, 2021 - 06:33am

To clarify, Black Widow is not a bad movie. I found it to be a decent farewell to a character who never got her due diligence throughout the MCU’s first decade. The film’s incredible cast carries a lot of the lift here, but it’s also full of really strong action and touching moments and is generally fun to watch. It isn’t Marvel’s best film, but like the majority of movies it releases, it definitely works. However, there are issues beneath the surface that warrant further discussion.

Marvel has done incredible work varying the genres of its films from nearly the start. Captain America: The First Avenger does a solid job of weaving a superhero origin into the war film genre. Ant-Man is a fantastic low-key heist film with Marvel action injected in that helped to re-ground the MCU after Avengers: Age of Ultron. Iron Man 3 uses the buddy cop genre to unpack the character himself, subvert our expectations of a villain, and indeed take Marvel’s first good stab at shaking up its formula a bit. There are plenty of other examples of how the MCU blends genre to deliver films that work together but don’t always feel the same.

Black Widow attempts to blend the spectacle and story of a Marvel film with an action spy movie like James Bond and Jason Bourne. As if to drive that idea home, Natasha even watches the James Bond film Moonraker at one point, hearkening to that franchise’s most comic book-style film in which James Bond goes to space to destroy a eugenics-loving madman — which is basically the plot of Black Widow. Black Widow doesn’t exactly hide its spy influences. Marvel has also expressed its intention for Black Widow to be a more “grounded” Marvel film as a spy movie.

The issue is just how quickly the spy stuff goes out the window. The beginning of the film actually plays out like something you’d see in Bourne or some of the less bombastic Bonds, with Natasha stripped of most of her superhero stuff and doing some actual spy research. There’s a bunch of spy movie staples as well, like an intense close-quarters fight between Natasha and her fake sister Yelena (Florence Pugh) in the same rundown European apartment that every spy film has a close-quarters fight in since Jason Bourne first did it. The film features an overblown evil Russian villain intent on a form of world domination and even has a Q-like sidekick helping Black Widow, but it all seems to get lost as the superhero aspects take over.

The inclusion of Taskmaster means that there’s less spying and more fisticuffs going on, and our big villain, an utterly repellent Ray Winstone, never gets the screen time to become either a compelling character or a bombastic Blofeld type. The end of the film features a massive (and awesome) action set piece that has the erstwhile family coming together to defeat evil. These aren’t failures on the whole, but they do mean that Black Widow just isn’t a spy film like it purports to be.

The failure to merge the two genres does mean the film gets a bit more time to do other things. Natasha actually being fleshed out as a character is a major boon for the MCU, as it’s spent decades basically ignoring her and only offering small scenes between her and Hawkeye reminiscing about the not-so-good old days. It’s a bit of a conundrum complaining about their failure to actually make a spy film when part of the end result is that we get a pretty good Black Widow movie.

Scenes between Natasha and her surrogate family are entertaining and touching but feel out of place in a genre that is known for cooler calculation and complex plotting. By the end of the movie, everything is so overblown that it’s hard to think of it as a spy film at all; the Marvel-ness has fully taken over. And while the use of Moonraker may be a way for the film to say spy films can be comic-like too, that film still offers up the kind of overblown spy story that Black Widow can’t quite grasp. Black Widow misses the bombast and tongue-in-cheek playfulness of the Roger Moore era of Bond as it sticks to Marvel’s tried and true style.

Part of this issue is actually not Black Widow‘s fault at all. As the first film of Phase 4, it was supposed to come out in early 2020. Phase 4 includes not just films but also Marvel Studios’ entrance into television, and as we know now, that meant a big shake-up with the formula. Even the movies of Phase 4 seem to be pushing into new areas with the likes of Oscar-winner Chloe Zhao filming largely on location for Eternals and the signature style of Sam Raimi being brought to Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.

Had it released last year, Black Widow could have been an effective bridge film with its overwhelming Marvel-ness, bringing folks along before diving deep into the weirdness of WandaVision, the social commentary of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, and the Doctor Who time travel of Loki. However, we got all of those more experimental shows first, so Black Widow‘s extreme return to form that overwhelms its genre aspirations feels even more jarring than it should. And to add insult to injury, MCU events are now playing kind of out of order.

However, if Black Widow‘s lack of successful genre-blending still leads to a more in-depth character, some awesome action, and a decent film, then what’s the issue? Well, it’s just that Marvel’s success stems from its ability to do the same thing but different. That ability is built on the back of blending genres into the MCU formula, or else “superhero fatigue” will truly begin to kick in. Granted, superhero fatigue is a complaint plenty of folks claim exists but hasn’t actually impacted the MCU in any meaningful way, given Black Widow‘s stellar box office, the rampant success of the last two Avengers films, and the huge impact of the first three Marvel Disney+ shows. However, just because it hasn’t been a problem yet doesn’t mean that will be true forever. If Marvel were to ever “fall,” it would probably be from its inability to more fully commit to other genres, and Black Widow seems to be the first real crack in that armor.

The fact is that Marvel appears to be truly reinventing its formula in the upcoming films and shows, yet Black Widow adheres tightly to the old formula. The film could have been an incredibly intriguing spy movie, with a grounded family dynamic storyline that is interwoven with an interesting plot and, yes, some superhero antics. Marvel just couldn’t get out of its own way though, delivering an MCU film that neither agrees with the new direction Marvel is evidently going nor embraces the fantastic genre filmmaking it’s executed in the past. Black Widow is thus stuck in an odd middle ground. Ultimately, Black Widow may be a good Marvel film, but it would have been better to get a great spy film as well.

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