Scarlett Johansson says 'Black Widow' is a film about 'self forgiveness'


Fox News 09 July, 2021 - 07:21am 18 views

How many credit scenes does Black Widow have?

'Black Widow' has one end-credits scene. Here's what it means for future Marvel shows and movies. Warning: There are major spoilers ahead for Marvel's "Black Widow." There's one scene after the main credits roll, featuring Yelena and Val (Julia Louis-Dreyfus).'Black Widow' has one end-credits scene. Here's what it means for future Marvel shows and movies.

Are there any post credit scenes in black widow?

Still, in the grand tradition of nearly every other Marvel movie to date, Black Widow has a post-credits scene. The studio has long used end-credits scenes to tease future movies and future MCU storylines. ... It also further cements and strengthens the links between Marvel's movies and TV series within the MCU. VoxBlack Widow’s post-credits scene sets up Florence Pugh in the MCU

When is Black Widow coming to Disney plus?

When is the Black Widow release date? Black Widow will be available on Disney+ Premiere Access starting on Friday, July 9. Inverse'Black Widow' release date, start time, and how to watch on Disney Plus

Is Black Widow going to be on HBO Max?

Black Widow will be available to stream on Disney Plus through its Premier Access model, which requires an extra $30 payment on top of the regular price of a Disney Plus subscription. CNETBlack Widow on Disney Plus: How to stream it and everything else to know

During a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Feige explained that Marvel is moving away from the massive, multi-movie deals it once offered to its stars. Instead, he hinted that the talent will stay on board and return for additional projects if they're enthusiastic about the universe they've become a part of, without needing an expansive contract.

"It varies, project to project, cast to cast," Feige explained, reflecting on the sweeping talent deals previously inked by the likes of Chris Evans and Samuel L. Jackson. "Really, what we want are people that come in, are excited to be in the universe, are excited at the opportunity to do more things, as opposed to being locked into contractual obligations."

Scarlett Johansson has returned to the MCU to headline her own movie, starring as Natasha Romanoff in Marvel Phase 4's Black Widow, set to simultaneously debut in theaters and on Disney+ with Premier Access July 9. She's joined by a host of MCU newcomers, including Florence Pugh as Yelena, David Harbour as Alexei/Red Guardian, and Rachel Weisz as Melina.

Pugh is playing Natasha's sister, Yelena Belova, in her much-awaited superhero debut. The actress previously spoke about her prospective future in the MCU and whether she could step forward to headline a potential Black Widow sequel, given that her character will be retroactively set up as the new Black Widow when the movie premieres.

"If you get asked to be in a Marvel film, and it was so thrilling and fun and exciting to be in, then of course, your head goes: 'Oh my God. If this is what it's like, then what else is next?'" she said. "If that happens and I am lucky enough that people appreciate my character, that's an exciting road to go on. I would be silly to not be excited by it."

Taking place between Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War, when Natasha was a wanted fugitive, Black Widow will give the Avenger her posthumous due, with a story that deals with Natasha's history as a spy and assassin, and the broken relationships left in her wake before she became one of Earth's Mightiest Heroes.

Feige has already hinted that more prequel movies like Black Widow could be "in the cards" for other MCU characters. He explained that "the notion of exploring the past, present, and future of the MCU" is a possibility for other characters, though he also recognized that Black Widow's "particular story of this particular cast is very personal, very specific to Natasha."

Black Widow is the very first MCU movie in Phase 4. It will be followed by Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings in September, Eternals in November, and Spider-Man: No Way Home in December. After that, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness will be the next movie to appear on the MCU Phase 4 slate, serving as the first Marvel flick of 2022.

Adele Ankers is a freelance writer for IGN. Follow her on Twitter.

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'Black Widow' finally reveals what happened in Budapest

Insider 09 July, 2021 - 09:07am

The city has been a longstanding inside joke of sorts between Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) and Clint Barton/Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) since 2012's "The Avengers."

In that film, as they battled the Chitauri aliens invading New York City, Nat told Hawkeye it was "just like Budapest all over again." Clint, disagreeing, said, "You and I remember Budapest very differently."

Since then, the two have name dropped Budapest throughout the Marvel Cinematic Universe without providing any more context to what happened during the mystery mission to make it so memorable.

The duo most recently referenced Budapest during their final trip to Vormir in 2019's "Avengers: Endgame," smiling and chuckling about it.

But the release of Marvel's long-delayed "Black Widow" finally tells fans what happened in Budapest and it's really not a laughing matter. 

In "Black Widow," Nat briefly describes that the Budapest Operation was part of her final initiation as a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent. She tells Yelena she killed Dreykov, who was the leader of the Red Room, which is a top-secret Soviet training program to create young female assassins, including Nat and Yelena.

"It took almost destroying the entire city just to get to him." Nat says. "Killing Dreykov was the final step in my defection to S.H.I.E.L.D."

The act involved "imploding a five-story building," "shooting it out with the Hungarian Special Forces," and then hiding for 10 days with Clint before they could escape Budapest.

Yelena tells Nat that the Budapest Operation wasn't actually a success. Dreykov was still very much alive and was still making sure Widows were trained and operating in secret throughout the world under his orders.

"Black Widow" follows Yelena and Nat as they team up to take down Dreykov and the organization once and for all.

The movie's long-awaited explanation for Budapest felt like a lazy, contrived plot device created to move the film's plot forward while simultaneously putting a neat bow on an unresolved fan question.

Most disappointing was that fans received a flashback without ever showing Hawkeye — even though he was referenced throughout the film. At one point, Natasha points out a cramped area to Yelena where she and Clint hid for days.

How do you show a defining moment in Nat and Clint's friendship that's been referenced multiple times throughout the MCU without bringing Renner back for a cameo, even if it's a small one? It would have made the moment feel much more authentic.

Instead, it made "Black Widow" feel a bit cheap, like an afterthought of a movie that was given to Johansson after her character died simply because the "Avengers" movies were so successful that it couldn't possibly hurt to give the character a spinoff.

It's not just odd that Renner doesn't make an appearance. The entire explanation for the Budapest Operation is unsatisfying.

What Nat doesn't share with Yelena immediately is that the Budapest mission also involved killing Dreykov's daughter in order to get to him (or so she thought), something that haunts her throughout the film. By the film's end, Nat is horrified to learn she actually didn't kill Dreykov's daughter, but instead disfigured her so much that Dreykov decided to turn her into a mind-controlled, mask-wearing warrior.

After knowing the trauma attached to the Budapest operation, it feels weird for it to be something that Nat and Clint referenced so light-heartedly in both "Avengers" and "Avengers: Endgame."

Clint and Nat smile wide in 2019's "Endgame" as they're on their way to Vormir on a spaceship and he says, "We're a long way from Budapest."

What are they chuckling about? Shouldn't they feel like Budapest was a harrowing event that neither one of them really wants to discuss, let alone quip about?

It doesn't match the tone Nat has in "Black Widow" where she's suddenly traumatized and heavily bothered that she left a child maimed after initially believing she killed her. Unless dark humor is how Nat copes with trauma, it feels a bit strange that this is the event that Nat and Clint continuously reference throughout the MCU.

"Black Widow" is currently in theaters and streaming on Disney+ for an additional $29.99. You can read our review here.

The Tragedy of Being ‘Black Widow’

The Atlantic 09 July, 2021 - 09:07am

Black Widow may be billed as a superhero film, but Black Widow is no typical superhero. Natasha Romanoff, the spy turned Avenger played by Scarlett Johansson, is singular when it comes to comic-book heroines: She has no special powers, just a self-reliance and compassion developed from having escaped an oppressive program that tried to turn her into a machine. She’s not a straightforwardly inspirational character like Captain Marvel or Wonder Woman, nor is she the gender-flipped version of a popular male character like Supergirl or Batwoman. And she has waited patiently for her turn to star in a standalone film—so patiently that in the Marvel Cinematic Universe timeline, she’s now dead.

Marvel Studios’ first film to be released in theaters in more than two years, Black Widow works as both a prequel and a swan song for Natasha, given her death in Avengers: Endgame. Set after the events of Captain America: Civil War, the movie follows Natasha as she reunites with her adopted sister of sorts, Yelena (played by Florence Pugh). The two embark on a mission to destroy the Red Room, a Russian program that brainwashes women into becoming assassins—and one that Natasha thought she had dismantled years ago, before becoming an Avenger. To finish this unfinished business, they reunite with their “parents,” Russian spies who had raised them as children in America as part of a sleeper cell.

In many ways, Black Widow is a domestic drama that focuses on Natasha’s guilt over making it out of Russia, abandoning her “family,” and reinventing herself. It’s a tragedy and an apt portrait of an identity crisis. Any film about Natasha should explore the relationship between her heroic present and her violent past—and how the skills she cultivated as a killer play a part in both. So it makes sense when a villain called Taskmaster appears. Taskmaster is a highly skilled, helmeted human with the ability to mimic any move in sight, which means that when Natasha encounters the character, she’s essentially fighting her mirror image—an avatar of her past who shares all of her skills but none of her humanity. Such copycats are common, even classic enemies for superheroes; they challenge superheroes’ heroism, not just their abilities. Natasha and Taskmaster’s street-level brawls are appropriately bloody and brutal, looking more like scenes from the Bourne and recent Bond movies than like footage from a Marvel production.

But this is a Marvel production, and what seems at first like a grounded spy movie buckles under the weight of the expectations that come with being part of the MCU. To justify its existence as an entry in the franchise’s latest “phase” of projects, Black Widow turns the spotlight from Natasha onto Yelena, setting her up for her return in future stories, including Disney+’s Hawkeye later this year. To soften the tragedy of Natasha’s origins—including a forced hysterectomy—cheesy one-liners pepper the script. And to compete with the grand scale of other Marvel films, the movie’s final act casts the intriguing Taskmaster aside in favor of the cartoonish Dreykov (Ray Winstone), a villain who intends to take the Red Room program global, indoctrinating as many little girls as possible because he believes that they’re a “natural resource the world has too much of.”

Making Dreykov Natasha’s primary rival grinds the film—up to that point, a compelling study of the most enigmatic Avenger—to a halt. It betrays her darker history, flattening her personal conflict and quest for self-acceptance into a facile one of a woman taking down a bloviating man who hates women. Natasha’s intimate and poignant discussions with Yelena about their shared search for purpose and control are all but forgotten, replaced by frenzied scenes of their family rushing to destroy Dreykov’s floating, Moonraker-like aircraft.

The film ceases to be about Natasha wrestling with her heroism; by pitting her against a raging misogynist, Black Widow tries to simplistically cast Natasha as a pop-feminist icon. Forget Natasha’s past, the movie seems to say. The future is female. It’s as if the film, halfway through, became afraid to mar her legacy with a complicated arc in which she confronts the consequences of her previous actions—and opted to eulogize her as an indisputable heroine. The move is as perfunctory and transparent as the scene in Endgame that rounds up the female superheroes (sans Natasha, by the way) for a “girl power” money shot in the middle of a climactic battle.

True, Marvel prefers not to tarnish its departed heroes’ images. Tony Stark was once a war profiteer, but he lingers in the MCU as an untouchable martyr, appearing as an almost Christlike figure in Spider-Man: Far From Home. The title of “Captain America” gets tricky in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, but the show never blames Steve Rogers for the government’s failures. Still, those movies’ conclusions feel satisfying and earned. Those departed Avengers had starred in their own films—films, plural—that, taken together, painted a full picture of who they were. Natasha, though, has only ever been a supporting player, a human Swiss Army knife for the Avengers’ myriad missions, a superhero-of-all-trades for a screenwriter to fashion into whatever the script needs, whether that be a sexist stereotype, a hacker, a love interest, or a de facto leader. As Johansson herself put it to Time, Natasha “was used as a kind of chess piece for her male counterparts.”

Black Widow didn’t need to turn into hagiography to make up for Marvel’s earlier indifference toward the character. Early on, the film suggests that in defecting from the Red Room, Natasha moved past her conditioned ideas of her womanhood and yet still relies in some part on her ruthless training to do what she does. The film tiptoes up to that tension when Taskmaster is revealed to be Dreykov’s daughter, Antonia (Olga Kurylenko), a woman Natasha thought she’d killed as a little girl—“collateral damage,” Natasha says, from her first attempt to take down the Red Room. Antonia, as a result, has been trained to reject femininity and has internalized her father’s beliefs, making her a foe who represents the Red Room’s insidious and enduring ideology: that women become stronger only through suffering. But the film sidesteps the showdown between Natasha and Taskmaster, instead devolving into a mid-air spectacle rife with explosions and gravity-defying stunts; an abrupt conclusion treats Taskmaster as an afterthought.

The best superhero stories aren’t about the protagonist’s powers but about their choices. They exemplify how it’s just as powerful to be able to learn from one’s mistakes and to accept one’s flaws as it is to be able to, say, shoot webs from one’s wrists. As a character whose strength comes not from suffering, but from her empathy and her capacity for self-reflection, Natasha is the embodiment of that idea. It’s why she can outsmart a god and why she can tame the Hulk. It’s also why she has ardent fans who lobbied Marvel for more than a decade to let her star in a standalone film.

Black Widow understands this in scenes between Natasha and Yelena, when Johansson imbues Natasha with a world-weary resolve opposite Pugh’s wounded idealism. In such moments, the film finally shades in who Natasha is at heart: a character who may seem to be ready for anything and up for being anyone, but who’s still trying to understand the effects of her trauma. The messy third act, and its insistence on making Natasha infallible, doesn’t ruin the film. But it does make Black Widow a missed opportunity; Natasha never gets to make the choices that could help her complete her portrait. And given how her story eventually ends, there are no more chances left for her to tell the rest.

Black Widow

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