Black Widow is set to be the next entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, finally offering fans a glimpse into the leather-clad assassin’s shadowy past. What happened in the Red Room? What’s the deal with Budapest? What inspired Clint Barton’s decision not to fill Natasha with arrows when he was sent to kill her, as alluded to in The Avengers? These and other burning questions will be answered. Probably.
After a series of delays, Black Widow is currently set for a November 2020 release date, although rumors of another push-back are rumbling. When it finally does arrive, though, the film looks set to break new tonal ground for the MCU, according to folks involved in the project.
Speaking to Total Film, actress Florence Pugh, who plays Natasha Romanov’s fellow agent Yelena Belova, described the movie as having a vastly different vibe compared to other Marvel offerings, defining Black Widow’s story as one of abuse and survival.
“Part of the excitement for me is that women and girls from around the world are going to see this, and are going to see an abuse story that really was challenged by its own victims. For a Marvel film to be reaching all of those levels, it is so exciting. The best thing about that is, it’s not layered with this colour of grey. You’ll see these women strive and be strong, and they’re assassins — and yet they still need to discuss how they were abused. It’s an incredibly powerful piece.”
Black Widow’s going to get dark
Obviously, this represents a huge swing for Marvel, which generally stays in the “alien invasion” lane when it comes to depicting personal hardship. But Black Widow director Cate Shortland felt strongly that Romanov’s story should be all about grit and the ability to overcome terrible situations, even without a god-tier hammer or an irradiated bug bite.
“She’s the only character that doesn’t have superpowers. We saw that as a strength because she always has to dig really deep,” Shortland said “(Natasha is) really tough inside, and resilient. And I wanted to bring that to the character. So you’re not just watching her fly through situations, knowing she’ll get out of it. You want to see her grit and determination. And that’s what we got.”
Pugh continued to praise the way that Shortland has embraced the grim potential of a Black Widow story, saying that “One of the most interesting things about the film is how far Cate went with it (…) It’s about how they get involuntary hysterectomies by the age of eight. It’s about girls who are stolen from around the world. It’s so painful, and it’s so important”. If all of that sounds a little dark for you, keep in mind that there should be another Spider-Man sequel after not too long, most likely focusing on a young buck who does whatever a spider can.
Black Widow, which stars Scarlet Johansson, Rachel Weisz, and David Harbour, is set for a November 6, 2020 release date. We’d not recommend putting money on that remaining true.