During tonight’s College Football National Championship game, Disney and Marvel Studios released a Black Widow special look which gave us a new glimpse at more footage from director Cate Shortland‘s globe-trotting superhero spy film starring Scarlett Johansson. Check it out below.
Johansson has long been one of the most celebrated actors of her generation, and she earned even more acclaim this morning with two Academy Award nominations. And while it’s clear that Marvel Studios has been able to brilliantly execute a successful long-term strategy over the past decade-plus, it’s always been a little puzzling why a solo Black Widow movie didn’t come together several years ago. Maybe it was because of Marvel President Ike Perlmutter and his team’s apparent reluctance to embrace female characters and characters of color in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Or maybe it just didn’t fit in with MCU guru Kevin Feige’s interconnected grand plan. I’d love it if this ended up feeling like an essential entry into the MCU, but the first trailer kind of made it seem like this whole thing was a case of “too little, too late.”
When we look back on this era in Marvel Studios history, will we question the decision to choose this specific time, in the wake of the unprecedented success of Avengers: Endgame, to flash back and tell a seemingly unrelated story set after Captain America: Civil War and before Avengers: Infinity War? Or will this be another Guardians of the Galaxy situation, where we reflect on Black Widow‘s huge success and say things like, “You know, it’s hard to believe, but there was actually a time when this triumph wasn’t considered a sure thing”? We’ll see.
“I don’t think I could have played this iteration of Natasha 10 years ago,” Johansson said at last year’s Comic-Con. “It would’ve been a very different film. I get to play Natasha as a fully realized woman and in all of her many facets. I’m excited for fans to see the flawed side of her, what she perceives to be the flawed side of her. And I’m looking to wipe out some of that red in my ledger, so you guys will be seeing a lot of that.”
Johansson stars alongside fellow Oscar nominee Florence Pugh, David Harbour, O-T Fagbenle, Rachel Weisz, and Ray Winstone.
Black Widow hits theaters on May 1, 2020.