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Scarlett Johansson Didn’t Want Black Widow to Be an Origin Story

November 27, 2019 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Scarlett Johansson Black Widow Image Credit: Marvel Studios

Scarlett Johansson is set to return to the screen for Marvel in next year’s Black Widow, and she says she had no interest in doing the film had it been an origin story. Johansson spoke with Vanity Fair for a feature story and discussed the upcoming film, which will be set after the events of Captain America: Civil War and will explore the character’s past.

“I did not want it to be an origin story,” Johansson said. “I did not want it to be an espionage story. I didn’t want it to feel superficial at all. I only wanted to do it if it actually fit where I was with that character. I had spent such a long time peeling those layers away—I felt that unless we got to something deep, then there was no reason to make it. Because I did my job in Endgame, and actually felt satisfied with that. I would have been happy to let that be it. So there had to be a reason to do it other than just to milk something.”

She also noted that she was hoping it would contribute to those films that have “elevated the genre” of comic book film, saying, “That’s my goal. The film talks about a lot of tough stuff. It deals with a lot of trauma and pain. And I hope this film is empowering for people because I think Natasha is a very empowering person, and an inspiring person in a lot of ways. She has overcome so much, and she’s brave. And so by elevating the genre I mean I hope that it can be both explosive and dynamic and have all that great fun stuff that goes with the genre, but I hope that we can also talk about, you know, self-doubt and insecurity and shame and disappointment and regret and all that stuff too. It has many different things, it’s not just that. But there’s a lot of deep stuff, I think, that drives it.”

Johansson stars in the film alongside David Harbour as Alexei Shostakov/Red Guardian, O-T Fagbenle as Mason, Florence Pugh as Yelena Belova, and Rachel Weisz as Melina. It releases on May 1st, 2020.