How Black Widow Adds Stakes Despite Natasha Romanoff’s Avengers: Endgame Fate (Exclusive)

How Black Widow Adds Stakes Despite Natasha Romanoff’s Avengers: Endgame Fate (Exclusive)

Marvel’s Black Widow solo movie hits theaters and Disney+ this week, marking a highly-anticipated return of Marvel Cinematic Universe movies after a two-year absence. Scarlett Johansson’s Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow has become a leading icon of Marvel Studios’ Avengers franchise since she first took on the role in 2011 (in Iron Man 2); however, the celebration of her solo movie outing has admittedly been undercut by debate over whether it is too little, too late. Black Widow is revisiting a period of Natasha’s life before Avengers: Infinity War, but Marvel fans know all too well that her story ends for good in Avengers: Endgame.

So how does Black Widow add believable stakes to a story that we already know Natasha Romanoff will walk away from (including an epic fall we know she’ll land… this time)? Comicbook.com sat down with Black Widow director Cate Shortland to answer that very question…

“Kevin Feige spoke about that from the beginning,” Shortland said. “We spoke about that even though we knew what had happened to her in Endgame, it still had to feel at times that she was in trouble. Say with that Taskmaster fight on the bridge: we wanted to make it really raw. I kept thinking about women that have been attacked on the street. So we wanted to make it really gritty, and that other people could relate to it. It wasn’t two sort of superhero characters fighting. It was Natasha fighting for her life and I think that’s kind of the spirit of the film that we wanted to take throughout.”

Black Widow Movie Marvel Studios Disney+
(Photo: Marvel Studios)

It appears to have been a winning strategy, as many of the reviews praising Black Widow has mentioned the kinetic pace of the film and visceral action sequences. By keeping things so immediate and hard-hitting, it appears Shortland, Feige, and co. achieved the desired effect of keeping viewers locked into the moment, without thinking about the larger arc of Natasha’s MCU story – and it’s (untimely) ending.

Of course, there’s one other big Marvel continuity know that fans have been wondering about: why Natasha never truly showed her Avengers teammates these important and intimate truths about her life:

“The script was the hardest part of the process,” Shortland admits. “…But the biggest thing was she’d kept all these secrets for so long, so you really felt that she wouldn’t reveal herself naturally. So we had to work really hard to get her to reveal herself as a character.”

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Whatever round-about way it happened, Marvel fans are still thrilled at the thought of getting to no more about Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow – even if it is a cinematic eulogy.

Black Widow hits theaters and Disney+ Premium Access on July 9th.

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