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Comic-Con 2019: For Scarlett Johansson, ‘Black Widow’ movie is perfectly timed

Natasha Romanoff, a.k.a. Black Widow
Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff in a scene from “Iron Man 2.” The character will get her first solo outing in the upcoming “Black Widow” film, scheduled for release in May 2020.
(Francois Duhamel / Marvel Entertainment)

After seven years of Scarlett Johansson playing Black Widow, the character is finally getting her own movie.

After Marvel’s jam-packed Hall H panel at Comic-Con on Saturday, the actress spoke to reporters about why now’s the perfect time.

“I definitely feel like the film that we’re making right now and this incarnation of Natasha in all of her strength and her vulnerability, and the strengths she finds in her vulnerability, is something that I don’t think I could’ve done 10 years ago,” she told the L.A. Times.

When asked why it had taken so long for the principal female Avenger to have her own solo outing, Johansson said the idea had actually been in development for years.

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“It’s something that we’ve talked about for probably eight years or something like that,” she said. “I don’t know why it’s taken so long. It’s happening at the right time for me though, so that may be part of it.”

“The fans will tell us if it was worth the wait,” said Marvel President Kevin Feige. “The clip that we showed them today in Hall H here at Comic-Con certainly made it feel like it’s worth the wait. It’s a remarkably unique story. People feel like they know everything there is to know about the Black Widow. I promise you they do not.”

Following the character’s death in “Endgame,” the “Black Widow” movie will be a prequel exploring how the Russian assassin came to have so much, as the character put it, “red in her ledger.” Slated for release next May, the film will be directed by Cate Shortland and will also feature Rachel Weisz, Florence Pugh, OT Fagbenle and David Harbour.

Pugh, fresh off of promoting A24’s psychological thriller “Midsommar,” had to get into a completely different frame of mind to play Yelena, Natasha’s sister.

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“It’s always odd going from different type of film to different type of film,” she said. “And it’s a completely different genre, obviously. This is unlike anything I’ve ever seen in terms of Comic-Con, in terms of the people I’m working with. It’s total madness in the best possible way.”

Harbour, a longtime fan of MCU, said he was extremely excited to learn he’d be joining the canon.

“The original ‘Iron Man’ I remember seeing in the theaters and thinking it was extraordinary,” he said. “And since then they’ve made a ton of great movies. There’s an excitement to just joining the thing. This movie is different and rich.”

“I was really thrilled to be asked,” agreed Weisz, who was nominated for an Oscar last year for Fox Searchlight’s “The Favourite.” “I didn’t think I would ever be asked.” She plays Melina, an assassin who has cycled through the Black Widow program five times.

“Black Widow” hits theaters May 1, 2020.


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