While the Black Widow movie will shine a new light on Natasha Romanoff's history in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Scarlett Johansson nor Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige had any intentions of the film being an origin story for the titular super spy. The film is going to hone in on how Natasha became the spy she is without shying away from the traumatic experiences that shaped her in the Black Widow program and its infamous yet still mysterious Red Room. Still, Johansson wanted a tale which moves the overall story forward despite being set in the past, prior to Natasha's death in the Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame saga but after the events of Captain America: Civil War.
"Post-Civil War felt like a good time to start. We never intended on doing an origin story," Johansson said on the set of the film. "I never wanted to do an origin story because I just didn't want to go back, back. I wanted to move forward, even though we are going back, but it all makes sense when you see it. It felt like a good time because Natasha, she has always been, she's always worked for someone. She's always been a part of some operation. She's always had some safety net. Not necessarily, I don't know if safety net is the best way to put it, but she's always been an operative, and she's actually never really had to, for better or worse, make any decisions for herself."
Despite being a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe since 2010, Johansson was never given an opportunity to star in a leading role. She supported characters like Iron Man and Captain America in their movies and served as a valuable team member in four Avengers titles but fans of the character longed for a deeper understanding of her history. While Johansson knew all along that a Black Widow movie was on the table, she is ultimately glad the film waited to become a reality as she believes the perception of female characters has changed during her MCU tenure and Natasha will be taken more seriously as a female hero, today.
"When you find her in the beginning of the film, she's just broken. And by the end of the film, the goal is to put her back together, but different than before," Johansson explained. "Kevin [Feige] and I and Brad [Winderbaum], we were all, at the very beginning of this, we agreed, and it was clear that that was the best place to start in the timeline. It gave us a lot of grit and every possibility. And we always, we said that if the Avengers were like above and all the villainous characters were below, and there was some dark underground thing, even if it was Leviathan or whatever, all that stuff was below that Natasha, the most interesting thing about that character is that she can go between the two worlds and seamlessly. And her allegiance is not always so clear. She doesn't operate with the same moral compass. And that that would be, that gray area was a cool place to live. Yes, that's where we are." Learn more about our time on the set of Black Widow here!
Black Widow hits theaters and the Disney+ streaming service through Premier Access for $29.99 on July 9, with tickets and streaming pre-orders on sale now. Are excited to finally see Black Widow? Share your thoughts in the comment section or send them my way on Instagram. For more Marvel chatter, subscribe to ComicBook.com's MCU podcast Phase Zero, available on all major podcast platforms.