Listen now to artist Malia J's haunting cover of Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit," the song featured in the opening credits of Marvel's Black Widow. The action-packed spy-thriller set against the backdrop of the Marvel Cinematic Universe takes place in-between the events of Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War, revealing the red in the ledger of Red Room-trained Russian assassin Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson). Pursued by a force that will stop at nothing to bring her down, the Black Widow reunites with her found family before the Avengers: Yelena Belova (Florence Pugh), Melina Vostokoff (Rachel Weisz), and Alexei Shostakov (David Harbour), a.k.a. the Red Guardian.
"We honestly thought it was a joke and didn't immediately respond," Malia J told Consequence about Marvel Studios' request to use the song. "A different version of this cover has been circulating in the TV/film industry since 2015, and I can only speculate that someone from their camp was a fan and wanted to put it in the movie!"
The performer was "absolutely thrilled" when Marvel requested to use her version of the iconic Nirvana track to open Black Widow. "I found out during the pandemic, and the news lifted my spirits up during such a dark time. I had no idea this song would end up being in a Marvel film, let alone the opening credits. I am such a fan of Scarlett Johansson and Florence Pugh — to be a part of something they are involved with is a dream come true."
According to Consequence with a mild spoiler warning, "The slowed-down, orchestral cover plays over an emotional and action-packed rollercoaster of footage. Over just a few minutes, the story unfolds: a young Natasha Romanoff (Johansson) is raised in the Red Room Academy, training to be a KGB assassin against her will. As the strings swell, so does your sympathy for Romanoff and the other girls, who are forced to march in line and fire weapons to serve General Dreykov's nefarious cause."
In Marvel Studios' action-packed spy thriller "Black Widow," Natasha Romanoff aka Black Widow confronts the darker parts of her ledger when a dangerous conspiracy with ties to her past arises. Pursued by a force that will stop at nothing to bring her down, Natasha must deal with her history as a spy and the broken relationships left in her wake long before she became an Avenger.