Black Widow’s Cast and Crew on Natasha’s Solo Outing

Black Widow hits theaters and Premier Access on Disney+ on July 9, and it follows Natasha Romanoff between the events of Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War. Viewers will learn of her childhood family as she discovers a threat from her past is still looming in the shadows. Scarlett Johansson is back as Black Widow, and she is joined by Florence Pugh as Yelena, David Harbour as Red Guardian, and Rachel Weisz as Melina. During the global press conference, the cast and crew talk about the film and characters including director Cate Shortland and Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige.

Feige was looking forward to exploring more of Natasha’s story in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

“Well, it meant we very specifically knew there was a large period of her life that we didn’t know about,” Feige said. “Not just her childhood, but this period of time between Civil War and Infinity War. And that period we felt was ripe to creatively focus on, to be able to discover more about her past and more about her present.”

Natasha has always been part of a team in the MCU films, and in Black Widow, she’ll be alone until someone from her past interrupts her life as she’s on the run.

“And then suddenly she finds herself sort of floating in this weird in-between space and she’s off her game,” Johannson said. “And she realizes that she’s got all this possibility in front of her and it’s really suffocating. And then she’s blindsided by this person who comes from her past who is just on fire and is a liability and got this crazy energy, is dangerous and is full of life. And it’s just she’s so thrown off her game in this. It’s great to see her like that. We never get to see her like that.”

Pugh joins the cast as Yelena, who plays Natasha’s younger sister. She is an assassin and reaches out to her sister for aid.

“I think from the get-go in the script, it was very obvious that they have this connection and they have this relationship,” Pugh said. “And ultimately despite her skillset, she is that wonderfully, annoying young sister that says all the right things in all the wrong times. So that wasn’t hard at all for me to get into that. Kate was so welcoming of me to figure out how she thinks and how she moves and what she wears. And I think for me that was such a fun part of figuring out this character, because she really comes out of the Red Room and-and-and can live.”

With new freedom comes new ways of living life, and Yelena explores that through clothing.

“she can buy her own clothes, and she can buy a vest that has lots of pockets and she’s really excited by it,” Pugh continued. ‘And I think Kate really encouraged me to find, you know the oddities of her and kind of lean on that. So much so that in the end scene, you can see that she’s flourishing; she’s becoming her own being.”

David Harbour plays Red Guardian, a super soldier and the father figure to Natasha and Yelena. There’s a time jump, and that means we don’t really know what Alexei, aka Red Guardian, was up to. Harbour talks about that aspect in the film.

“Alexei is like… you have this big 25-year gap that we don’t know about, right?” Harbour said about the missing years. “Like, we see him in Ohio and then we see him in the prison. And even before the prison, there was a time when he was the Red Guardian. He wants to put the suit back on. Right? So there is this period of time where he talks about… he has all these stories about his life and about what went on. And they are questionable… whether or not they’re real. I like the exploration of what is real and what isn’t real, and how hard he had to construct these realities for himself and how durable those realities are.”

Directing an MCU movie is a huge responsibility, and Cate Shortland talks about her experience in helming Black Widow.

“There’s a lot of meetings, very big meetings with people, and I had to get used to that,” Shortland said. “And Kevin sort of gave me advice very early on, which helped me. Because I’m quite a shy person, so I like just to talk to a few people, but you have to get used to being in these big groups. I think what was beautiful about it and I learned a lot, was leaning on people and being open and trusting. And when you come into Marvel, you think it’s gonna be like this big studio, but actually, it was just really excited, decent people that wanted to make a good movie with me. And that was the beautiful part, that there’s so much collaboration and so much just building on ideas. Like, the Gulag started off as three guys in a yard.”

About Black Widow

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. Scarlett Johansson reprises her role as Natasha/Black Widow, Florence Pugh stars as Yelena, David Harbour portrays Alexei/The Red Guardian, and Rachel Weisz is Melina. Directed by Cate Shortland and produced by Kevin Feige, “Black Widow”—the first film in Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe— will launch simultaneously in theaters and on Disney+ with Premier Access in most Disney+ markets on July 9, 2021.

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