Scarlett Johansson says now is the right time for a Black Widow solo movie

Johansson said that the movie would have been less "substantial" had it been released five or ten years ago

Black Widow second trailer, screengrab https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_1eykFE1fSA

Scarlett Johansson has claimed that now is the right time for a Black Widow solo movie ahead of the film’s upcoming May release date.

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Super-spy Natasha Romanoff has made frequent appearances in the Marvel Cinematic Universe since Johansson made her debut in 2010’s Iron Man 2 – but it has taken until now for a Black Widow-centric film to be released.

Johansson, who had previously expressed doubts about a stand-alone film, said that now was the right time for Natasha’s solo journey – claiming that to have done so five or ten years ago would have resulted in a less “substantial” final product.

Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, she said, “For anyone who said to me, ‘Oh, this [Black Widow film] should’ve happened five or ten years ago,’ I’m like, it would not have been as substantial.

“We just would not have been able to do it. This film is happening now as a result of what’s going on in the zeitgeist, and I think it’s pretty cool.”

Scarlett Johansson and Florence Pugh in Black Widow solo movie 2020

And as well as the shift in the zeitgeist, Johannsson’s conversations with Cate Shortland – the MCU’s first ever solo female director – played a large part in persuading her that now was the right time.

“We just bonded over stories about trust and about intimacy and about women surviving,” said Shortland. “You didn’t have to be a superhero to identify with a woman who has had a really tough childhood and has survived and has a huge heart and helps other people.”

Meanwhile, Marvel boss Kevin Feige has argued that it makes more sense for the film to be released now, giving the character’s ongoing storyline in the recently concluded Infinity Saga.

“We had been planning the conclusion for the Infinity Saga for the past five or six years, and Natasha’s journey within those films took the priority,” he said. “The notion of breaking out for a stand-alone film that takes place in the past, for a character that we already knew and were already following, didn’t feel right.”

It’s an interesting comment, especially considering how the Black Widow stand-alone film does, in fact, “take place in the past”. At least as far as we know – but perhaps this could mean there may be hope for Natasha yet, despite how things ended for her in Avengers: Endgame.

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Black Widow is currently slated to be released in UK cinemas on Friday 1st May.