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It’s just – and ironic – that Black Widow takes place in the past. Chronologically, in the MCU, the film’s story unfolds following the events of Captain America: Civil War, when the Avengers went their separate ways. But chronologically, in the real world, it arrives in 2021, more than a year after its scheduled release (thanks, Covid), and about five years after it should have been made.
For years, Black Widow (aka Natasha Romanoff, played by Scarlett Johansson) was the only Avengers movie heroine, first appearing in Iron man 2. Since arriving, Thor, Captain America, and Spider-Man have all had two independent films. Doctor Strange and Black Panther each have one; Captain Marvel too, beating Natasha in the fist as the first Marvel superheroine to have her own movie. Now after his character was actually killed in Avengers: Endgame, Black Widow finally has a movie of its own. It’s insulting, too little too late.
Except that’s not the case. There’s no denying that Johansson’s character should have had a solo movie long before. (In a way, she almost had it with the 2018 Red sparrow, except – with all due respect to Jennifer Lawrence – that movie was pretty awful.) There’s also no way to refute the fact that for a lot of those years there’s been a lot of bullshit about whether whether or not people would pay to see a woman – led action movie, that’s why you have to respect Jennifer Lawrence –The hunger Games the franchise was a big factor in changing all of that. The same was true of other Marvel movies, like Black Panther. “I think we were expected to want to watch white men, and if they weren’t white men we wouldn’t come,” Widowthe director of, Cate Shortland, recently told the Los Angeles Times. Today the door is wide open for Black Widow to dominate and do it with more daring than it could have done in 2015.
As it stands, the film looks set to do just that. As of this writing, Marvel’s latest is expected bring in between $ 80 million and $ 90 million when it opens in North America this weekend—hand beat the $ 70 million raised by F9 just a few weeks ago, and setting a box office record for films released after the Covid-19 blockages.
Beyond studios realizing the box office potential of female-directed films, something else happened back in the days when fans were waiting for Black Widow to have her own movie: #MeToo. In 2017, following massive investigations carried out by The New Yorker and The New York Times in the sexual misconduct allegations against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, women around the world have started to speak out about their experiences of harassment and assault. The movement created an atmosphere in which even a mainstream Marvel film could discuss issues such as forced sterilization and the manipulation of women. After all, Natasha Romanoff was once a girl turned into an assassin by a Soviet organization that exploited young women. The first discussions about the film began right after Weinstein’s story ended, and as Johansson told Yahoo! Entertainment recently, “you can’t miss the opportunity to compare these two things.” Shortland went further by telling the Years, “The other thing that happened was we could say what we wanted to say; we could make jokes about the trauma of women and the control of women’s bodies.