Black Widow Director Dove Into Russian History to Give Natasha an Authentic Backstory

Black Widow may take place in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but it is not specifically based on any of the comics that birthed this universe in the first place. This comes to us from director Cate Shortland, who reveals that she didn’t use any particular pre-existing Marvel Comics storylines to bring Scarlett Johansson’s first solo adventure as Natasha Romanoff to life. Rather, she worked with a Russian historian to craft something tailored to this version of the character.

After being delayed several times, Black Widow is finally set to arrive this week. As such, Cate Shortland has been making the rounds to promote the blockbuster. During a recent interview, she was asked if it was based on any specific comic books. Here’s what Shortland had to say about it.

“No. I worked with a Russian historian, and we created a backstory. We went back, maybe two years into Russia, into Soviet. We looked at what her life would have actually been like before she came to America.”

This may seem surprising on the surface, though it’s really nothing new for the MCU. While many of these movies take general inspiration from what exists in the page in Marvel Comics lore, they rarely directly adapt storylines. And, even in the case of something like Captain America: Civil War, they often take serious creative liberties with the source material.

When we consider that Scarlett Johansson has been a part of this universe ever since Iron Man 2 was released in 2010, it is easy to see why Cate Shortland and the filmmaking team wanted to craft a story on their own. This version of the character has a lot of established story within the universe. Considering that it is likely to be Johansson’s swan song, as it takes place, chronologically, before Natasha meets her ultimate fate in Avengers: Endgame, this may be Marvel’s last chance to answer burning questions fans have about the character.

The movie takes place after the events of Civil War and before Infinity War. Taskmaster serves as the main villain. Additionally, Florence Pugh is set to play Natasha’s adopted sister, Yelena Belova. The cast also includes David Harbour, O-T Fagbenle and Rachel Weisz. While we have seen quite a bit of footage in the trailers, the central story at play has remained vague in the marketing. We may be in for a surprise or two.

This will be the first MCU movie to hit theaters in over two years following 2019’s Spider-Man: Far From Home. Though it won’t exclusively be on the big screen. Disney is also making it available on Disney+ through Premier Access. Be that as it may, box office projects for the highly-anticipated movie have been good. It even has a chance to crack $100 million on opening weekend, which would make it the first movie to do so since late 2019. This gives subscribers the option to watch it from the comfort of home for an extra $30. Black Widow is set to arrive on July 9th. This news comes to us via Deadline.

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