Black Widow has always stood apart from the rest of the Avengers, not just by virtue of being the only woman on the team. She was unafraid to get her hands dirty — which made her the perfect foil for Chris Evans’ noble Steve Rogers. And her solo movie, starring Scarlett Johansson as the titular superspy, will stand apart from other Marvel films for that same reason. Black Widow writer Jac Schaeffer has teased that the fight scenes in the film will be the “polar opposite” of the typical superhero film.
In an interview with Inverse, Black Widow writer Schaeffer, who is co-writing the film with Ned Benson, described the fighting in the film as “a lot of close contact, hand-to-hand combat.”
“It’s very visceral. There’s a lot of aggression and power in a very human way that I find really satisfying and really exciting to watch, but it’s the polar opposite to writing for super-powered characters.”
That tracks with the footage we saw at San Diego Comic-Con, which showed a brutal hand-to-hand fight between Johansson’s Natasha Romanoff and Florence Pugh‘s fellow spy Yelena in a dirty apartment in Budapest. The fight choreography lies somewhere between balletic and bruising, as the two super-spies are matched punch-for-punch, and eventually resort to fighting dirty with broken dishes and curtain chokeholds. “The grimy, tactile fight is reminiscent of the Bourne films, especially in its low light and intense close-ups,” I described in my write-up of the footage.
But even as the action gets more violent than that of what we usually see in Marvel movies — apart from perhaps the fantastic fight scenes of Captain America: The Winter Soldier — Schaeffer admitted that she would like to see “alternatives to violence in superhero movies.” She added, “Maybe I would qualify that by saying, alternatives to glamorizing guns and weaponry. That’s one of the reasons that I love Captain Marvel: it’s all about inner power. And the destruction is not at the expense of human life.”
Though Schaeffer’s description matches what we’ve seen so far of Black Widow, details are still scarce. The film will also star David Harbour as Alexei aka The Red Guardian, O-T Fagbenle as Mason, and Rachel Weisz as Melina.
Cate Shortland directs Black Widow which is set to arrive in theaters on May 1, 2020.
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