Vanity Fair got a chance to talk to Jojo Rabbit and Marriage Story star Scarlett Johansson about her return to the Marvel Cinematic Universe next year in Black Widow, opening in theaters on May 1st. She has previously played the role of Natasha Romanoff in Iron Man 2, The Avengers, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War, and Avengers: Endgame.
Asked what she wanted Black Widow to be and what she didn’t want it to be, Johansson told the magazine: “I did not want it to be an origin story. I did not want it to be an espionage story. I didn’t want it to feel superficial at all. I only wanted to do it if it actually fit where I was with that character.”
She added: “I had spent such a long time peeling those layers away – I felt that unless we got to something deep, then there was no reason to make it. Because I did my job in Endgame, and actually felt satisfied with that. I would have been happy to let that be it. So there had to be a reason to do it other than just to milk something.”
She’s hoping that the movie will elevate the genre. “That’s my goal. The film talks about a lot of tough stuff. It deals with a lot of trauma and pain. And I hope this film is empowering for people because I think Natasha is a very empowering person, and an inspiring person in a lot of ways. She has overcome so much, and she’s brave. And so by elevating the genre I mean I hope that it can be both explosive and dynamic and have all that great fun stuff that goes with the genre, but I hope that we can also talk about, you know, self-doubt and insecurity and shame and disappointment and regret and all that stuff too. It has many different things, it’s not just that. But there’s a lot of deep stuff, I think, that drives it.”
Black Widow is the first film in Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The film is directed by Cate Shortland and stars newcomers to the MCU David Harbour as Alexei the Red Guardian, Florence Pugh as Yelena, O-T Fagbenle as Mason, and Rachel Weisz as Melina.