Scarlett Johansson’s Long, Tortured Exit From the MCU

The Huge Image

  • Regardless of the rise of heroines in Part 4, Marvel Studios nonetheless struggles to deal with feminine characters proper, as evident within the therapy of Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow.
  • Black Widow remained a supporting character in different heroes’ tales, by no means receiving her personal arc or the eye she deserved.
  • Johansson’s mistreatment prolonged past her character, as she needed to sue Disney to obtain truthful compensation for her work in
    Black Widow

As a lot as we’d love the Marvel Cinematic Universe, we will’t deny the films and TV exhibits of Marvel Studios nonetheless battle to deal with their feminine characters proper. Positive, things did get better in Phase 4, with heroines comparable to Kamala Khan’s Ms. Marvel (Iman Vellani) and She-Hulk (Tatiana Maslany) stealing the highlight. Then once more, we even have Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) getting a bland therapy in Thor: Love and Thunder and Wanda Maximoff’s (Elizabeth Olsen) character growth being completely erased in favor of a Physician Unusual (Benedict Cumberbatch) story. Above all, the way in which Scarlett Johansson was handled in entrance of and behind the cameras exhibits how even the most-beloved actress in your entire MCU was nonetheless not protected from unfair therapy. So, whereas it’s unhappy to listen to Johansson say she’s done with the MCU for good, we will’t blame her. In spite of everything, not solely did Black Widow get sidelined within the MCU, however Johansson needed to sue Disney to receives a commission what she deserved.

Black Widow

Natasha Romanoff confronts the darker components of her ledger when a harmful conspiracy with ties to her previous arises.

Launch Date
July 9, 2021

134 minutes

Ned Benson , Jac Schaeffer , Eric Pearson

Marvel Studios

Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow By no means Expanded Previous a Supporting Character

The primary part of the MCU gave the highlight to the superpowered members of the Avengers. As such, Black Widow and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) turned supporting characters in different heroes’ solo motion pictures — Hawkeye in 2011’s Thor and Black Widow in 2010’s Iron Man 2. Black Widow and Hawkeye are common people, relying on their wits and fight coaching to outlive in a world stuffed with gods and monsters. Even so, the duo does get a compelling arc in 2012’s The Avengers, which is why we had been all excited to see the place Marvel Studios would take the characters subsequent.

Whereas the opposite OG Avengers remained main gamers within the MCU, Black Widow remained a supporting character in different heroes’ journeys. Natasha was again for 2014’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier, during which she helps Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) destroy Hydra. And whereas Johansson does magic with the little she’s given, we puzzled when Natasha would develop into the primary character of her personal story.

Black Widow and Hawkeye reappear in 2015’s Avengers: Age of Ultron. The film helps to deepen Hawkeye’s character past his relationship with Black Widow by giving him a household value preventing for. The scenes on Barton’s farmhouse are the perfect within the entirety of Age of Ultron. And because of his household and his will to sacrifice all the things to maintain the folks he loves protected, Hawkeye turned one of many massive emotional cores of the Avengers. Sadly, Natasha did not get the identical consideration, and as soon as Marvel Studios determined to discover Hawkeye’s backstory, they simply turned Black Widow into a part of a unique duo, this time with Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo). We’d like to see Natasha and Banner’s relationship evolve, however after Age of Ultron, their chemistry was thrown into the trash can.

The MCU May By no means Determine Out What To Do With Black Widow

Regardless of being a part of 4 completely different motion pictures, Marvel Studios couldn’t give Natasha an arc of her personal. As a substitute, in every film that includes Black Widow, she’s simply there to help one in all her male coworkers. 2016’s Captain America: Civil Struggle and 2018’s Avengers: Infinity Struggle had been too crowded for Natasha to shine. After which, in Avengers: Endgame, Natasha makes the last word sacrifice, giving her life away in order that her teammates can have an opportunity of defeating Thanos (Josh Brolin).

Natasha’s dying is certainly one of the saddest moments in the entire MCU. Because of Johansson’s distinctive appearing abilities, Black Widow’s sacrifice hit us as laborious as attainable. That’s as a result of, although Marvel Studios by no means actually knew what to do with Natasha, Johansson is a exceptional actress able to including layers to any character she performs. Nonetheless, it’s not simply Natasha who was mistreated by Marvel Studios, as Johansson was pressured to enter a authorized battle in opposition to Disney.

Scarlett Johansson Sued Disney for Releasing ‘Black Widow’ on Disney+

After Endgame and Natasha’s dying, Marvel Studios lastly gave the character a solo film. After all, it was too little, too late, as 2021’s Black Widow didn’t change the character story in any significant method and simply served as a soar pad to introduce a new Russian assassin, Yelena Belova (Florence Pugh). As a prequel to Infinity War, Black Widow couldn’t have a major emotional stake, as we knew the destiny of the titular character. As well as, since Natasha dies in Endgame, her victory within the prequel feels shallow. So, after a few years of asking for a Black Widow film, we acquired one on the worst attainable time. Lastly, issues turned significantly disagreeable as soon as we realized Johansson’s fee was lower quick resulting from Disney’s resolution to launch Black Widow on Disney+ on the identical day the film hit theaters.

When Disney determined to make use of Black Widow as a part of their Premier Access initiative, it appeared just like the Home of the Mouse was making an attempt out a brand new launch technique that would bypass the constraints attributable to the pandemic. Nonetheless, as soon as we realized Johansson was suing Disney, it turned clear the studio needed to maintain a much bigger chunk of the income for itself. Johansson rightfully sued Disney as a result of a part of her fee for starring in Black Widow was proportional to how a lot cash the film made on the field workplace.

Nonetheless, for the reason that actress’ contract didn’t embody any clause about streaming, Johansson didn’t get a penny of what Disney made by means of Premier Entry. So as to add insult to harm, with Black Widow obtainable on Disney+ after we had been nonetheless uncomfortable going to theaters, the field workplace of Johansson’s first MCU solo film was a lot smaller than she had anticipated when she signed her contract. Lastly, Disney even launched a press release during which they disclosed Johansson’s $20 million as a strategy to leverage followers in opposition to the star’s supposed greed, although the Home of the Mouse was celebrating the $60 million revenue Black Window made in Premier Entry solely.

As Johansson underlined in an interview with Variety, “I used to be unhappy and dissatisfied. However largely unhappy.” Nonetheless, Johansson fondly remembers how she unexpectedly turned an emblem of ladies’s combat to get truthful compensation within the Hollywood business. The star stated, “I couldn’t even stroll by means of a restaurant with out someone saying, ‘Good for you. Rise up for your self.’ I may see that it had a much bigger affect. I acquired help from strangers that haven’t any pores and skin within the recreation in any respect.”


MCU’s Phase 4 Female Representation Was a Mixed Bag

This part introduced essentially the most feminine characters but. However had been they dealt with effectively?

Johansson and Disney Are Set To Reunite on ‘Tower of Terror’ Movie

Scarlett Johansson in front of the Tower of Terror Hollywood Hotel
Customized Picture by Collider Employees

Johansson ultimately settled her lawsuit against Disney and acquired her due fee. And for some time, it appeared that the harm Disney had performed could possibly be reversed, with the actress reportedly attached to a mysterious MCU project. Nonetheless, Johansson didn’t come again to voice Natasha within the What If…? animated collection, being replaced by Lake Bell. And now, years after Johansson’s secret MCU challenge was introduced, listening to the actress say she’s performed with the franchise signifies that issues went bitter behind the scenes.

Black Widow was everybody’s favourite feminine character within the MCU. Even so, the character and Johansson had a protracted and tortuous exit from Marvel Studios’ cinematic universe that’ll go down in historical past as a disgraceful instance of how studios deal with their feminine stars. Marvel Studios was under a lot of pressure to avoid female-led films, however nonetheless, Natasha deserved higher. And within the lack of truthful therapy for the character, not less than Johansson may have parted methods with Marvel Studios with much less battle.

Regardless of this tortuous journey, issues appear to be good between Disney and Johansson. Whereas she will not be returning to the MCU, Johanson will star in Disney’s upcoming Tower of Terror whereas additionally producing the challenge by means of her firm, These Photos, alongside Jonathan Lia. There’s little data obtainable about Tower of Terror in the mean time, however we genuinely hope Disney makes higher decisions this time round.

Black Widow is accessible to stream on Disney+ within the U.S.

Watch on Disney+

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