Florence Pugh Calls Black Widow an Abuse Story Told Against a Superhero Setting

The MCU is getting ready to launch its second solo female lead movie with the upcoming Black Widow. Comic book movie fans have a lot of expectations from the film to do justice to the character of Natasha Romanoff aka Black Widow. In an interview, the director of the movie, Cate Shortland, revealed that she felt a different kind of responsibility to showcase the kind of everyday heroism women have to display even for something as simple as walking to the train station.

“[Black Widow’s] the only character that doesn’t have superpowers. We saw that as a strength, because she always has to dig really deep to get out of shit situations. And we just put her in a lot of hard situations. I thought about women walking to the train station being attacked, and what happens.”

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There’s no precedent in the MCU for telling a story centered around a female lead with no superpowers. To gain some perspective on how to tell the story, Shortland had to dig deeper into film history, all the way back to Jodie Foster’s character in Silence of the Lambs.

“Natasha’s like [Foster’s Clarice] from The Silence Of The Lambs. It’s great, because when she holds her gun, it shakes. But she’s still really tough inside, and resilient. And I wanted to bring that to the character. So you’re not just watching her fly through situations, knowing she’ll get out of it. You want to see her grit and determination. And that’s what we got.”

Apart from telling the tale of Black Widow’s solo MCU adventure, the movie will also introduce the character of secret agent Yelena Belova, played by Florence Pugh, who it has been previously hinted Natasha Romanoff will be passing on the baton to, in terms of her place in the MCU. For Pugh, becoming a part of Black Widow was a chance to deal with real-life stories of abuse in a superhero setting.

“One of the most interesting things about the film is how far Cate went with it. This film is about the abuse of women. It’s about how they get involuntary hysterectomies by the age of eight. It’s about girls who are stolen from around the world. It’s so painful, and it’s so important. Part of the excitement for me is that women and girls from around the world are going to see this, and are going to see an abuse story that really was challenged by its own victims. For a Marvel film to be reaching all of those levels, it is so exciting. The best thing about that is, it’s not layered with this colour of grey. You’ll see these women strive and be strong, and they’re assassins – and yet they still need to discuss how they were abused. It’s an incredibly powerful piece.”

Directed by Cate Shortland, Black Widow features Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow, Florence Pugh as Yelena Belova, David Harbour as Alexei Shostakov/Red Guardian, O-T Fagbenle as Rick Mason and Rachel Weisz. This news comes from GamesRadar.com.

Neeraj Chand

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