*One of the most anticipated films from the Marvel Cinematic Universe comes to theaters and Disney+ on July 9th! “Black Widow” finally gives fans a look into the life of Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson). The film’s events occur before the 2019 Avengers film, “Endgame,” and after “Captain America: Civil War.” Natasha returns to her roots, where she was a member of a secret Russian organization named the Red Room. The program turns girls into assassins.
Also featured are Florence Pugh as Yelena Bolova – another friend of the program and younger “sister” to Natasha, and Red Guardian AKA Alexei Shostakov (David Harbour), the Russian version of Captain America, and a father figure to both Natasha and Yelena.
EUR correspondent Jill Munroe spoke with Harbour and the film’s director Cate Shortland (“Somersault” and “Berlin Syndrome”) about the experience of joining the Marvel Universe and what Harbour loved about his character.
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Munroe: What was the call like to invite you to join the Marvel Universe?
Harbour: It’s very weird…You get a call, and it’s like this director, wants to meet you and talk about a project. I didn’t really know what it was. I sat down with her, and she said “Black Widow,” and I was like, what! Then she gave the pitch about the character. I was kind of stunned. It’s a big dream come true.
Shortland had a similar reaction to joining the Universe. Initially, she didn’t understand why Marvel Studios wanted her. But after she had conversations with Scarlett – who also serves as one of the film’s producers – she saw that they were seeking a movie with a lot of heart. It was to be a real emotional journey. That’s what hooked Shortland.
Munroe: Alexei is a great character. What was the most exciting part about bringing him to life on the screen?
Harbour: I love the fact that we meet him but he’s not in his prime. So many of these superheroes – we see Iron Man and he can really fight, Captain America, he comes up through the ranks – we see their origin story. For Alexei, we skip all of that. We meet him kind of in the beginning, and then we meet him past his prime, but still with a great heart and an incredible spirit in what he wants to achieve. So we see him having made these bad decisions and messed up in various ways, then we watch him go on this journey of somewhat redemption and desperation. I really liked that; it felt really unique to me, and the character felt unique too.
Marvel’s “Black Widow” also stars Rachel Weisz, O-T Fagbenle and William Hurt. The first film in Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe – will launch simultaneously in theaters and on Disney+ with Premier Access in most Disney+ markets next Friday.