Scarlett Johansson to ‘hand the baton’ to Florence Pugh in Black Widow

Scarlett Johansson will hand the Black Widow franchise over to Florence Pugh in her upcoming standalone movie. Director Cate Shortland has revealed that Johansson’s long overdue standalone film will serve as her final outing as Natasha Romanoff/Black …

Scarlett Johansson will hand the Black Widow franchise over to Florence Pugh in her upcoming standalone movie.

Director Cate Shortland has revealed that Johansson’s long overdue standalone film will serve as her final outing as Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow as well as the beginning of a new storyline for Pugh’s Yelena Belova.

“(Marvel boss Kevin Feige) realised that the audience would expect an origin story so, of course, we went in the opposite direction,” Shortland told Empire magazine. “And we didn’t know how great Florence Pugh would be. We knew she would be great, but we didn’t know how great. Scarlett is so gracious, like, ‘Oh, I’m handing her the baton.’ So it’s going to propel another female storyline.”

Black Widow, which is set between the Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War films, will also give fans the opportunity to grieve for the character’s death in last year’s Avengers: Endgame.

“In Endgame, the fans were upset that Natasha did not have a funeral. Whereas Scarlett, when I spoke to her about it, said Natasha wouldn’t have wanted a funeral,” explained Shortland. “She’s too private, and anyway, people don’t really know who she is. So what we did in this film was allow the ending to be the grief the individuals felt, rather than a big public outpouring. I think that’s a fitting ending for her.”

In the Marvel comics, Yelena, who is introduced in the upcoming movie, starts as an enemy of Natasha before they later become allies, and she eventually takes up the Black Widow title.

The movie’s May release was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic and is now scheduled to be released from October.

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Scarlett Johansson: ‘There is huge pressure to stay thin in Hollywood’

Scarlett Johansson shared her frustration over being put under “huge pressure” to stay thin in Hollywood.The Avengers: Endgame actress discussed the unfair expectations placed on women in the public eye to be slim, and the mother-of-one said that the i…

Scarlett Johansson shared her frustration over being put under “huge pressure” to stay thin in Hollywood.

The Avengers: Endgame actress discussed the unfair expectations placed on women in the public eye to be slim, and the mother-of-one said that the issue has got “much worse” over the years.

“There has always been pressure on actors to stay thin,” the 35-year-old told Candis magazine. “There’s a scene in one of my favourite movies, All About Eve, where Bette Davis is circling around the room, horribly upset about something, and she picks up a chocolate… puts it down… picks it up again… puts it down again… finally, she gives in and eats it, but only after a huge struggle!

“So even back then, there was the pressure going on. And now, it’s much worse”

Elsewhere in the interview, she touched upon her own approach to staying in shape, and said that while she follows a natural diet, she’s still paranoid over her own health.

“There’s a weight I like to maintain, which is slim but healthy. But there’s a healthy way to keep to that weight and there’s an unhealthy way,” the Black Widow star shared. “I don’t have any comment on how other people choose to live their lives – but for me, I am far too paranoid about my own health to take the road of eating disorders. I’d rather just stay in shape the natural way.”

Scarlett also discussed her personal life, and said she prefers to keep her young daughter Rose, who she shares with ex-husband Romain Dauriac, out of the spotlight in a “classy way”.

“There’s an aggressive way to do it, and there’s a quieter way, and because I am not an aggressive person, I choose just to lie low, which is not that hard to do,” she explained.

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Scarlett Johansson worried Marvel fans wouldn’t like her as Black Widow

Scarlett Johansson was worried Marvel fans wouldn’t like her interpretation of fictional superhero Black Widow.The 35-year-old actress made her debut as former Russian super spy Natasha Romanoff in Iron Man 2 back in 2010, but she was concerned that sh…

Scarlett Johansson was worried Marvel fans wouldn’t like her interpretation of fictional superhero Black Widow.

The 35-year-old actress made her debut as former Russian super spy Natasha Romanoff in Iron Man 2 back in 2010, but she was concerned that she didn’t fit the bill.

“When we did (Iron Man 2), I didn’t know if the audience would like my interpretation of the character,” she told Parade magazine, before noting that she wasn’t even the first choice to play the superhero.

After a “wonderful” meeting with Jon Favreau, who helmed Iron Man 2, the part went to Emily Blunt.

“I was really excited to work with him, so I said, ‘If this doesn’t work out, I’m an actor for hire, so call me anytime,'” Scarlett recalled, and after Emily had to bow out due to scheduling reasons, the role was hers.

“The best call you can receive is after you are rejected for something and then you get it. You appreciate it more. I’ve basically made a career out of being second choice,” she laughed.

And it was while filming one particular scene in The Avengers back in 2012, alongside Chris Evans as Captain America, Chris Hemsworth’s Thor, Mark Ruffalo as Hulk, Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye, and Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man, that she realised she was part of something really special.

“It’s the iconic hero shot,” she said of the scene which sees the six original Avengers ready for battle in New York. “We were all thinking, ‘This is crazy!’ because these worlds were coming together. We’re still processing how much of an impact these movies have had.”

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Chris Hemsworth hopes Marvel blockbusters will bring audiences to reopened cinemas

Chris Hemsworth hopes that the upcoming Marvel blockbusters will bring audiences back to cinemas once the coronavirus pandemic is over.The 36-year-old, who has played the Norse god Thor since 2011, is gearing up to star in the fourth film, Thor: Love a…

Chris Hemsworth hopes that the upcoming Marvel blockbusters will bring audiences back to cinemas once the coronavirus pandemic is over.

The 36-year-old, who has played the Norse god Thor since 2011, is gearing up to star in the fourth film, Thor: Love and Thunder, which was due to being production this summer.

However, production on numerous films has been halted due to the pandemic, which has led to the closure of cinemas and the postponement of film releases, with Marvel Cinematic Universe blockbusters such as Black Widow and Eternals getting pushed back.

Hemsworth believes that these superhero movies are the key to reigniting the industry once the cinemas reopen.

“Films (like Marvel) that you can best appreciate on the big screen, those will draw people out of their homes again,” he told the Philadelphia Inquirer.

He also said he understood the critics of Marvel movies, including Oscar-winning director Martin Scorsese, who slammed the big-budget flicks for eradicating the competition.

“I hear those concerns, too. That (the MCU) takes up so much real estate, (and) is there enough room for the other things to exist, the art house films and the smaller films we love and admire equally,” Hemsworth explained.

Right now, the Thor star is enjoying a break from his intense Marvel schedule as he self-isolates in Australia with wife Elsa Pataky and their three children.

“I’ve wanted to just stop being controlled by a schedule,” he said. “So to be home now with the kids full time, and to be able to go ‘Wow, this is truly what’s important.’ It would be a real miss if I didn’t use this opportunity to soak up that time.”

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Florence Pugh wanted to ‘call the shots’ with Black Widow training

Florence Pugh was determined to “call the shots” with her physical preparation for Black Widow. The Little Women actress stars as Yelena Belova, a Russian spy and sister figure to Scarlett Johansson’s Natasha Romanoff, in the upcoming Marvel Cinematic…

Florence Pugh was determined to “call the shots” with her physical preparation for Black Widow.

The Little Women actress stars as Yelena Belova, a Russian spy and sister figure to Scarlett Johansson’s Natasha Romanoff, in the upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) blockbuster.

Many stars have embarked on gruelling workouts, intense training plans, and strict diets to prepare for a Marvel role, but one of the first conversations Pugh had when she landed the part was to make it clear she didn’t want people checking up on her to ensure she was getting into the “right shape”.

“When I got the job, I wanted to know what the regime was,” she explained to Elle U.K. magazine. “I wanted to know whether it was them or me calling the shots. That was a big deal for me. I didn’t want to be part of something where I was constantly checked on. And people making sure I was in the ‘right’ shape. That’s not me at all.”

The Oscar nominee, who is also known for her cookery videos on Instagram, made her own meals before every shoot day and brought them into work because she finds cooking helps her unwind.

“Scarlett had this amazing guy who cooked beautiful things for her and her team. I thought that was clever because you’re doing fitness all the time and you need to have someone who’s on top of what you’re eating and the nutrients you’re getting,” the 24-year-old recalled. “I remember her asking, ‘Why are you cooking for yourself? Just let us feed you!’ And I was like, ‘Nope’… Genuinely, my therapeutic thing is chopping and cooking and stirring and tasting.”

Black Widow is scheduled to hit cinemas in November.

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Disney sets new release date for Black Widow

Scarlett Johansson’s standalone superhero movie Black Widow will now be released in cinemas in November. The latest Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) outing, which also stars Florence Pugh, David Harbour, and Rachel Weisz, was originally set to be relea…

Scarlett Johansson’s standalone superhero movie Black Widow will now be released in cinemas in November.

The latest Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) outing, which also stars Florence Pugh, David Harbour, and Rachel Weisz, was originally set to be released on 1 May, but was shelved back in March and delayed indefinitely.

However, on Friday, Disney bosses released an extensive revision of their 2020-2021 schedule and announced Black Widow would open in cinemas on 6 November, replacing Eternals. All other MCU projects in the pipeline have been pushed back, with Eternals now opening on 12 February 2021, followed by Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, a project which has been temporarily halted mid-production, on 7 May 2021, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness on 5 November 2021, and then Thor: Love and Thunder, Black Panther 2, and Captain Marvel 2 in 2022.

Outside of Marvel films, Disney executives have also delayed the release of Jungle Cruise, starring Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt, and Indiana Jones 5, featuring Harrison Ford, by almost a year later than expected. Ryan Reynolds’s action-comedy Free Guy has been pushed back from July to December and Wes Anderson’s The French Dispatch has shifted from July to October.

In a surprising move, they announced sci-fi fantasy film Artemis Fowl, which was due to have a theatrical run from 29 May, will now premiere on Disney+, making it the studio’s first film to skip its cinema release entirely.

Other Disney properties such as The New Mutants, The Woman in the Window, Antlers, and The Personal History of David Copperfield remain without release dates.

However, Disney officials are yet to shift the release of their Pixar animation Soul, with it still being set to open on 19 June, although this is expected to change. They have also kept the release dates for Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story remake on 18 December and Ridley Scott’s The Last Duel on 25 December.

Most big studio releases have vacated their summer slot. One of the last holdouts, the Candyman reboot, was also moved from June to September by MGM/Universal bosses over the weekend, and film experts are now waiting for Warner Bros. officials to shift Christopher Nolan’s Tenet, which is still set for release on 17 July.

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Scarlett Johansson: ‘Black Widow is big tonal shift from other Marvel films’

Scarlett Johansson has praised Kevin Feige for giving fans what they least expected and making her Black Widow movie a family drama.The Marriage Story actress joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) as Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow for Iron Man 2 in …

Scarlett Johansson has praised Kevin Feige for giving fans what they least expected and making her Black Widow movie a family drama.

The Marriage Story actress joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) as Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow for Iron Man 2 in 2010 and has been one of the mainstays of the franchise, with her appearing in all the Avengers movies until Natasha’s demise in last year’s Avengers: Endgame.

After many years of speculation, Johansson was finally given her own standalone Black Widow movie, which is set between the events of Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War. Unlike most other MCU instalments, the film is a family drama, focusing on her relationship with sister figure Yelena, played by Florence Pugh, and parent figures played by David Harbour and Rachel Weisz.

In an interview with Total Film magazine, Johansson praised Marvel boss Feige for subverting expectations and coming up with the family drama angle.

“I think part of Kevin Feige’s genius is that he always thinks about what fans expect out of these films and then gives them something that they never could’ve dreamed of,” she gushed. “The idea of Natasha Romanoff in a family drama is the least expected thing, and I had to wrap my head around what that was going to be because there’s such a big tonal shift.”

The 35-year-old shared that she wanted to make sure there was an emotional story to tell before agreeing to do a standalone film.

“I think from the very beginning when we first started talking about doing this standalone film, there was no reason to do it unless we could really dig deep and be brave and go there,” Johansson explained. “Having played this character for a decade, I wanted to make sure that it would feel artistically and creatively rewarding for me as well as the fans.”

Black Widow was due to be released in May, but is currently delayed indefinitely due to the Covid-19 pandemic. According to Film Music Reporter, Marvel bosses have used the delay to replace composer Alexandre Desplat with Lorne Balfe.

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Black Widow release postponed amid coronavirus pandemic

Marvel bosses have indefinitely postponed the release of Black Widow due to the worldwide coronavirus pandemic.The hotly-anticipated standalone superhero movie, starring Scarlett Johansson, Rachel Weisz, Florence Pugh and David Harbour, was due to be r…

Marvel bosses have indefinitely postponed the release of Black Widow due to the worldwide coronavirus pandemic.

The hotly-anticipated standalone superhero movie, starring Scarlett Johansson, Rachel Weisz, Florence Pugh and David Harbour, was due to be released on 1 May, but now has been pulled from the upcoming calendar by executives at Marvel Studios and Disney.

Many movie multiplexes across the U.S. have closed since the outbreak hit the country, with thousands of residents in cities including New York and Los Angeles going into self-isolation to avoid spreading the virus.

The events of Black Widow take place between Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War, and follow Johansson’s character Natasha Romanoff, a highly trained former-KGB assassin, who must confront the demons of her past to take down an evil new villain, the Taskmaster.

Dev Patel’s The Personal History of David Copperfield has also been pulled from schedules, along with The Woman in the Window, starring Amy Adams.

Producers at Disney have already been forced to delay the release of Niki Caro’s live-action Mulan, as well as The New Mutants and Antlers.

It’s not yet known how delaying Black Widow will affect the release of other Marvel movies, with The Eternals set to hit cinemas in November.

Multiple studios have pulled movies in wake of the coronavirus crisis, including Fast & Furious 9, No Time to Die, and A Quiet Place II.

More than 199,000 people have been infected with Covid-19, with almost 8,000 deaths, since the outbreak began in Wuhan, China back in December.

Italy, Spain, Iran, and the U.S. are some of the worst affected countries outside of China.

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Ever Anderson to play Wendy in live-action Peter Pan

Ever Anderson is to play Wendy in Disney’s upcoming live-action Peter Pan movie.Editors at Variety reported on Tuesday that Ever, the 12-year-old daughter of Resident Evil actress Milla Jovovich and her filmmaker husband Paul W. S. Anderson, had been c…

Ever Anderson is to play Wendy in Disney’s upcoming live-action Peter Pan movie.

Editors at Variety reported on Tuesday that Ever, the 12-year-old daughter of Resident Evil actress Milla Jovovich and her filmmaker husband Paul W. S. Anderson, had been cast in one of the lead roles in the project, titled Peter Pan & Wendy.

According to the publication, the new adaptation of J.M. Barrie’s classic novel, which tells the story of a mischievous young boy who can fly and never grows up, will be directed by Pete’s Dragon helmer David Lowery, who co-wrote the script alongside Toby Halbrooks. Fellow newcomer Alexander Molony has been attached to portray Peter Pan.

In addition, it was reported that Ever will also play the younger version of Scarlett Johansson’s character Natasha Romanoff in the new Marvel movie, Black Widow.

In light of the news, Milla took to Instagram on Wednesday morning to confirm her eldest child’s casting in both roles.

“Everyone, get ready to meet young Black Widow. So We can finally talk about @evergaboanderson’s secret projects. It was just announced in @variety that Ever plays the young Natasha Romanoff in Marvel’s @black.widow movie in theaters this May 1st and also, after a worldwide search, she’s been cast as Wendy in @disney’s new live-action Peter and Wendy movie!! We’re so proud of our baby!” the 44-year-old wrote in the caption. “Ever has been wanting to act since she was five and she’s put the time, focus and energy into making her dream come true! Congratulations Ever!!”

Previously, Ever played a younger version of her mum in 2016 sci-fi thriller Resident Evil: Final Chapter.

Black Widow is set to hit cinemas around the world from 29 April. A potential release date for Peter Pan & Wendy has not yet been announced.

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Florence Pugh did most of her own stunts on Black Widow

Florence Pugh did most of her own stunts while filming Black Widow.The Little Women actress got her first taste for stunt work while filming the 2019 wrestling drama Fighting with my Family, but had to take her skills to a whole new level to play a sup…

Florence Pugh did most of her own stunts while filming Black Widow.

The Little Women actress got her first taste for stunt work while filming the 2019 wrestling drama Fighting with my Family, but had to take her skills to a whole new level to play a superhero alongside Scarlett Johansson in Black Widow’s first solo movie.

And according to director Cate Shortland, Pugh did most of the stunts herself, even though she had a stunt double.

“She is b**ody scary. Steely. Absolutely will not back down. She has a healthy amount of anger in her as a person, at the injustices she sees around her,” she told Vogue magazine.

As soon as she got to the set, the 24-year-old approached the stunt department to do further training for the role, with her adding, “Learning from them was my favourite part.”

“I didn’t quite know what it was to be involved in one of these films,” Pugh explained. “Obviously you have to be physically able because the whole point is that you’re a superhero.”

Plot details are being kept under wraps, but Pugh shared that it “deals with some really hard things”.

“It’s rough and painful and emotional and funny, and not in any way. . . girly. It’s about broken women picking up the pieces,” she described, while Shortland added that Pugh, Johansson, and their co-star Rachel Weisz “wanted to make something intimate within the massive Marvel universe. We created female relationships with flesh and blood. They didn’t have to play nice.”

Black Widow, the second Marvel film to have a female lead, hits cinemas in May.

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