Scarlett Johansson reveals how Black Widow’s intro in 2014’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier featured a very different outfit for the character.
Scarlett Johansson reveals how Black Widow’s intro in 2014’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier featured a very different outfit for the character. The second installment in the Chris Evans-led Marvel Cinematic Universe franchise saw the titular hero learn of a conspiracy within S.H.I.E.L.D. connected to the villainous Hydra and must partner with Black Widow and Falcon to get to the truth and face off against the assassin known as the Winter Soldier. The film featured the MCU debuts of Anthony Mackie as Sam Wilson, aka Falcon, Frank Grillo as Brock Rumlo, later known as Crossbones, and Emily VanCamp as Sharon Carter, otherwise known as Agent 13.
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Over six years on from the film’s release, The Winter Soldier is still widely-regarded as one of the best installments in the larger MCU, introducing a shift towards a more grounded tone. It’s also notable for acting as a launchpad for Joe and Anthony Russo into Marvel, subsequently helming Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame. Despite this ongoing acclaim for the film, there was one element that could’ve proved a problematic thing to look back on should it have one through.
Johansson spoke with Fatherly to discuss the newly-released Black Widow and her past in the MCU. Looking back at the sexualized nature of some of her early appearances, the two-time Oscar nominee revealed her intro in The Winter Soldier originally saw her in a much more revealing outfit and hairstyle, though her pull helped get that shut down. See what Johansson revealed below:
“In some ways I look at it as a costume she was wearing — at the time, Marvel was interested in the character being a shape-shifter. When we were doing Captain America: The Winter Soldier — this is a really funny thing — the look is fantastic and utilitarian. She first drives up in this beautiful car and picks up Cap, and initially in the script, it was like, she arrives in her tennis whites, with a blonde wig. It was very quickly killed. You work with a lot of male writers. Things were shifting. You have to be a part of the change. Audiences are also demanding stuff and there’s a cultural shift and it feeds everything into a more progressive direction. It’s been a process, it’s been a process.”
Since her debut in 2010’s Iron Man 2, Johansson’s portrayal of former assassin Black Widow has become pretty notable for the over-sexualized look of her character early in the franchise. However, as she has indicated, her ongoing presence in the MCU allotted her a larger say in both the wardrobe and writing departments for the character and it has certainly been for the better. Though she likely would have had about the same level of following over the years had she not become a more conservative character, the shift in portrayal has acted as a nice character development for Natasha.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier really did prove to be a strong point of evolution for all those involved, including the MCU. Moving towards a more intimate and grounded world for its characters and the franchise, the film’s long-lasting acclaim remains deserving. Only time will tell whether Johansson’s final outing in Black Widow, now available in theaters and on Disney+, can reach the same high bar.
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