Scarlett Johansson talks Black Widow: "Natasha Romanoff in a family drama is the least expected thing"

Scarlett Johansson in Black Widow
(Image credit: Disney)

One of the virtues of the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been its adaptability. The franchise’s superhero movies have frequently been moulded to surprising genre choices, like paranoid thriller (Captain America: The Winter Soldier), heist movie (Ant-Man), high-school comedy (Spider-Man: Homecoming) and psychedelic space fantasy (Thor: Ragnarok).

Black Widow – which recently had its original intended release date postponed because of the impacts of the coronavirus – once again uses another unexpected format. “One of the themes of the film is family,” says star Scarlett Johansson in the upcoming issue of our sister publication Total Film magazine. “What is family? How does it define us? How does our past define us? How does our family – however we define it – make up who we are, for better or worse?”

Natasha, the Avengers’ rogue operative, will find herself in a very unexpected assignment… a family drama. “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,” adds Johansson. “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.”

Total Film's Black Widow cover

(Image credit: Total Film/Disney)

A Black Widow movie has been a long time coming. Johansson joined the MCU as Romanoff in 2010’s Iron Man, a full decade ago. The character went on to make the ultimate sacrifice in Infinity Saga-capper Avengers: Endgame, but insists there’s plenty of history to dig into in this preview, which is set between the events of Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War.

“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,” continues Johansson. “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 may have been postponed to an as-yet-unconfirmed future release date, but you can still get your fix by reading all about the film in the new issue of Total Film magazine, which hits shelves real and digital on Friday April 3.

If you can’t make it to the shops, you can order a copy of the print magazine from from Friday.

You can also subscribe to Total Film digitally on your tablet, and there’s currently an offer that allows you to get your first five digital issues for just £5/$5/€5. Head to to sign up (Black Widow issue available from April 3). Terms and conditions apply, offer runs until April 30, 2020.

The subscriber's-only cover of Total Film’s new issue was revealed earlier this week and you can see it below.

The Total Film team are made up of the finest minds in all of film journalism. They are: Editor Jane Crowther, Deputy Editor Matt Maytum, Reviews Ed Matthew Leyland, News Editor Jordan Farley, and Online Editor Emily Murray. Expect exclusive news, reviews, features, and more from the team behind the smarter movie magazine.