Scarlett Johansson it isn’t the name that comes to mind when you think of tough bad-ass chick, is it? When the announcement was first made that she would be playing the Russian spy “Black Widow” in the upcoming sequel “Iron Man 2,” I was really skeptical at first.
Being a huge fan of Johansson’s work, I’ve seen most everything that she has done and know that the realm of characters she plays sticks pretty close to either quirky or comedic. We’ve loved her in movies like “Lost in Translation” and “He’s Just Not That Into You,” but can she manage to pull off this role?
The role first went to Emily Blunt, but because of Blunt’s commitment to Twentieth Century Fox and the studio’s upcoming “Gulliver’s Travels” movie, she had to withdraw from the picture. Now, Johansson has said in an interview that she saw the first “Iron Man” was just totally blown away by it and loved it. When asked how she went from sitting in the theater watching it to being in the sequel, she answered, “With luck and perseverance.”
Now it’s that perseverance that everybody on set is talking about. We have seen her body change shape for movies, although its normally been getting more curvy for a role — like she did in “Scoop” — but never before have we seen the complete metamorphosis of her anatomy like she has done for this movie. Johansson has said that she trained for six straight weeks before filming even began, and also through the complete eight or nine months of principal photography. Director Jon Favreau has said that she’s “by far the most dedicated actor with the stunt work and physical aspects of her role that he has worked with” and he talked about the different fighting styles they used to make the Black Widow’s specific style (the Hispanic wrestling style of “Lucho Libré” included) so that should be interesting to see. As far as I can tell from what I’ve seen and heard, she really pulls off the physical side of the role.
Now let’s go over the biggest concerns or complaints from fans of the comics. One is that the costume isn’t similar to the one usually seen in the comics, and two is the fact that in every single clip we have seen of her in this movie she has an American Accent. Well, like Scarlett has said, they had to take the extreme from the illustrations and bring it back to reality and make it practical. With all of the physicality of the role and doing most of her own stunts, the “sexy uni-tard” (as she calls it) had to be functional as well as look good on screen. I remember the complaints when the first “X-Men” came out, but aren’t we all glad they weren’t in yellow and blue spandex?
Regarding the accent, my friend who is a major comic-book aficionado has told me of his distaste for the fact that you can take a tough female Russian Spy and not include the accent in the character. You want to know what my guess and hope is? Well, my expectation is that for the first part of the movie when she is just a little notary from legal, she will have an American accent and then when she is revealed to the audience and Tony Stark later in the film as The Black Widow, she drops the charade and will have the full-blown Russian accent as she starts to kick major booty in the third act of the film.
The introduction of this new temptress in Tony Stark’s life and addition to the “Iron Man” movie franchise will be entertaining, and who knows, maybe The Black Widow will be your favorite new character.
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