Based on the Marvel comic-book series, first published in 1964, Black Widow is directed by Cate Shortland and produced by Kevin Feige. It stars Johansson (Avengers: Endgame, Marriage Story, Jojo Rabbit) as Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow, Pugh (Midsommar, Little Women) as Yelena Belova, Weisz (The Favourite, Disobedience) as Melina Vostokoff, and Harbour (Stranger Things, Dhaka) as Alexei aka Red Guardian. O-T Fagbenle (The Handmaid’s Tale, The Five) is cast as Mason, and William Hurt (Avengers: Endgame, Avengers: Infinity War) reprises his role as Secretary of State Thaddeus Ross.
The film stars Scarlett Johansson, who reprises her role as Natasha/Black Widow, Florence Pugh as Yelena, David Harbour as Alexei/The Red Guardian, and Rachel Weisz is Melina.

Marvel Studios’ Black Widow is produced by Kevin Feige and helmed by director Cate Shortland (Berlin Syndrome, Somersault). Brian Chapek (Thor: Ragnarok) co-produces. Johansson, Louise D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso, Brad Winderbaum and Nigel Gostelow executive produce. The screenplay is by Jac Schaeffer (WandaVision, The Hustle) and Ned Benson (The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Them) and Eric Pearson (Thor: Ragnarok). Geoffrey Baumann (Black Panther, Doctor Strange) is the production VFX supervisor.
The burden to serve up the backstory on Marvel’s arguably most popular characters is tremendous; after watching the new trailer below, you’ll agree, confidence is high the studio delivers.

To setup the story, Natasha Romanoff, aka Black Widow, confronts the darker parts of her ledger when a dangerous conspiracy with ties to her past arises. Pursued by a force that will stop at nothing to bring her down, Natasha must deal with her history as a spy and the broken relationships left in her wake long before she became an Avenger.
Source: Walt Disney Studios
There’s some pretty serious unfinished business at hand; murky family secrets, interesting Russian accents, and explosions nasty in any language. Marvel StudiosBlack Widow, the first film in Phase Four of the MCU, hits theatres and Disney+ (with Premier Access) simultaneously on July 9, and as the just dropped trailer amply reveals, the pandemic-delayed spy thriller can’t hit cinemas and living-room HD screens fast enough!
Screenwriter Eric Pearson summed up the mysterious Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow’s compelling appeal perfectly when he said, “She’s the one Avenger who’s shared the least about herself ever since we met her. She’s not who she says she is in Iron Man 2. She chooses to withhold her past and who she is personally from the audience and the other characters. In Black Widow, we get to rip open her past and see what led to her hesitation to open up.”
Dan Sarto is Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network.
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