For myself and many others, 2014’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier is a high point in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The way that film balances typical Marvel action sequences and solid performances with paying lip service to weighty themes about government, surveillance, and betrayal makes it stand out, but the dynamic, complicated relationship between old pals Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes is the film’s beating heart.
If you liked that movie, we have good news. In a new interview about Black Widow, director Cate Shortland said that folks who have had the chance to see her new Scarlett Johansson-led spy thriller have pointed out that Black Widow feels more similar to Captain America: The Winter Soldier than any other Marvel film thus far.
Non-Marvel Movies Like Black Widow
Speaking with Fandango, Shortland was asked if there were any non-MCU films that she took inspiration from when making Black Widow. “First, we looked at things like No Country for Old Men,” she said. “And then we looked at things like Thelma and Louise.”
The Thelma and Louise connection is the more obvious of the two: like Ridley Scott’s classic, Black Widow puts two women, Scarlett Johansson and Florence Pugh, at its center, and has them bump against expectations and attempt to take control of their own destinies. The No Country For Old Men comparison is tougher to pin down. Is this movie’s villain, Taskmaster, going to be some sort of dead-eyed Anton Chigurh figure who feels like an unstoppable force chasing after our heroes? Maybe Florence Pugh’s Yelena discovers a bunch of cash at the scene of a drug deal gone wrong? Your guess is as good as mine at this point.
Marvel Movies Like Black Widow
In terms of other Marvel films that Black Widow is reminiscent of, Shortland singled out Joe and Anthony Russo’s first entry in the MCU as a touchstone:
“And the Marvel film — people that have seen it have said it reminds them of it — [is] Captain America: The Winter Soldier…It’s got great action. It’s got a lot of heart, it’s emotional. And at times, it can be a little bit dark, but then it opens up again. And it’s really exciting. So I think that’s like this film. This film has fantastic action sequences, which we’re really proud of.”
I’ve been a little underwhelmed by the trailers for Black Widow so far. But there’s always the chance that the marketing has been lackluster and the film itself is great, and if it ends up being evocative of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, it sounds like we could be heading in that direction.
Black Widow will be in theaters and available on Disney+ Premier Access starting July 9, 2021.
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