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Despite everything we've learned about the film in the year leading up to its delayed release, it's still perhaps tempting for some fans to think of Black Widow as a kind of Marvel Studios afterthought, a film we're getting just because it felt important to check "Natasha Romanoff solo movie" off a list somewhere in Kevin Feige's office.
Yes, the film is the first solo adventure starring the character; and yes its set before the events of Avengers: Endgame; and yes it feels long overdue for someone who's been in the MCU for nearly a decade — but Black Widow is about far more than giving Natasha her own movie just so Marvel could say they did. There's a ton of connective tissue at work in this film, and in a new featurette Feige is working to drive that point home.
In a 90-second behind-the-scenes video, Feige and stars Scarlett Johansson and Rachel Weisz discussed the upcoming film and the way it's designed to "evolve into" Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with Feige himself dubbing the film "one of the great post-Infinity Saga opportunities."
"You will look at the past again in a new light, and we are sowing the seeds of new characters into the future of the MCU," Feige said.
While fans won't get to know exactly how those new seeds are sown until later this week, the trailers for the film offer us a few pretty good guesses. After all, this is the film that introduces the second Marvel Universe Black Widow, Yelena Belova (Florence Pugh), to the MCU, and gives us the Soviet Super Soldier known as Red Guardian (David Harbour), adding another enhanced human to a list that got longer thanks to The Falcon and the Winter Soldier earlier this year.
To drive that point home, Marvel also dropped a new clip from the film this week that gives Red Guardian a bit of a showcase. As Natasha and Yelena hover over a Russian prison in a helicopter, the now-imprisoned Red Guardian makes a break for it, showing off his super strength in the process. Check that out below:
Whether you're headed out to see the film because you love the title character or because you're eager to see how the film sets up the MCU's future, it's pretty clear that everyone is eager for the return of Marvel Studios films. The last feature film we got from the studio was Spider-Man: Far From Home a full two years ago this month, and the demand for a new MCU adventure is clear. Today, Deadline reported that Fandango's advance sales for the film are the best the online ticket purveyor has seen all year, and box office projections have it earning anywhere between $75 and $90 million, which could mean we have a new best opening weekend of the pandemic era on our hands.
Black Widow is in theaters and on Disney+ this Friday.