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Movie Trailer Breakdown: ‘Black Widow’

Scarlett Johansson and Florence Pugh star in the upcoming "Black Widow" film.
Scarlett Johansson and Florence Pugh star in the upcoming "Black Widow" film. By Courtesy of Disney
By Madi L. Fabber, Crimson Staff Writer

How does Marvel try to hype up a film that has been delayed three separate times? By releasing yet another trailer with only slight additions, flashback scenes from previous films, and a new version of the Avengers theme music overlaid with choral singing. Surprisingly (and perhaps, unfortunately), it works.

The Marvel Cinematic Universe’s newest “Black Widow” trailer, though not revealing much more than prior teasers, is excellently crafted. It opens with an aerial view of Budapest, the city famously alluded to in “The Avengers” as a site of Hawkeye and Black Widow’s shared history. There’s a Natasha Romanoff (Scarlet Johannson) voice-over hinting at Black Widow’s many lives as the trailer shows her carefully navigating the city. The narration carries over a montage of Black Widow’s many moments fighting with the Avengers, featuring scenes from “Avengers: Age of Ultron” and “Captain America: Civil War” flitting across the screen before culminating in Black Widow’s tragic end in “Avengers: Endgame” — released exactly two years ago today, April 26 — where she sacrificed herself to save her found family of fellow superheroes.

The trailer then shifts back into the events of the upcoming “Black Widow” film, with the titular character falling out of the sky and landing in a sea of adversaries while sporting a new all-white suit, a stark contrast to her normal stealth getup.

There’s also flashbacks to Romanoff’s childhood, which feature a first look at Red Guardian (David Harbour), the comic and tragic Russian super-soldier. Finally, in perhaps one of the most anticipated MCU additions, Natasha finds Yelena Belova (Florence Pugh), a sister-figure to Natasha from her past. Scenes of Yelena and Natasha being chased by the film’s main villain, Taskmaster, are interspersed with sneak peaks of the Red Room, the program responsible for training Natasha along with a slew of spies also referred to as Black Widows.

This pursuit scene is followed by a traditional Marvel trailer element: a quick tour through the action-packed clips that “Black Widow” promises, including characters skydiving out of exploding planes, leaping over buildings and through windows, and an aerial fight between Black Widow and the Taskmaster, who has been creepily instructed to “bring [Natasha] home.” Cue a red-and-black animation of Natasha walking down a hallway, the “Black Widow” film logo, and the new version of the “Avengers” theme for a final bout of excitement. The updated release date of July 9 flashes across the screen before the trailer cuts to black.

“Black Widow” has been one of the most highly anticipated solo MCU films of the past decade. The first murmur of a Black Widow film came in 2004, and the development of this particular story began in 2017. However, considering the fact that this movie comes as a flashback in the MCU canon, and that fans know Natasha meets her end in “Avengers: Endgame,” there’s a critical question of what exactly this film will offer besides beautiful visuals and energetic action scenes.

For the continuation of the MCU, the most important thing slated for this film is the passing of the Black Widow mantle from Natasha to Yelena. Furthermore, with Natasha declaring that she’s “done running from [her] past,” this trailer suggests that the movie will offer viewers plenty of backstory into one of Marvel’s most mysterious heroes. Lastly, since we know Natasha’s ending, this film will give a window into the growth Natasha undergoes that propels her through her time with the Avengers, hopefully adding more depth and gravity to the multi-film narrative arc of the beloved Black Widow. With more than enough reasons to watch, “Black Widow” is well equipped to become a certified summer blockbuster.

—Staff writer Madi L. Fabber can be reached at madi.fabber@thecrimson.com.

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