“...that Marvel appears to be determined to drag its heels...”
January 9, 2018 6:29 PM   Subscribe

New Trailer Proves Red Sparrow Is the Best Black Widow Movie We're Probably Ever Going to Get [YouTube] “It isn’t exactly fair to hold up every single movie about a female assassin to Marvel Studios and ask when the hell we’re finally going to see a Black Widow solo movie, but the similarities between Natasha Romanov and Red Sparrow’s titular ballerina-turned-super-spy are too striking to ignore. [...] On its face, Red Sparrow seems like a rather straightforward kind of spy film, but the Black Widow comparisons really do come to mind when you realize that much of the movie follows Dominika’s earliest days during her Sparrow training that takes place in a Red Room-like facility.” [via: io9]
posted by Fizz (38 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
 
I don't want a Black Widow backstory film. I am fine with this one being what it is. And then having Jennifer Lawrence in the eventual ass-kicking Black Widow film.

(Edit -- oh shoot, I misread, I thought Marvel Studios was behind this. My bad. Ok, well then, yes, this does seem to be a Black Widow origin movie. But super hero origins are usually the most boring part of a super hero's career... )
posted by Catblack at 6:48 PM on January 9, 2018 [1 favorite]


Black Widow is so last year... bring me a Squirrel Girl movie...
posted by oneswellfoop at 6:57 PM on January 9, 2018 [18 favorites]


on the one hand, true. otoh, maybe it's not worth it considering all the goofy cold war tropes on display.

otooh, oh jeez please someone take another swing at this bat i cannot allow joss whedon's version to be the mcu version i simply cannot.
posted by cendawanita at 7:00 PM on January 9, 2018 [6 favorites]


I don't really care that much about a Black Widow origin movie, although some of her origins could be on display in a solo movie not really focused on that.

This looks good, though, and I'm a sucker for this kind of thing, so I'm sure I'm going to watch it. Jennifer Lawrence is pretty consistently great.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 7:02 PM on January 9, 2018 [1 favorite]


It’s also like the 4th or 5th version of Nikita? Excited to watch The Villainess, a pretty cool looking Korean version.
posted by Artw at 7:41 PM on January 9, 2018 [5 favorites]


To derail:

Scarlett Johansson was always waaaay too famous/successful for Marvel/Disney to get her on the hook with an 8 picture deal. That's why there isn't a Black Widow movie.

At-the-time-not-famous Chris Evans = 8 picture deal = Bunch of Captain America and Avenger movies
At-the-time-not-famous Chris Hemsworth = 8ish picture deal = Bunch of Thor and Avenger movies
Super-famous Sam Jackson = Prob no Deal = Cap movie, a bit in an Avengers movie, more stuff in Cap movie, stinger in other Avengers movie.
Mostly-TV-famous Chris Pratt = Medium Deal = Few GoTG movies, Avengers cameo probably
...etc.

If they had gone with an up-and-comer for Black Window, similar to the Chrises, there would probably be a few Black Widow movies on the schedule.

Thats why the "Charlize Theron as Captain Marvel!!" stuff after Atomic Blonde is kinda ridiculous. There is no way she is going to sign up for a million movies like Marvel wants for that kinda role.
posted by sideshow at 7:52 PM on January 9, 2018 [7 favorites]


> sideshow:
"To derail:

Scarlett Johansson was always waaaay too famous/successful for Marvel/Disney to get her on the hook with an 8 picture deal. That's why there isn't a Black Widow movie.

At-the-time-not-famous Chris Evans = 8 picture deal = Bunch of Captain America and Avenger movies
At-the-time-not-famous Chris Hemsworth = 8ish picture deal = Bunch of Thor and Avenger movies
Super-famous Sam Jackson = Prob no Deal = Cap movie, a bit in an Avengers movie, more stuff in Cap movie, stinger in other Avengers movie.
Mostly-TV-famous Chris Pratt = Medium Deal = Few GoTG movies, Avengers cameo probably
...etc.

If they had gone with an up-and-comer for Black Window, similar to the Chrises, there would probably be a few Black Widow movies on the schedule.

Thats why the "Charlize Theron as Captain Marvel!!" stuff after Atomic Blonde is kinda ridiculous. There is no way she is going to sign up for a million movies like Marvel wants for that kinda role."


How quickly we forget the wonderful Push.

Pretty pumped for this. The quasi-empath angle really has me interested.
posted by Samizdata at 8:49 PM on January 9, 2018 [1 favorite]


Scarlett Johansson was always waaaay too famous/successful for Marvel/Disney to get her on the hook with an 8 picture deal.

They didn't need to pin her to an eight-picture deal. (And, regardless of what she did or didn't sign, she's already played Black Widow in six movies: Iron Man 2, both Avengers movies, two Cap movies, and the upcoming first Infinity War movie, at the very least. Probably the second Infinity War movie, which bumps it up to seven.) And it's not as if she's reluctant to do action pics, as witness Lucy and Ghost in the Shell.

Nope, it's all because of Isaac Perlmutter, who wouldn't even allow a fucking action figure of BW. At least he's out of the loop now, so it's really up to Kevin Feige, if this movie doesn't steal BW's thunder. And, even then, they could still do a solo movie for her... if they really wanted to.
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:58 PM on January 9, 2018 [13 favorites]


I don't even know why Marvel is involved in this conversation.

This film looks quite exhilarating, and has an aesthetic that appeals to my Cold War-revival sensibilities in the same way that Atomic Blonde did.

A Black Widow movie would be nice, but is also tangential to this particular film.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 9:03 PM on January 9, 2018 [1 favorite]


I only know Black Widow from the Avengers and from comments on Metafilter, so I am unfamiliar with the Red Room and any other Marvel parallels. The trailer reminded me of La Femme Nikita and all of the subsequent Nikitalikes. It has a certain, woman in trouble with authority due to a violent crime is coerced into becoming a super assassin, redemption? vibe. I am fine with that.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 9:04 PM on January 9, 2018


They do go into Black Widow's Red Room origin in Age of Ultron. As far as the "I'm a monster" line coming from Natasha, I'll let you form your own opinion.
posted by XhaustedProphet at 9:27 PM on January 9, 2018


I would love a Black Widow movie too, but I would love it even more if it were a Dottie Underwood movie featuring Agent Peggy Carter. (I'm still sore that Agent Carter only got two seasons amidst the rush to cram network time slots with comic book-based shows.)
posted by ejs at 9:48 PM on January 9, 2018 [8 favorites]


I don't even know why Marvel is involved in this conversation.

Because any woman heading a spy movie has to be Black Widow. You know, seductive assassin with a dark past, etc. etc. In the IO9 thread, they're posting trailers of similar movies.

And oh joy, already in that thread the fan boys are doing the "Does she fapfapfap have the right fapfapfap body type for a ballerina?" argument, and some guy who's only fighting experience is playing Soul Climber is declaiming confidently on how women don't have the strength to be effective in hand to hand. So, basically the usual. .

Honestly'm in the mood to see a woman heading a movie that's the equivalent of Smiley's Game. But I doubt that would fly- a film where a woman is commanding and out-thinking the guys would be too controversial to touch.
posted by happyroach at 9:49 PM on January 9, 2018 [6 favorites]


One thing I liked about MCU Black Widow is that (IIRC) they never gave her the cliched "female spy's power is seducing men" set up. Red Sparrow holds up a few seconds before going down that route . . .
posted by mark k at 9:54 PM on January 9, 2018


I don't know who Black Widow is but I'm excited that they made a sequel to Joy!
posted by charismatic megafauna at 9:59 PM on January 9, 2018 [4 favorites]


Wtf did Jennifer Lawrence inject into her cheeks and why? She had perfectly cromulent bone structure to start with, she didn't need to do that, especailly to "actress from The Flash with the lip fillers" level.

The movie looks OK, but I'm not sure I can get past the facial fillers.
posted by fshgrl at 10:06 PM on January 9, 2018 [2 favorites]


it does remind me about how english-language adaptations/renditions of non-English societies, when it's played entirely in that society (see also: all the various scandi murder mysteries), have some real eccentric choices when it comes to accents. in this case, I'm sorry, I'm distracted by the varying levels of Russian accents. I don't know, is it a tougher sell if you just have them do their native accents, and maybe play up the foreign accent when they interact on screen with a textual/in-canon English speaker?
posted by cendawanita at 10:58 PM on January 9, 2018


> cendawanita:
"it does remind me about how english-language adaptations/renditions of non-English societies, when it's played entirely in that society (see also: all the various scandi murder mysteries), have some real eccentric choices when it comes to accents. in this case, I'm sorry, I'm distracted by the varying levels of Russian accents. I don't know, is it a tougher sell if you just have them do their native accents, and maybe play up the foreign accent when they interact on screen with a textual/in-canon English speaker?"

Truthfully, I think that is a stereotype left over from the Cold War. A thick exaggerated accent (often lacking articles) was an easy way to xenoify (?) Russians as they otherwise just looked like us.
posted by Samizdata at 11:22 PM on January 9, 2018


happyroach:"Because any woman heading a spy movie has to be Black Widow. You know, seductive assassin with a dark past, etc. etc. In the IO9 thread, they're posting trailers of similar movies."

I get what you're saying, but this movie does seem to parallel the Black Widow's comic history a bit more closely that just "omigawd its a girl spy". They are both young Russian ballerinas who are trained by the Soviets using a cruel brain-washing program to be elite assassins and spies. Those are pretty specific plot beats. Even the movie's title has (deliberate?) echoes of the Marvel character's "colour/creature" template.
posted by joelhunt at 5:33 AM on January 10, 2018 [3 favorites]


A thick exaggerated accent (often lacking articles) was an easy way to xenoify (?) Russians as they otherwise just looked like us.


If movies are still going to do this, I think they need to fully embrace the 'Allo 'Allo convention of having all characters speaking English using comedy versions of the accents for their respective nationalities.


"Leesten varreh carefully, I shall say zis only wance..."
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 5:44 AM on January 10, 2018 [1 favorite]


they need to fully embrace the 'Allo 'Allo convention of having all characters speaking English using comedy versions of the accents for their respective nationalities.

Which was also pretty much Chris Claremont's approach to rendering the dialects for the international team members in his '70s X-Men run. They were fun to read when I was a kid, but absolutely torturous to even look at now.
posted by Strange Interlude at 6:31 AM on January 10, 2018 [1 favorite]


I can't help but wonder what Disney's team of attorneys is going to think of the similarities between Black Widow and Red Sparrow. Of course they have a reputation for kind and forgiving nature so I'm sure that will all work out.
posted by Ber at 6:44 AM on January 10, 2018


I am so over the BRRAAWWWWPPPP sound that every action movie trailer since Inception has used.

At least this time they avoided the drum-beats-timed-with-gun-shots-and-explosions.
posted by Frayed Knot at 7:07 AM on January 10, 2018 [1 favorite]


If they had gone with an up-and-comer for Black Window, similar to the Chrises, there would probably be a few Black Widow movies on the schedule.

Sure. Of course. That's it. There's no way she would have signed up for a solo BW movie. Why would she want to do that? She has a demonstrated dislike for action films and she sure doesn't spend much time being BW in other men's movies.
posted by praemunire at 7:19 AM on January 10, 2018 [4 favorites]


"Just like Budapest, all over again." - Black Widow
"You and I remember Budapest very differently." - Hawkeye

I would watch the hell out of a BW origin movie but even before that, I want Budapest.
posted by twilightlost at 7:35 AM on January 10, 2018 [5 favorites]


Yeah, the bf and I saw the trailer for this and were all, "... wait, they *are* making a Black Widow movie? Awesome! Wait--WTF is 'Red Sparrow'?" The trailer seemed like it definitely ripped off of Your Average Marvel Moviegoer's Understanding of the Black Widow Backstory.
posted by TwoStride at 8:23 AM on January 10, 2018


Personally I like the accents in Enemy at the Gates...

Regular Russians... Working Class Brit
Party Higher Ups...Posh Brit
Nazis...American
posted by Artw at 8:32 AM on January 10, 2018 [3 favorites]


Lady Bourne
posted by gwint at 9:44 AM on January 10, 2018 [1 favorite]


I hope it's Lady Bourne! Right now the trailers make it look like an excuse to ogle ScarJo for two hours.
posted by graventy at 10:25 AM on January 10, 2018


Regular Russians... Working Class Brit
Party Higher Ups...Posh Brit
Nazis...American



Nikita Khrushchev...East End Gangster
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 10:31 AM on January 10, 2018 [1 favorite]


So I just looked up "Lady Bourne" and found two women: one who is indeed a Lady and apparently is part of a shipping concern, and a romance novelist whose books include The Spymaster's Lady. Both of these sound like great cover jobs for an agent.
posted by Halloween Jack at 11:02 AM on January 10, 2018 [1 favorite]


Origin stories are always terrible and boring though. SJ is an actress who has consistently done weird and out there movies her whole career, she might not be interested in one. She's also fairly private. I'm sure that her Black Widow role has funded her ability to do indie movies nicely as it is.

Now a Black Widow/ Hawkeye buddy movie would be great. I'd watch the hell out of that especially if Taika Watiti directed it. I like both those actors but the characters are fairly basic in terms of story and backstory. Their lasting appeal through all the Marvel movies is in the great actors and their chemistry with each other.
posted by fshgrl at 11:52 AM on January 10, 2018 [3 favorites]


This just popped up in my Twitter feed and seemed relevant--"‘Black Widow': Blacklist Alum Jac Schaeffer to Write Marvel Movie":
Marvel Studios has picked Blacklist Screenwriter Jac Schaeffer to write “Black Widow,” the first solo film featuring the marvel superhero played since 2010 by Scarlett Johansson, an individual with knowledge of the project told TheWrap.
posted by Wobbuffet at 4:16 PM on January 10, 2018 [1 favorite]


‘Black Widow': Blacklist Alum Jac Schaeffer to Write Marvel Movie

No date set, but Johansson's set for the role. I suspect it'll be out in 2020.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 4:16 PM on January 10, 2018 [1 favorite]


Dammit, Wobbuffet, you weren't there on preview. Well, I guess I'll keep my comment for the date.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 4:18 PM on January 10, 2018 [1 favorite]


Not to pick specifically on any one comment - there are a lot of comments here along these lines:

> This movie does seem to parallel the Black Widow's comic history a bit more closely that just "omigawd its a girl spy". They are both young Russian ballerinas who are trained by the Soviets using a cruel brain-washing program to be elite assassins and spies. Those are pretty specific plot beats. Even the movie's title has (deliberate?) echoes of the Marvel character's "colour/creature" template.

Since no one else has mentioned it yet, Red Sparrow was first published in 2013 by Jason Matthews to substantial acclaim, including the Edgar award. The author is a former CIA veteran, and some of the spycraft in the book is rather well done. The (inevitable) trilogy includes Palace of Treason (2015) and The Kremlin's Candidate (next month) - and Vladimir Putin was the named puppet master starting from the first book, so I'm a bit worried about who the Kremlin's Candidate might turn out to be.

One conceit in the book is that Dominika has an extreme form of synesthesia, so that she sees people with colored auras. One other conceit: each chapter in the book ends with a recipe - something mentioned in or relevant to that chapter - and those were rather fun.

I won't say I loved the book, but it was a fast, casual, entertaining read. The scenes in the trailer so far are all directly from the pages of the book - maybe the trailer is being cut selectively to fit into the "female superhero kicks ass" format, but the book really doesn't go that way.
posted by RedOrGreen at 5:19 AM on January 11, 2018 [3 favorites]


I liked the books and can't wait for the movie to come out, but those recipes drove me nuts because they just included the instructions with no list of ingredients or their amounts.
posted by leaper at 1:08 PM on January 11, 2018


I myself am so bored with origin stories. What I'd like to see instead is a "One last job and then I can retire" movie about Widow. Except it would have to end with the whole "retire" thing being a ruse, because she LIKES being a superspy.

Probably it will involve her finding out that Tony left something incredibly dangerous lying around, and nobody will believe the notorious Natasha Romanoff when she tries to warn them. And so she has to scramble doubletime to stop this thing, while enlisting dubiously helpful allies and former friends try to neutralize her.

And then of course after she pretty much resolves everything, Tony swoops in for five minutes and gets credit for saving the world.

Honestly though, I'll probably be happy with anything, as long as it's something where she doesn't have to be responsible for taking care of a guy's emotional needs. My headcanon Black Widow has no time for that shit.
posted by happyroach at 3:12 PM on January 11, 2018 [2 favorites]


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