Why The Action Scenes In 'Black Widow' Don't Look Like Natasha's Past Fights

Black Widow, like all Marvel Cinematic Universe movies, has a lot of action and a lot of fights. Director Cate Shortland, however, wanted to make Natasha Romanoff's (AKA Black Widow, AKA Scarlett Johansson) fight scenes different from what we've seen before during her other MCU appearances. 

Different Fights, Different Hearts

In the upcoming MCU film, Natasha is teaming up with (and occasionally fighting) her Red Room "sister" Yelena Belova (Florence Pugh). She's also battling Taskmastera formidable foe who can mimic their opponent's physical movements, making any unique fighting skills useless.

Taskmaster's supervillain abilities created an interesting dynamic when Shortland and her team began to choreograph the character's fight scenes. "Different fights had different hearts to them, almost," Shortland shared at a press conference attended by /Film. "So say we're looking at a fight on the bridge with Taskmaster. She's trying to use her skill set, but that character that she's fighting can do what she can do, basically, so Scarlett can't use those skills."

Natasha Gets “Messy and Raw”

Shortland also wanted to make other fight scenes seem messier than the superhero battles we've seen in the MCU. "What we tried to do in other fights, was to really mess it up, and then it became like a street fight. So say with her sister [Yelena Bolova], again, she's up against a formidable opponent. Those fights became messy and raw, and that was really fun, and we had that from the beginning."

Another difference between Black Widow and other MCU films is that most of the fighting is between regular (albeit very skilled) humans — not between people with superpowers. Shortland and Kevin Feige, President of Marvel Studios, both wanted the movie to reflect that.

"When I talked about the film with the choreographer, it was watching humans fight, not superheroes," Shortland explained. "Kevin spoke about [how] he always wanted it to have stakes, so it wasn't like the fights could just be perfectly choreographed. There had to be little moments of accidents and mess ups and things that you weren't expecting. And that was really fun."

You can check out Black Widow's fun, messy fight scenes in theaters and on Disney+ Premier Access on July 9, 2021.