THE DIRECT: The small screen branch of the MCU has used WandaVision and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier to propel new heroes like Elizabeth Olsen’s Scarlet Witch and Anthony Mackie’s Sam Wilson a.k.a. Captain America to the forefront of the franchise.
Scarlett Johansson’s Natasha Romanoff, meanwhile, is set to take matters into her own hands on the big screen by leading her solo film, Black Widow. After sacrificing her life for the Soul Stone during Avengers: Endgame, this film will revolve around Romanoff’s story while being on the run from the Sokovia Accords in between the events of Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War.
The prequel will likely serve as Johansson’s last hurrah in the MCU, and early reactions towards the film suggest that she will make a triumphant exit to the franchise. Looking ahead, Johansson is leaving the Marvel turf with her head up high, especially after the introduction of notable female heroes over the years.
Now, the MCU veteran has opened up about one of the franchise’s much-talked-about female stars in Phase 4.
SCARLETT JOHANSSON PRAISES ELIZABETH OLSEN
Black Widow star Scarlett Johansson recently sat down with SiriusXM to talk about the impact of WandaVision’s Elizabeth Olsen on the MCU moving forward.
When the Infinity Saga started, Johansson’s Natasha Romanoff was the only female Avenger during the early stages of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.
When asked about her feeling when Olsen came on board as Wanda Maximoff during Avengers: Age of Ultron, the MCU veteran mentioned that her co-star’s arrival “semi-balanced out” the vibe, mainly due to the fact that “it was very heavy on the testosterone for a very long time:”
“It was so great when Lizzy [Olsen] came on because yeah we had Colbie [Smulders], it was basically the two of us who kind of holding down the fort. And then when Lizzie came on, it was semi-balanced out, because it was very heavy on the testosterone for a very long time. Now, [it was] like calibrated, finally caught up.”
Johansson continued to sing praise to Olsen, describing the WandaVision star as someone who has “a quirky sense of humor” and is a “total professional:”
“I mean, Lizzy is fantastic. She’s so funny, and she [has] a quirky sense of humor. She’s a total professional. She’s fit in perfectly, and [she] could just hang and talk and bring it to work.”
Johansson then admitted that she was “amazed” at what Olsen brings to the table, ranging from her “physicality” to the actress’ “passion:”
“What she was doing was so hard, even the physicality of what she was doing was so hard. I’ve worked with her, and I was amazed at what she was creating out of nothing. She created this whole physicality, and her character has such a sensuality to her. She has such a passion. I was amazed by it, and maybe put me to shame. I was like ‘wow this is like an amazing thing you’ve created, this mystical beautiful thing that had such strong like feminine energy.’ It was much needed.”
THE MCU’S FEMALE HEROES ASSEMBLED
Scarlett Johansson’s Natasha Romanoff started out as the only female Avenger, with male superheroes being front and center over the years. However, the MCU has since been populated by powerful female heroes like Captain Marvel and Wanda Maximoff, and many would agree that their rise to prominence is due to the impact of Johansson’s impressive performance as Black Widow.
As the successful superhero franchise moves forward, Johansson’s latest comments suggest that the MCU is in good hands with Elizabeth Olsen. From being a “total professional” all the way to having immense “passion,” Olsen appears to have all the tools needed to lead the next generation of female heroes in the Marvel universe, and WandaVision’s success is a testament to that.
It’s only fitting that Johansson is giving this much praise to her Avengers co-star, especially considering that Olsen became the second female member of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes back in Avengers: Age of Ultron. In a way, these remarks could serve as the handing of baton moment from Johansson to Olsen, with the latter serving as the lead female Avenger moving forward based on tenure.
Of course, Wanda still has to deal with her missteps from WandaVision alongside her upcoming multiverse-based ordeal in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. In many ways, these adventures have the potential to further elevate the Scarlet Witch to greater heights in Phase 4 and beyond, thus making her stronger for future stories that have yet to be explored.
Black Widow premieres on Disney+ via Premier Access and in theaters on July 9, 2021, while all episodes of WandaVision are available on the aforementioned streaming platform.