‘Captain America: Civil War’ Forces Black Widow to Become the ‘Mediator’
The Mediator sounds like a superhero name all its own, but that’s how Black Widow apparently sees herself and her place in Captain America: Civil War. While previous Marvel films have firmly established a good working relationship between Scarlett Johansson’s character and Steve Rogers, she’ll find herself on the other side of the battle in the studio’s next outing — but it’s a little more complicated than that.
Chris Evans recently explained to Entertainment Weekly that the fight between Cap and Iron Man isn’t as simple as who’s right and who’s wrong, and Johansson’s comments to EW in her own interview echo those sentiments. Black Widow has had stronger relationships with Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye and Evans’ Steve Rogers, but Civil War sees her in Tony’s corner — why?
Johansson says her allegiance isn’t that easily defined:
I think she understands where everyone is coming from. And none of it really matters to her, you know? There’s a bigger problem at hand and she’s, I think, strangely, kind of the mediator. Which is not exactly how you would imagine her to be. But I think she really does see both sides of the coin and I think her strength is that she’s not personally involved.
The fight between Cap and Iron Man looks pretty personal to us, but Black Widow isn’t the same as her fellow Avengers. According to Johansson, Natasha Romanoff never wanted to be an Avenger:
I don’t think she’s ever aspired to become an Avenger. That’s not really a choice that she made. It’s kind of like the events in her life led her to that point and when we see her [in Civil War], she’s finally capable of making a choice for herself. Which is kind of a milestone in someone’s life when they’ve not really participated in the decisions that were made for them. She’s finally at a place where she’s going, ‘Okay, I actually kind of know what I want. And I think I kind of deserve it.’
We saw some of this in Age of Ultron, which gave us a peek at Natasha’s origin story and helped bring more dimension to the character. And given that she almost ditched the crew to run off with Hulk, her lack of commitment isn’t that surprising.
But it is still a little surprising to see her on Tony’s side against Hawkeye and Cap, a decision that’s been perhaps unfairly criticized by a few fans — Black Widow isn’t defined by her loyalty to a man; she’s loyal to herself above all. Johansson says she’s okay with these criticisms, as long as what she’s doing is inspiring a strong reaction:
You know, I’m happy that people scrutinize the Widow’s storylines and care about it and are invested. I’d much rather it be like that than have a kind of ‘meh’ reaction. For me to have people say that would be, ouch, you know? Everything that I’ve done with the Widow, to me makes sense. It’s in line with active decisions that I’ve made for the character. I’ve been able to develop this character very closely with Joss and [Civil War directors Joe and Anthony Russo].
Captain America: Civil War hits theaters on May 6, 2016.