Public Appearances > 2019 > April 22 – ‘Avengers: Endgame’ Premiere in Los Angeles
We know that Marvel is working on developing a Black Widow film. We don’t know much about the film, but we do know that Scarlett Johansson will be returning as Natasha Romanova and according to Omega Underground, the film will begin production on February 28, 2019. We also know that Cate Shortland will be serving as director. While I would normally hope this means that we’ll learn more about the film, I’m not holding out hope for that until June or July of this year, a couple months after the release of Avengers: Endgame.
This production date may also help feed the idea that Katherine Langford will be playing a young Natasha Romanova in Endgame as she just dyed her hair red.
The story is rumored to be set in 2006, which is a couple years prior to the events of Iron Man. The characters Ref Guardian and Taskmaster are also rumored to be a part of the story. There’s also been talk of developing it as an R-rated film.
No release date has been given for Black Widow, but many are speculating it will be the mysterious film set for release on May 1, 2020.
Scarlett Johansson‘s fitness regime really is as tough as you’d imagine.
The 34-year-old’s trainer and co-founder of Homage fitness Eric Johnson, tells PEOPLE he works with her to prepare for roles, but also to remain in shape when she’s not filming.
“She’s very consistent,” Eric says. “We go anywhere from two to three days a week when we’re maintaining and up to five, six days a week.”
Eric says while Johansson isn’t a fan of conditioning work, she does do a lot of strength training to build muscle.
“We are making sure that she’s strong enough that everything else is easy when it comes to her skill acquisition and stunt training or if she wants to go and learn a new sport, like tennis,” he adds. “What’s amazing with Scarlett is that she really loves the process. She’s extremely strong.”
Eric and his brother Ryan’s curated gyms are located in residential buildings in Miami, New York, and D.C., where clients can expect to use turf areas, sleds, battling ropes, and metabolic conditioning tools.
“We also have the classic machines that you would see in any big box gym and another space with a big squat rack where you can bench press and squat and dead lift,” Ryan says. “On the top floor we’ve made it where all the cardio machines are along with the stretching area.”
Given Johansson’s intense filming schedule, Eric says exercising “has to become like brushing your teeth” and they work together to figure out the best time for her schedule.
They also recommend “choosing your battles.”
“If it’s a Monday and you’re super slammed and you can just get a 20 to 30 minute session in, then do that,” Ryan says. “Then on Tuesday, if the day frees up and you can go a little longer, then do a 75-minute session. When Scarlett has those long night shoots and she’s filming throughout the night, that’s not the best day to do an hour-long session.”
When Scarlett Johansson was first cast in 2009 as ballet dancer turned fistfighting superspy Black Widow in Marvel’s Iron Man 2, she wasn’t exactly prepared for the part. “I’d never stepped foot in a gym,” she confesses. “I had no experience with any sort of martial arts or anything like that.”
She turned out to be a quick learner, especially after being paired with stuntwoman Heidi Moneymaker, who’s been training with and doubling for the actress in Marvel movies ever since. So far she’s had appearances in six of Johansson’s films, with a soon-to-be-seventh gig in the Avengers sequel being directed by the Russo brothers. And there could be an eighth: a stand-alone Black Widow movie is reportedly in development. “[Heidi and I] got to create this side of the character and expand on it over this past decade,” says Johansson, 34. “I don’t know how many actors have the opportunity to play the same character over 10 years.”
A UCLA-trained gymnast, Moneymaker, 40, started her career with minor stunt work on such TV shows as Angel and The O.C., working her way up the food chain and into features (doubling for Drew Barrymore in Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle and for Michelle Rodriguez in 2009’s Fast and Furious). But she says no matter how big the job, she relies on her gymnastics discipline to help her get through the day in one piece. “The athlete mentality is definitely good to have,” she says. “I’ve had so many people come up to me and say, ‘I’m crazy, I’ll do anything! I could be a stuntman or a stuntwoman.’ Those are the kind of people that you don’t want around.”
Over her 15-year career, Moneymaker has learned that being a stuntwoman is in some ways even more hazardous than being a stuntman. “Wardrobe for women is tighter and skimpier,” she explains. “When you get slammed into walls or hit by a car, it’s harder to pad up. If a guy is wearing fatigues or something a little baggier, they have the opportunity to put more padding on.” Finding work is also more challenging since action films traditionally have fewer female onscreen roles. “It’s a lot of bros,” she says of stunt-heavy sets. “Sometimes I just want to be around women. I’ll go somewhere and there’s women there, and I’ll be like, ‘Oh, thank God!’”
Recently, as the Marvel Cinematic Universe continues to expand, Moneymaker’s and Johansson’s work has had to accommodate an increasingly crowded screen. “As the films grew larger in scale, it became less hands-on for most of the actors,” says Johansson, noting that shooting is now an intricate ballet of scheduling. “We have three to four units going at the same time.”
For the actress, the trick to working with her longtime stuntwoman is simple: “I tell myself, ‘Do whatever Heidi does. Just listen to whatever she says and she’ll keep me safe.’”