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BLACK WIDOW Will Begin Production at the End of February

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.


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Scarlett Johansson reportedly turned down film funding from Saudi prince

Scarlett Johansson reportedly vetoed funding from the Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, for her next film.

The actor is set to play the Pulitzer prize-winning photojournalist Lynsey Addario in a biopic directed by Ridley Scott, but when she found out the initial set of funders included Bin Salman, she rejected his involvement.

Scarlett Johansson said absolutely not,” Addario said in an interview with Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times. “She said: ‘This guy is perpetuating the war in Yemen. He has women in prison.’

She also added: “This was before the killing of Khashoggi, when he became one of the main people who wanted to fund the movie.

Bin Salman has recently been implicated in the death of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who died in the Saudi embassy in Turkey after writing critically about Bin Salman’s rule.

I didn’t meet with him personally,” Addario said. “But my sense is that he probably – my movie got folded into this huge charm campaign. And that fact that he wanted to show the west that he was into Hollywood, he was into all the great things of the west … Do I want him associated with this movie? Obviously not. And thank God he’s not.

In April, Bin Salman headed to Hollywood to meet with studio heads and stars including Dwayne Johnson. It was a visit that led to protests and last week the CNN reporter Oliver Darcy tweeted a screen grab of an Instagram post from Johnson at the time stating it was a “pleasure” to meet him.

Such a silly, clickbait post, Oliver,” Johnson fired back. “I’m surprised you’d post this. Go back and really read my words. I listened and learned then. As I listen and learn now. C’mon man.

Addario’s work has focused on global conflicts and particularly the effect they have had on women. During her career, she has been kidnapped twice and sexually assaulted while detained in Libya. The upcoming film, originally set to be directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Jennifer Lawrence, is based on Addario’s memoir It’s What I Do.

Johansson was recently embroiled in controversy after signing on to play a transgender character in fact-based crime drama Rub & Tug, a decision that led to upset and caused her to abandon the project. “Our cultural understanding of transgender people continues to advance, and I’ve learned a lot from the community since making my first statement about my casting and realize it was insensitive,” a statement read.


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Scarlett Johansson’s standalone Black Widow movie officially hires writer

Nearly a decade after she made her first appearance in 2010’s Iron Man 2, Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow is finally getting her own star vehicle, with Marvel hiring a writer to tackle the screenplay.

According to Variety, relative newcomer Jac Schaeffer has been recruited to write the film. Schaeffer had attracted industry buzz in recent years for a comedy script in which a baby shower is invaded by aliens. She is also the writer behind Anne Hathaway’s forthcoming remake of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, and wrote the much-maligned Frozen mini-sequel Olaf’s Frozen Adventure.

The news comes in the same week as a trailer for Jennifer Lawrence’s Red Sparrow was released, a film that has been dubbed an “unofficial Black Widow movie”, with Lawrence playing a Russian orphan brainwashed and trained to be a spy – mirroring Black Widow’s origin story.

The lack of a confirmed Black Widow spin-off movie has been a major bone of contention for Marvel fans for years, with many criticising Marvel for not prioritising the project, particularly after Johansson headlined the surprise $450 million hit Lucy in 2014.

Speaking in 2016, Marvel chief Kevin Feige suggested to Deadline that a Black Widow film would be next on the docket following the two-part Infinity War sequels: “Where we go beyond that are ongoing discussions that we’ll focus on in the next few years because we have a lot to do before then. Of the characters that you’ve just mentioned I would say certainly the one creatively and emotionally that we are most committing to doing is Black Widow.

Fans, however, were sceptical of Feige’s claims after he argued in 2014 that the character may not work on her own. He told Birth Movies Death that, “with Widow, what’s great is the interaction with the team members, and the question is whether we want to pluck her out of that.”

Johansson, last seen in Ghost in the Shell and Rough Night, has played Black Widow in six Marvel movies so far, including this summer’s Avengers: Infinity War.


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Scarlett Johansson Took Down Ivanka Trump on Saturday Night Live


The Saturday, December 16 episode of Saturday Night Live was hosted by comedian and Jumanji star Kevin Hart, while the musical guest was Foo Fighters, but it was Scarlett Johansson and her dead-eyed Ivanka Trump impression in the cold open that just about made the show.

Johansson debuted her ability to channel Ivanka’s strangely inhuman poise last season and returned last night in the first sketch of the episode, which found the Trump family (Alec Baldwin as Donald, Cecily Strong as Melania) decorating the White House Christmas tree with ornaments bearing the faces of those who had wronged and/or disappointed them during the president’s almost-a-year in office. The ever-stiff Ivanka brings an ornament with defeated congressional candidate and accused child-dater Roy Moore’s face on it, plus a little angry ball that represents Steve Bannon (his giant face wouldn’t fit on a normal ornament). Jared couldn’t make it; he’s busy packing a go bag for when the FBI show up. It’s a good impression; Johansson’s first daughter never seems flustered or even all that interested, and she’s always talking out of the side of her mouth.

Later, her brothers Don Jr. (Mikey Day) and the idiotic Eric (Alex Moffat) show up, Eric with a macaroni-based art project made with, unfortunately, cooked macaroni. Something about the way Don Jr. talks to Eric gets me every time. He’s so patient! And I can’t help but think that the real Ivanka is slightly proud that while her siblings are played by the normal cast, she gets an Avenger.

Trump’s staff appear as well, with Kate McKinnon pulling double duty as Kellyanne Conway (for Christmas she wants…out) and Jeff Sessions, cleverly disguised as an Elf on the Shelf and promising, all too troublingly, that Robert Mueller will be the next man fired by Trump. Sarah Huckabee Sanders (Aidy Bryant) gets in on the holiday fun, along with Mike pence (Beck Bennet) and the recently ousted Omarosa (Leslie Jones) begging to be let back into the oval.


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Adam Driver, Scarlett Johansson, and Laura Dern to star in Noah Baumbach’s next film

According to Variety, director Noah Baumbach has lined up the cast of his next film after Netflix’s The Meyerowitz Stories. We don’t know anything about the plot or the title, but it will reportedly be starring Adam Driver, Laura Dern, Scarlett Johansson, Merritt Wever, and Azhy Robertson. Driver and Dern will next appear in Star Wars: The Last Jedi while Johansson is currently filming Avengers: Infinity War, but it seems safe to assume that this movie—whatever it is—will be nothing like either of them. Unless, of course, Baumbach decides to take a wildly different approach to filmmaking and starts developing superhero space opera, which would probably be cool.

Like Meyerowitz Stories, this untitled movie will also be financed and distributed by Netflix, and Baumbach will write it as well as direct it.