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This Black Widow costume from male writers was ‘quickly killed.’ Here’s why

Scarlett Johansson told Fatherly that Black Widow’s costume changed significantly in an older movie

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Natasha Romanoff in “Black Widow.”

Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) as Black Widow in “Black Widow.”

Jay Maidment, Marvel Studios

Scarlett Johansson recently revealed that a Black Widow costume proposed by male writers was “quickly killed” during production of “Captain America: The Winter Soldier.”

Johansson — who appeared in “The Winter Soldier” and now has her own solo film of “Black Widow” — said the costume had her in tennis shoes.

  • “When we were doing ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ — this is a really funny thing — the look is fantastic and utilitarian,” she told Fatherly. “She first drives up in this beautiful car and picks up Cap, and initially, in the script, it was like, she arrives in her tennis whites, with a blonde wig. It was very quickly killed.”

She said the writers changed the costume due to a cultural shift with female characters within the Marvel Studios production teams.

You work with a lot of male writers. Things were shifting. You have to be a part of the change,” she told Fatherly. “Audiences are also demanding stuff and there’s a cultural shift and it feeds everything into a more progressive direction. It’s been a process, it’s been a process.”

Johansson previously talked about the treatment of Black Widow and female superheroes in the run-up to “Black Widow.” She told HelloBeautiful.com that her character was heavily sexualized in “Iron Man 2” when she was introduced to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

  • “You look back at Iron Man 2 and while it was really fun and had a lot of great moments in it, the character is so sexualized, you know?” Johansson said, according to HelloBeautiful.com.
  • “Really talked about like she’s a piece of something, like a possession or a thing or whatever,” Johansson said, per HelloBeautiful.com.

Johansson said her own self-worth was “probably measured against that type of comment” at the time. Now, she has a stronger opinion of herself.

  • “Now people, young girls, are getting a much more positive message, but it’s been incredible to be a part of that shift and be able to come out the other side and be a part of that old story, but also progress,” she told reporters, according to Collider. “Evolve. I think it’s pretty cool.”