Black Widow

Multiple award-winning Argentinean director Lucrecia Martel is enjoying the success of her latest picture ‘Zama’ which won the Argentinean Film Critics Association Awards for Best Film, Director and Adapted Screenplay.  In fact, since her career began int he mid-1990s, Martel has taken home 30 awards, so when Marvel Studios sought out a female director to helm the ‘Black Widow’ solo film, Martel was a logical choice.

While attending a masterclass at Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival, Martel, who has been taking many meetings as studios seek to involve more female directors, discussed her sit-down with Marvel and admits that while, yes, the studios want more women behind the lens, they seem to be clinging to outdated stereotypes about what that means exactly:

“I received an e-mail from Marvel for a meeting. Because they were looking for directors for ‘Black Widow’. So I went… Marvel and other such production houses are trying to involve more female filmmakers.


“What they told me in the meeting was ‘we need a female director because we need someone who is mostly concerned with the development of Scarlett Johansson’s character.  They also told me ‘don’t worry about the action scenes, we will take care of that.’ I was thinking, well I would love to meet Scarlett Johansson but also I would love to make the action sequences.”


“Companies are interested in female filmmakers but they still think action scenes are for male directors.”

The job of directing ‘Black Widow’ ultimately went to Cate Shortland (‘Berlin Syndrome’), with a screenplay by Jac Schaeffer.  The film is expected to reveal more about the character’s origins, growing up in the Russian Red Room.

While Martel admits she would still “love” to have been given the chance to make ‘Black Widow’, she ultimately may not have been a good fit.

She admits that during the Marvel meeting:

“The first thing I asked them was maybe if they could change the special effects because there’s so many laser lights… I find them horrible. Also the soundtrack of Marvel films is quite horrendous. Maybe we disagree on this but it’s really hard to watch a Marvel film. It’s painful to the ears to watch Marvel films.”

Ouch!  Well, millions of viewers may disagree as “laser lights” and “horrendous” audio don’t seem to have deterred anyone from flocking to see Marvel’s output.

Cate Shortland’s ‘Black Widow’ will be released on May 1, 2020.

Source: Mumbai Daily Pioneer