Rejected Black Widow Design Gave Her a Comics-Accurate Haircut

Natasha Romanoff in Black Widow

New Black Widow concept artwork surfaces online that depicts Natasha Romanoff with her comic book counterpart’s 1980s haircut and costume.

Previously unseen Black Widow concept art just confirmed that Scarlett Johansson nearly sported one of Natasha Romanoff’s classic comic book looks in the film.

The artwork is by Marvel Studios’ Director of Visual Development Andy Park and appears in Marvel’s Black Widow: The Art of the Movie. It depicts Johansson with a short haircut and clad in a black bodysuit, an aesthetic inspired by Black Widow’s appearance in Uncanny X-Men #268 by writer Chris Claremont and artist Jim Lee. Park’s design closely matches Lee’s original illustrations, but also adds an extra detail to Natasha’s outfit. “Within the lines [of the costume], I also incorporated a subtle black widow spider motif,” Park noted in the text accompanying the artwork.

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Ultimately, director Cate Shortland opted not to use Park’s short-haired Black Widow design, going with several of the artist’s alternative concepts, instead. This doesn’t seem to have hurt the Marvel Cinematic Universe blockbuster’s overall performance, as it went on to set new pandemic box office records and garnered mostly positive reviews from critics. Marvel Studios is currently working on a follow-up film, Thunderbolts, which it confirmed would serve as a sequel to Black Widow in January 2023.

Is Scarlett Johansson in Thunderbolts?

However, Johansson isn’t expected to reprise the Natasha Romanoff role in Thunderbolts. This is because, unlike Black Widow, Thunderbolts is set after the events of Avengers: Endgame, in which Natasha died while on a mission to retrieve one of the Infinity Stones. Endgame‘s co-director Joe Russo apparently has no regrets about killing off the fan-favorite character, though. Russo shared a video of him pretending to play the world’s smallest violin in honor of Natasha’s death in December 2022, making it clear how little remorse he feels about his part in the fallen Avenger’s fate.

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There will nevertheless be a Black Widow in Thunderbolts when it arrives in cinemas in 2024. Johansson’s co-star Florence Pugh is locked-in to return as Natasha’s adopted sister Yelena Belova, who also operates under the Black Widow moniker, in the film. Pugh will also portray Yelena at least once more following the release of Thunderbolts, if recent reports regarding the English actor’s contract with Marvel Studios are to be believed. Pugh is said to have signed an eight-figure deal to appear in two MCU outings post-Black Widow, with details of the second project still yet to be announced publicly.

Black Widow is currently streaming on Disney+.

Source: Marvel’s Black Widow: The Art of the Movie, via The Direct


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