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Top 15 Black Widow Facts You Didn't Know

The Avengers (2012) - Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson)
Black Widow is the most popular female character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). The highly-trained Russian super-spy first appeared in Iron Man 2 (2010).

There have been seven movies with Black Widow Avengers (2012), Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014), Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), Captain America: Civil War (2016), the upcoming Avengers: Infinity War (2018), and the untitled Avengers movie in 2019. But it's been recently announced that she's getting her own solo movieScarlett Johansson is going to reprise her role as Natalia Romanoff aka Black Widow.

But, despite her popularity, there a lot of things even her die-hard fans don't know. Here are some things you might not know about Black Widow.

1. Black Widow Doesn't Wear Underwear

Iron Man 2 (2010) - Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson)
Scarlett Johansson wears a skin-tight leather one-piece catsuit for her Black Widow costume. The costume looks great on film, but it's very uncomfortable. 

While filming in New Mexico she said it got to about "800 degrees".  So, to make it easier, she said: "I have nothing underneath it!" As soon as filming is over she and the other co-stars head for the air conditioning and everything comes off. She compared the costume to a wetsuit. 

When Jay Leno on The Tonight Show asked "Does it breathe? Are you sweating in this thing?" She admitted it gets a "little sticky" in the costume. "But compared to what everybody else is wearing it was nothing. It was like a walk in the park," Johansson said. "It was pretty much like wearing sweaty pajamas."


2. Black Widow Was a Villain

Black Widow in Tales of Suspense #52 (1962)

In Iron Man 2 Black Widow is working for Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) but in her first comic appearance, she's trying to kill him. Black Widow was created by Stan Lee, Don Rico and Don Heck, and first appeared in Tales of Suspense #52 (1964). She was a Russian assassin and would become a recurring villain for many years. Black Widow tried to kill him a bunch of times.

She defects from Russia and begins freelancing with S.H.I.E.L.D. Natasha later becomes an ally of the Avengers before becoming its sixteenth member.

In Captain America: Civil War she kind of plays a villain since she's fighting against Captain America. But the character keeps her amoral world-view when she (kind of) switches sides.


3. Black Widow Was Named After Rocky and Bullwinkle

Rocky and Bullwinkle - Boris and Natasha

In the 1960s Stan Lee did a lot of stories about evil Russian Communist villains. At the time a popular TV show was the cartoon series Rocky and Bullwinkle by Jay Ward Productions. The main antagonist was the bumbling Russian spy Boris Badanov and his companion Natasha Fatale.

In Tales of Suspense #52 strongman Boris Turgenov and his sister, Natasha are sent to kill Stark and Vanko. Marvel had their own "Boris and Natasha". So, thank Moose and Squirrel for Black Widow.


4. A Black Widow Movie Ended Because of Charlize Theron

Aeon Flux (2005) - Æon Flux (Charlize Theron)
In the early 2000s, female-led action flicks were big. Movies like Kill Bill and Tomb Raider ruled the box office. So, why not a female superhero film? 

In 2004, Lionsgate owned the live-action movie rights and began working on a Black Widow movie. They hired David Hayter, who wrote X-Men and X-Men 2, to work on the script. The draft had Natasha adopted as a child, trained as a child assassin, given the Black Widow Program super soldier serum, and eventually defecting from Russia. 

Everything was going great until 2005 when Aeon Flux, the $65 million Charlize Theron flick bombed hard. Three days after the box office returns Lionsgate announced Black Widow was done.

Years later, the female superhero film Wonder Woman broke records. You may have heard of it. Suddenly the long-delayed Black Widow movie is back in play. What a "coinkydink".


5. Black Widow Was Almost Emily Blunt

Edge of Tomorrow (2014) - Sergeant Rita Vrataski (Emily Blunt)
Scarlett Johansson really wanted to play Natalia Romanova in Iron Man 2. She even dyed her hair red for the audition. She lost the role to Emily Blunt. But Blunt dropped out of the role to co-star in Gulliver's Travels.

After Eliza Dushku, Angelina Jolie, and Natalie Portman turned down the role Johansson was cast instead. Blunt later said women in superhero movies "feel thankless" but is open to playing another superhero movie.


6. Marvel Paid an Insanely Small Amount For Black Widow


It's well known that actresses are generally paid less than male co-stars, but apparently, the salary for Iron Man 2 was insultingly low.

One report by Deadline said Blunt turned down the role of Black Widow because it was "a terrible deal". The source added "it's as bad as any deal that I've heard. It's lowball money. And it ties her to countless movies, including that ensemble The Avengers, which is what makes this brutal for a lot of actors."

Johansson got the last laugh though because she negotiated big baller money for the Avengers sequel. She is the second-highest paid star in the movie earning $20 million for her role as Black Widow.


7. Black Widow's Real Name is Natalia Alianovna "Natasha" Romanoff

Iron Man 2 (2010) - Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson)
In Iron Man 2 she's introduced to Tony Stark as Natalie Rushman, but that's just a cover to hide her real identity. As a former Russian spy, her given name is Natalia Alianovna Romanoff. The truth is that isn't even her real name. In Captain America: Civil War it was revealed that the KGB took orphans, brainwashed them and trained them to be assassins. So, who knows what her birth name is? Years later she tracked down the graves of her parents.


8. Black Widow Saved Scarlett Johansson From Typecasting

Match Point (2006) - Nola Rice (Scarlett Johansson)
Scarlett Johansson started as a child actress. But her blonde-bombshell looks and husky voice quickly established her as a female seductress. She rose to fame playing the love interest in films like Lost in Translation (2003) and Match Point (2005).

Scarlett Johansson is FHM's 2006 "Sexiest Woman Alive" and Playboy's 2007 "Sexiest Celebrity of the Year". Her career seemed set.

But, according to an interview in Variety, she hated it. Calling it "flattering," she said it felt "confining" to her. "The Marvel universe has opened up so many opportunities for me to stretch myself in ways that I never thought would be possible," she said.

After Avengers she began appearing in action movies like Lucy (2014) and Ghost in the Shell (2017). She says none of that would have been possible if she'd been stuck as eye candy.

9. Johansson Was Pregnant During Avengers: Age of Ultron

Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015) - Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Joss Whedon
After she was cast in Avengers: Age of Ultron she found out she was preggers with her first child. The studio rearranged her schedule to film most of her scenes before she began to show.

"She's not going to spend the whole movie carrying groceries," Whedon joked in Entertainment Weekly. "We didn't trim any scenes. We're like, 'We'll make it work'". After that, they used three stunt doubles to film her action scenes and replaced their faces using CGI.

The stunt doubles looked so much like her that co-star Chris Evans said, "You walk by, 'Hey, Scarlett—oh, weird. You're not Scarlett at all. Sorry.' A lot of fake Scarletts around."

10. Scarlett Johansson Learned Russian

The Avengers (2012) - Black Widow(Scarlett Johansson)
For the few lines of Russian she spoke in Avengers (2012) she learned the language. The scene has Natasha appear to be "captured" by Russian weapons dealers. She and Georgi Luchkov (Jerzy Skolimowski) have a conversation in Russian.

Scarlett Johansson told Huffington Post she didn't want to "parrot the lines". She wanted to give them some real feeling. She worked with a Russian teacher over the phone to learn it phonetically and shot that scene in a couple of days.

At the Avengers 3D press-conference in Moscow, she spoke some improvised Russian for the crowd. They cheered, so her accent must be pretty good. That or they cheer anything a Hollywood super-star says.

11. Black Widow is in Love With Hawkeye


In the comics, Black Widow falls in love with Clint Barton aka Hawkeye. She recruits the criminal archer Hawkeye in her attempts to kill Stark. When Romanova attempt to defect from the Soviet Union her romantic feelings for Hawkeye is seen as a weakness and the KGB tries to kill her. He even proposed to her, but she declined.

In the movies, Barton (Jeremy Renner) was assigned to kill Black Widow, but decided she'd be a better ally and defies the order. The two have a special relationship, but it's not romantic.

12. David Bowie's Wife Was Almost Black Widow

Daredevil (1975) - Black Widow (Angela Bowie)
In the 1970s David Bowie's Wife Angela Bowie dreamed of playing a superhero on TV. She contacted Stan Lee and got permission to develop a live-action show for one year. Bowie began pre-production on the show. They lined up a costume designer and had a photoshoot with African American actor Ben Carruthers as Daredevil.

Daredevil (Ben Carruthers), Black Widow (Angela Bowie)
It never made it to series so it ended up as the 70s version of cosplay. Angela Bowie told ManWithoutFear the special effects made it "too difficult and expensive to film".

We missed out on a 70s glam version of Black Widow and thank goodness. Although it would have been cool to have a black Daredevil. Just sayin'.


13. Black Widow is Almost As Old than Captain America

Captain America: Civil War (2016) - Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Captain America (Chris Evans)
In the comics, Black Widow is a super-spy and has a natural skill at tactics and martial arts. But there's more to Natasha than meets the eye. In the comics, she was born in 1928 and orphaned as a child.

A Soviet soldier named Ivan Petrovitch Bezukhov found Natasha in a burning building after a bombing run. She's taken in by a covert U.S.S.R. "Black Widow Ops" program and trained as an elite female sleeper agent.

She's biotechnologically and psycho-technologically enhanced. Black Widow has a super healing ability that slows down her aging. That makes her a little older than Captain America.

The movies keep her Russian "Red Room" training but they haven't said is Black Widow has any powers.


14. Black Widow Was Romancing Daredevil


While Scarlett Johansson was "hilariously" teased for her many relationships by Sebastian Stan and Chris Evans in the movies she's only shown romancing the "Big Green Rage Machine" Hulk. In the comics, Black Widow had a number of relationships including Daredevil. 

Starting in 1971’s Daredevil #81 the two began working together and fell in love. It was so serious that the two moved to New York together and the comic was briefly renamed "Daredevil and Black Widow". Kind of like the Joanie Loves Chachi of comic books.

Charlie Cox, who plays Daredevil in the Netflix television shows said he wants to see her on the show. We'll see if that ever happens, but I'm not holding my breath.

15. Black Widow is Short

The Avengers (2012) - Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), Captain America (Chris Evans), Black Widow(Scarlett Johansson)
You don't notice it from all the high-kicking and high heels but Scarlett Johansson isn't very tall. In the comics, Black Widow is 5' 7" (1.70 m), but Scarlett Johansson is much shorter at 5′ 3″ (1.60 m). For comparison, Jeremy Renner is 5' 10" (1.78m) and Chris Evans is 6' 0" (1.84m).

That doesn't stop her from kicking butt and taking names. She's been able to stand toe-to-high heeled toe next to Captain America and the Hulk. This deadly secret agent has let her size hold her back.

Her stunt double Heidi Moneymaker is 5' 3" as well and she does some insane gymnastics and sword-work. Short girls rule!

Did you learn anything new about Black Widow? Which is your favorite fact? Are there any we missed?

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