NEW YORK -- Marvel's "Black Widow" is poised to make history this weekend as the highest-grossing blockbuster movie since the pandemic began, with advanced sales running ahead of any other title this year.
Scarlett Johansson plays the title character, who finds herself apart from The Avengers in her own movie.
She is forced to confront her past as a trained assassin raised in an unusual family, with Florence Pugh playing her sister with whom she is reunited early in the movie.
"What's interesting is seeing women lifting other women up, and seeing women who support one another's journey of self-forgiveness," Johansson said.
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And it all comes in an action-packed thriller.
"Lovely to watch and see, especially when you're watching a big movie like that with lots of explosions and car chases," Pugh said.
Reviews have praised the movie for its heart and soul, as well as for its female-forward action.
"We would be remiss if we did not reflect what's happening in the zeitgeist and what is this revolution that is happening when you know women are empowering other women," Johansson said.
There's an arc for this character over the course of a decade.
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Black Widow began as an object of Tony Stark's desire in "Iron Man 2" and now finds herself at the center of the action of the movie made by Cate Shortland.
"I wanted to prove a point that girls are just as tough and ingenious and powerful as their male counterparts," the director said.
Shortland and the top of her cast are all women, and that makes a big difference, says Rachel Weisz.
"Much better than just watching a movie about a serial killer where the women are just victims or beaten up or tied up," she said. "You know, that's not helpful as a young woman growing up, You want to see stories of yourself being represented doing complex, interesting things."
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I was raised by a working mom, and Lindy Kenyon was a formidable woman who was in her own way as strong as the central character here and equally charismatic.
That's just one reason "Black Widow" resonates with me.
This is the first movie of this size and scope to launch simultaneously in 4,100 theaters and at home.
It's available for a fee to subscribers of Disney+, owned by the same parent company as this ABC station.