British acting legend Ray Winstone is on board for the Marvel origin story Black Widow. The film is currently in production in London and due to also star Florence Pugh as well as series star Scarlett Johansson.
Although details about the film are unknown at this stage, it is thought to focus on the evolution of superhero Natasha Romanov, aka Black Widow, a former Russian spy recruited by paranormal espionage agency S.H.I.E.L.D. (Strategic Hazard Intervention Espionage Logistics Directorate) to serve as a member of the hit superhero squad known as the Avengers.
Until recently, Black Widow was the only member of the Avengers to not have her own standalone film, with her counterparts in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, including Thor, Captain America and Iron Man, having long had their own franchises that compliment the events of the four Avengers films. With an increased focus in recent years on the need for more women-led films, demand from Marvel fans for Black Widow to have her own origin story has been high.
Known to some as ‘the British De Niro,’ veteran actor Winstone is best known for playing violent, tough and grizzled men in films and TV series such as Sexy Beast, Scum and The Sweeney. However, he has a diverse portfolio, providing voiceovers for films such as The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.
Black Widow will also be the first stint in the MCU for young actor Florence Pugh, known for her breakout role in the film Lady Macbeth as well as her role in the lavish TV adaptation of the John Le Carre novel The Little Drummer Girl.
Although probably best known to Marvel fans for playing the hard-as-nails Romanov, Scarlett Johansson has had an immense and varied career, with roles in films such as Lost in Translation, The Other Boleyn Girl and The Prestige.