As happened with Eternals and Chloé Zhao’s vision, Black Widow could have been a very different film from the rest of the MCU productions if Lucrecia Martel had been chosen to direct it. And it is that the acclaimed Argentine director was part of the shortlist of candidates to bring the story of Scarlett Johansson’s character to the screen, but ended up declining the offer.
Multi-award-winning and recognized for films such as Zama or La Ciénaga, Martel is one of the most recognized female directors on the Latin American stage and in the world, however it was a surprise for her that Marvel Studios approached to her to offer such an important project as the prequel centered on Natasha Romanoff, as she confessed back in 2018 speaking with Indiewire:
“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.”
Despite the fact that the job was ultimately taken by Cate Shortland, and that the conditions were not what Martel wanted to take over the project, she would be interested in contributing to the comic book genre, although she does have some important things to say about the MCU movies.
Lucrecia Martel Has an Issue with Marvel Studios Sound Effects
Speaking with The Film Stage, the director revealed that she has not seen Black Widow yet but she has seen other films in the franchise and does not find them particularly attractive because of the sound:
“No, no, no––I didn’t see Black Widow. I tried to. They contacted a great number of female directors. I never would have imagined that Marvel could contact and bring together a pool of directors and I would be a part of it; I never thought that would be possible. I would have loved to make a film with them but I would have had to provide something that I would like to see in that world. It turns out some of the Marvel films are available on planes so I’ve seen a few. I find the sound in them is absolutely in very poor taste, the visual effects and the sound of the effects. It’s the selection of the sounds that they’re connecting to the effects, which is actually very ugly. And the way the music is used is actually horrible.”
Martel also recalled the moment in which she was a jury at the Venice Festival in 2019, where Joker was first shown and shared praiseworthy words for the Todd Philips film:
“Joker is incredible for that particular group of films.”
Phillips will have the chance to surprise Lucrecia Martel and the audience once again with Joker: Folie a Deux, which will not only be a follow up to the 2018 movie but also a very different and much risky project, since it’s a musical.