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'Black Widow' writer explains James Bond fandom and cut lines

30-Aug-2021 • Bond News

‘Black Widow’ writer Eric Pearson was asked recently by Uproxx on the creative choice to make  Natasha Romanoff’s character (played by Scarlett Johansson) a James Bond fan and what made the team choose 'Moonraker' as the example.

Well, speaking about when she goes off the grid the scene that got me is when she watches Moonraker. I asked Cate Shortland about that and she said I needed to ask you.

Well, that’s a whole thing. This line was cut from the movie and I’m super butt-hurt about it because I think I’m so clever. The idea was she’s going off the grid and she’s got this character, Mason, who sets everything up for her. She’s going to have to be there for a while. I even thought, a great, great humanizing moment is entertainment. I thought it would be so funny if she had the complete Bond DVD series.

That is good.

The line that was cut was huge. It was like, “Really? You wanted Bond?” The line that she had, that I love, because I thought it was clever was, “Do you know how real housewives watch The Real Housewives? Those movies are like that for me.” The idea that Bond, to her, was like reality TV, cheesy reality TV? I thought that was funny. They cut it.

That is funny. I would have liked that.

Well, I will say, I couldn’t believe – especially because we’re shooting in the UK – how much discussion there was about which Bond movie it should be. I just wanted her watching Bond, because I thought it was really fun and humanizing. Also, for her to just be there having a snack and mumbling the words out of her, it was very charming to me. But, man, I think we ultimately went with Moonraker because there’s a jumping out of a plane with no parachutes.

So it’s reversed engineered? You already had that ending and you’re like, “Hey, wait, Moonraker starts like this.”

Yeah, but all that to say, there was a whole lot of opinion about which Bond movie she should be watching. I was just happy because I also knew it might be a logistic clearance thing to get a Bond clip in there. I just was pushing for her watching Bond. I also felt like, in my mind, Natasha, she doesn’t have superpowers or anything, she’s still an Avenger, she’s still a big hero. A love of movies that we like, it just helps to bring our movie to where we wanted to be on the ground.

For some reason, Moonraker feels right. That Natasha would pick a late ’70s Bond with Roger Moore.

Also, the python line is just so fun and cheesy and it was just fun for her to get to say that. But I’m so glad, I mean, that was really my move of like, “She should be watching a Bond movie, having a snack in just pajama pants.”

And there are some similarities with the arcs of Jaws and Taskmaster.

It’s so funny. I actually haven’t seen (Moonraker) in a while. I just watched a little. I saw it when I was younger and then I watched… There’s a double-take pigeon, which I didn’t know about. Do you remember that? The double-take?

Yeah. I have the GIF on my phone. There’s a pigeon that does a double-take at James Bond’s antics.

I mean, those old Bond movies blur together after a while.

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