It appears that Marvel Studios’ latest habit of shooting their projects without concrete scripts or even an overall franchise direction has been plaguing the company for longer than previously thought, as Black Widow star David Harbour has revealed that the entire third act of Natasha’s solo film “was reworked as we were shooting”.
The Red Guardian actor provided this insight into the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s continuing death spiral during an August appearance on entertainment reporter Josh Horowitz’s Happy Sad Confused podcast.
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Asked by Horowitz for a status update on the upcoming Thunderbolts film, whose titular team is set to feature the actor’s Russian super-soldier as a core member, Harbour explained, “Yeah, we were I think gonna go, and then they did want the opportunity to change some stuff.”
“The interesting thing about Marvel, that’s so great about them, is that they do rework stuff, even big productions,” the Gran Turismo star then divulged. “Like Black Widow, the entire third act was reworked as we were shooting it, which is incredible. They just want that freedom.”
To this end, Harbour then noted that it was actually this very ‘freedom’ which was hindering the Thunderbolts production.
“The script we have is really tight, and really great, and our director Jake [Schreier] thinks it’s great, but [Marvel] just want the freedom,” said the actor of the upcoming super-soldier team-up film’s development. “They don’t want to be stuck in the middle of a shoot and then have to go, ‘We can’t rewrite this’.”
As noted above, Black Widow is far from the only Marvel project to have suffered from the studio’s recent turn to putting their cinematic carts before their CGI horses.
In a recent interview with Insider, series director Ali Selim admitted that Marvel’s widely-and-deeply-panned Secret Invasion was still being written, plot and all, as the series was being edited.
“As you hunt down story, everything is constantly evolving,” said Selim. “And it’s a fascinating process.”
He went on to elaborate, “I guess there are moments of improv, like between Sam [Jackson] and Don [Cheadle], between Sam and Ben [Mendelsohn]. There are really rich moments of improv.”
“There are actors who rely more on the script,” Selim added. “I think as we are editing, we’re still finding the story. We were finding the story on episode six up until episode one had already aired.”
“That’s part of the beauty of it,” he concluded on the topic of the series’ writing process, “is that Marvel just keeps hunting it down and using the resources they have to come up with the best story possible, and that quest never ends.”
Likewise, on the May 24th episode of Horowitz’s show, Scarlet Witch actor Elizabeth Olsen admitted that Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness had undergone so much rewrites that she eventually lost track of what exactly the film was meant to be.
Asked by her host if she had any thoughts on the film’s final cut compared to its original script, the actress opined, “It resembled more than I thought it was going to.”
“I mean, there were definitely moments where…there’s a point in making the movie where I just stopped reading drafts,” she told Horowitz. “I was just like, ‘This is going to change again. Just keep me posted with the information I need and you guys fill in the blanks that you need. But I’ll just keep my lane.’ That one was a wild ride.”