Scarlett Johansson is about to have a long-awaited flick hit the big screen this week when Black Widow, her much-anticipated and long-overdue solo film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, releases on July 9th. Fans have been champing at the bit to finally see this story play out, which happens in a timeline well before the character’s death in Avengers: Endgame. But not all in Hollywood are so excited about the film. In an interview with The Independent, Stephen Dorff had some pointed words towards Johansson, the movie, and the genre in general.
Dorff didn’t mix words around what he thought about Scarlett Johansson taking this superhero turn in Black Widow and basically thumbed his nose at the entirety of the comic book genre, the Marvel Cinematic Universe especially. Apropos of almost nothing, he brought up how he seeks out roles in the industry and what draws him to specific projects. Here’s what he had to say when talking about productions he wants to be a part of:
I still hunt out the good shit because I don’t want to be in Black Widow. It looks like garbage to me. It looks like a bad video game. I’m embarrassed for those people. I’m embarrassed for Scarlett! I’m sure she got paid five, seven million bucks, but I’m embarrassed for her. I don’t want to be in those movies. I really don’t.
Forget the part where he hasn’t even seen the movie yet and is able to levy this kind of criticism toward the film and Scarlett Johansson. It does feel like a weird potshot to take at the flick and lead, all things considered. What is there to gain by calling out a specific actress and movie that’s about to hit the screen except to alienate a variety of people? Do you need to like the movie or what it represents? No, of course not. But to basically call an actress a sell-out for being in a movie is just a weird tangent, one that surely can’t help someone’s career.
Stephen Dorff, like Scarlett Johansson, has had his share of Hollywood hits and misses over the years for sure. That’s the nature of the business and what it means to take a variety of roles. It’s not like this dude wasn’t part of the genre before mind you. He played Deacon Frost in 1998’s Blade, a *meh* addition to the comic book landscape. So it’s not like he’s always been so choosy with roles.
As for Scarlett Johansson, when Black Widow releases this week it will culminate her titular character’s arc through the Marvel Cinematic Universe even if it is something of a backwards way to do it. Of course, her character dies during the event of Avengers: Endgame in a poignant and heartbreaking scene that saw her and Jeremy Renner’s Clint Barton wrestling with each other for the chance to give their life to get the Soul Stone. This next movie will go back in time to the events following Captain America: Civil War and give some more background on the character. It will also set up a new path for a new Black Widow going forward.
There seems very little reason for Stephen Dorff to have taken a stab at Scarlett Johansson here considering the circumstances. Is the movie meant to be a critical darling across the board? No, but there is still plenty of room for fun stories like this and Marvel has an outstanding track record in the movie space so far. If Dorff doesn’t want to take part, fine. Just don’t lob in criticism from the cheap seats.