There have been strong and reliable rumours floating around town as of late that a portion of Marvel’s big budget action film Black Widow will be filmed in Budapest. It was only a matter of time before Marvel’s ever expanding Captain America universe should extend to Budapest, whose film production industry is similarly ever expanding. This means Scarlett Johansson will be spending time in the city, as she will of course be playing the role she originated.
Apparently in The Avengers, Johansson’s Russian-born Black Widow character, Natasha Romanoff -- aka Black Widow -- makes reference to an incident that occurred in Budapest, which Jeremy Renner’s character Hawkeye cannot recall. It is speculated that this sequence - at a minimum - will tell that story, in Budapest, naturally. This may also mean that Budapest will once again sit in for a Russian city, as it did to such perfection in the Moscow-set spy film Red Sparrow.
Less known is that this will actually mark the actor’s return to Budapest. It was 18 years ago that the film American Rhapsody came out, starring a very young Johansson as a troubled American teen who spends a summer in Budapest to connect with her Hungarian roots. Written and directed by American/Hungarian film-maker Éva Gárdos, the film is very much based on her life experience. Gárdos was left behind in Hungary when her parents escaped over the heavily armed Austrian/ Hungarian border. Eventually reunited with her parents in Canada, she returned to Budapest as a teenager to experience the country under Communist rule. Though the film has the character splitting her identities between California and Hungary, it is still very much the director’s own tale. “California is so different from Europe. Visually, I wanted these people to feel like they were on such a different planet,” Gárdos told the LA Times back in 2001, upon the film’s release.
While American Rhapsody got middling reviews, it was very well received by the late Roger Ebert, at the time America’s most influential film critic, praising the budding starlet and writing that “The American children of immigrants from anywhere will probably find moments they recognize in this movie.”
So in Johansson’s return, we can see just how far she has come as an actress, and just how far Budapest has come as a location. A reunion of old friends who are both at the height of their powers, it will be an ‘incident’ worth remembering.
If you are having trouble following the progression of Johansson’s Black Widow character, who ranges across films, Evolution TV has put together a helpful video, which you can see below.
Flatpack Films has many years of experience dedicated to offering expert servicing. It has brought the best of Hungary to countless brands, agencies, and production companies through its unique locations, exceptionally skilled crews, top of the line equipment and technical solutions. Backed by an impeccable track record, Flatpack Films has worked with world-class clients including Samsung, Samsonite, Toyota, Braun, Chivas Regal and many more - bringing their projects to life through a highly bespoke approach.