Marjorie Liu Talks AVENGERS CONFIDENTIAL: BLACK WIDOW & PUNISHER
Marvel has ventured into the world of anime a few times with their TV shows based on characters like Blade, the X-Men, Wolverine, and Iron Man, but it was only last year that the company made the bold step into full-length anime films with Iron Man: Rise of Technovore. Marvel‘s second full-length film produced by Madhouse was announced late last month focusing on Black Widow (voiced by Jennifer Carpenter) and the Punisher (voiced by Brian Bloom). The movie will sport the title Avengers Confidential: Black Widow & Punisher. That’s quite a mouthful, but it gets the point across. Fan-favorite scribe Marjorie Liu recently spoke with CBR about the upcoming DVD/Blu-ray release this March for which she wrote the story.
Liu has written for video games before, but this is her first foray into film. Comics and video games are two different beasts, but films were an entirely different medium altogether. Liu talked about the process of writing for the movie and what drew her to the job in the first place:
I had no experience writing for film, but the producers were incredibly patient and led me through the process — which, as it turned out, was a lot of fun. I think most people rightly assume that Black Widow is one of my favorite characters, but what might not be obvious is that I’ve been a Punisher fan since I first started reading comics. In fact, I think Punisher was one of the first comics I ever bought– right alongside the X-Men and Batman. The idea of Frank Castle and Black Widow, together? As adversaries — and as a team? In my mind, it made total sense. In fact, it seemed perfect. As for the experience of writing the story — in some ways, it was like creating a very detailed outline for a comic script. A lot of direction, with some dialogue to ground the scene.
Black Widow is a familiar character for Liu, having written for Ms. Romanov in the past, but Frank Castle was a little bit of a stretch since she only got to play with the character while he was FrankenCastle. After talking about her love of Black Widow, Liu touched on what she finds interesting about Mr. Castle:
I think of him as quiet, reclusive, an “every man” who just happens to be a cunning, implacable vigilante who can ruin your life in such horrifying ways that simply hearing what he’s planning to do will put you in therapy for life. I love it. I tried to give “film Frank” those same qualities, and something more: we get to see what he’s like when working as a member of a team. It doesn’t soften him, but it does make him slightly more expressive.
Liu states that the original title of the project was Black Widow vs. Punisher, but it ended up getting changed somewhere further along in the creative process. While Natasha and Frank do face off against one another, they end up working together toward a common goal. Nick Fury and a few of the Avengers will show up later on in the film, but this is mainly all about the two most deadly characters in the Marvel Universe. Liu describes the threat that would bring all of these characters together:
The short answer: Leviathan — which is definitely related to the terrorist group in “Secret Warriors” — creates a weapon that endangers the world, as all these weapons tend to do. The more interesting story rests with Punisher and Black Widow, who are both dealing with their own individual demons. The Punisher, who is never conflicted, is put in a position where his brutality is unleashed outside his control, with devastating results. For Natasha, someone from her past returns — an old flame. And while she never questions the mission at hand, it’s not easy fighting someone you used to love.
Some things changed and were shifted around when Madhouse and director Mitsutaka Hirota made the film, but Liu says it still uses the bones of her story. This is going to be a super spy action thriller with some explosive anime action. The anime TV shows over the past few years have been great, and Rise of Technovore was a strong start for the full-length side of things, so it will be interesting to see how things go with Widow and Punisher. You can read the rest of what the writer had to say by clicking the source link below. Avengers Confidential: Black Widow & Punisher will hit store shelves March 25th. Will you be checking this one out?