Retcon for Black Widow’s Infinity War Exec at Marvel explains

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In a recent book, Marvel executive Andy Park detailed how they changed how Black Widow appeared in Avengers: Infinity War. Black Widow, one of the MCU’s sole prequels, plays a rarer role than other movies because it takes place before the events of the larger-scale Avengers movies that came before it. With the help of knowledge from a recent book, the implications of this peculiar location may now be seen more clearly.

Retcon for Black Widow Explained

In Marvel’s Black Widow: The Art of the Movie, director of visual development Andy Park explains that the minor Easter egg of Natasha Romanoff’s garment in Avengers: Infinity War being similar to her sister Yelena Belova’s vest was not initially intended. Now that followers are aware that the vest is truly Yelena’s, Park claimed to have “retroactively given that vest significance,” adding that “there’s love” in the garment:

“Working on ‘Black Widow’, we retroactively gave that vest meaning — that it’s actually Yelena’s vest. If you ever watch Infinity War again, your eyes will get watery because Natasha’s wearing her sister’s vest, and there’s love in there. That’s what we do as concept artists, because we’re all storytellers.”

When the “tactical vest” was created for Infinity War, it didn’t represent anything specific outside what would make sense in the narrative:

“When I first designed Natasha in ‘Infinity War’, the Russo brothers didn’t want her to have a whole new suit. They wanted to take her existing suit from Captain America: Civil War and add something to it. When I came up with the tactical vest, they liked that idea, so that’s what stuck.”

Years later, when it was time to work on Black Widow, Park had the idea to [incorporate] the vest we see in Avengers: Infinity War,” though the original plan was for it to be part of Natasha’s design:

“Her look has stayed fairly similar in her various appearances, so a lot of it is playing with details — different lines and materials … I did versions where she’s just wearing a jacket and other types of everyday clothing, and that’s where I started to think that incorporating the vest we see in ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ might be a good idea.”

The vest “worked incredibly well with the white suit,” according to Park, so she decided to include it into Yelena’s design.

“With Yelena’s snowsuit design, I did a lot of versions. I had played with incorporating the vest from Avengers: Infinity War into Natasha’s design, but I had the idea that, maybe, what if it’s Yelena’s vest? I presented that idea and the designs I was playing with, and it worked really well with the white suit. And, of course, the vest became a thing.”

In order to give what he creates “deeper significance,” Park is thorough in his execution, taking care to add details like “a subtle black widow spider pattern” in the lines of Natasha’s suit:

“So, as I’m designing a suit, it’s not just a question of, ‘What does it look like, how do I make it cool?’ You’re also thinking, ‘What is the story behind what she’s wearing?’ Even though the viewer might not always be able to see the story I’m telling, it should be there. So once you tell it, it gives it deeper meaning.”

Finally, Park acknowledged costume maker Jany Temime, praising her for “doing a tremendous job of taking these garments and making them real:”

“Jany Temime did a fantastic job of taking these suits and making them real. When I designed them, they were very tight, tactical suits. But she gave Yelena’s a uniqueness in making it more baggy, with a thinner material, based on her research into a Russian jumpsuit. Jany’s additions just add so much more.”

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