Given that ScarJo was practically the co-lead of Captain America 2, it’s not surprising that Marvel often fields questions about featuring Johansson in a standalone Black Widow film. Still, fans can see the actress in full badass, superhero mode in director Luc Besson’s upcoming Lucy, and this time she’s not sharing the spotlight with anyone.
Lucy follows the title character as she is kidnapped and forced to become a drug mule, with some kind of dangerous substance surgically deposited into her stomach. The compound leaks into Lucy’s system, and suddenly she has heightened mental and physical abilities, becoming more powerful over time, to the point of being able to utilize “100% of the human brain,” as co-star Morgan Freeman intoned in the first Lucy trailer.
Now we’ll be able to watch Lucy in action sooner than we thought. Universal Pictures has moved up the official Lucy release date to July 25, 2014, up from its original August 8th date. They also released the movie’s new poster:
Rather than squaring off at the box office against the rebooted Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the film now has new competition in the form of Brett Ratner’s Hercules starring Dwayne Johnson. The July 25th weekend already sported counter-programming with the release of the raunchy comedy Sex Tape with Jason Segal and Cameron Diaz – does EuropaCorp and U.S. distributor Universal Pictures think Lucy has a better shot opposite the testosterone-laden sword-and-sandals Hercules than TMNT, given that the latter is likely to draw a pretty broad demographic, and that the Kellan Lutz Legend of Hercules bombed at the box office earlier this year?
It’s pretty clear that Lucy is relying on Johansson’s star power and super-heroic presence within the Marvel Cinematic Universe to draw crowds and drive the premise home. The plot of Luc Besson’s original script may feel rather shamelessly cobbled together from several other sci-fi/action/thrillers like Limitless, Hanna, certain aspects of the X-Men films and even The Matrix, as Lucy’s abilities evolve into something resembling Neo’s power to manipulate reality itself.
Lucy is Scarlett Johansson’s moment in the sun. Without a comic book franchise in the background or a male superhero in sight, the question isn’t whether or not ScarJo can hold the screen (we know she can), but will her charisma prove enough to overshadow what is quite likely a patently ludicrous plot? We’ll find out two weeks earlier than before.