There seems to be much talk of an Avengers’ spin-off movie for Scarlett Johannson’s character Black Widow, centering around a mysterious incident in Budapest. This is all still up in the air, be we can at least confirm that one incident in Budapest regarding the star; one which had nothing to do with superheroes, though it was fact was one of the star’s first major roles.
The American-produced drama An American Rhapsody came out in 2001, much of it shot here in Budapest. One of our favorite stills of a Budapest bridge is the one below with a young Ms. Johannson dreamily walking across it. This is, of course, Budapest’s famous Chain Bridge, one of the most popular tourist destinations and film locations in the city. Somehow these two icons just pit perfectly together.
An American Rhapsody is one of those rare Hollywood movies that utilizes Budapest as Budapest, rather than as a stand in for another city. The film tells the story of a girl who has returned to Hungary from her life in America to discover the secrets of her family under Communism and discover who she really is. It is all based on the life of director/script writer Éva Gárdos, who, was left behind in Hungary when her parents escaped over the heavily armed Austrian/ Hungarian border. Eventually reunited with her parents in Canada, she returns 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. Though the film was shot in post-Communist Hungary, the Budapest of those gray days can still be felt in the scenery, only making the red-jacketed Scarlett Johannson stand out all the more. If she does indeed return for Budapest, the movie, even as the Black Widow, the city will only be brighter because of it.
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