Black Widow’s Plot Inspired By James Bond Films ‘Moonraker’ And ‘On Her Majesty’s Secret Service’

Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) finally got her own standalone Marvel film with Black Widow, and who knew the ex-KGB agent was a fan of the James Bond film, Moonraker. 

Moonraker is the Roger Moore Bond film that sees 007 catch a ride on a space shuttle to destroy Hugo Drax’s space station before his deadly array of satellites kills all life on Earth, except plants.

While many believe Moonraker is one of the worst Bond films, Natasha Romanoff likes it. Early in the film, Black Widow takes some downtime and watches the film on her laptop while drinking a beer. She’s clearly seen the film multiple times because she recites the dialogue along with Roger Moore’s James Bond.

She watches the scene in which Bond explains why he killed Hugo Drax’s “pet python.”

In an interview with Uproxx, Eric Pearson, screenwriter of Black Widow, said he debated with director Cate Shortland which James Bond film Romanoff would watch. There’s also a deleted scene featuring Romanoff explaining why she watches James Bond. It’s because spies watch Bond films like housewives watch The Real Housewives.

This nod to Moonraker, however, is just the beginning of the similarities between the two films.

There are similarities in the plot, a main character, a major stunt, and the explosive finale on the villain’s base called the Red Room.

In addition, Black Widow also takes ideas from an earlier James Bond film, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.


Searching For Gas Vials 

Black Widow is always chasing some madman with a scheme designed to change the trajectory of human life in a bad way. Here, she wants to stop Russian villain General Dreykov and his Black Widow program by destroying its base of operations, the Red Room.

Dreykov was responsible for Romanoff becoming a Widow. He uses chemicals to control the young women and turn them into assassins. Even when they don’t want to do something, they cannot resist doing it.

The only thing that can neutralize this chemical mind control is a red gas stored in vials.

Pursuing these gas vials is similar to the plot of Moonraker.

In Moonraker, James Bond infiltrates a lab. Inside, he sees an experiment go wrong as a vial containing a deadly toxin is accidentally broken. The scientists die within seconds, and Bond manages to grab a vial for Q to analyze. 

Brainwashed Women Around the Globe

Dreykov’s plan is to plant brainwashed female operatives all over the world. This is similar to the plot of another James Bond film, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, in which Ernst Stavro Blofeld uses hypnosis to brainwash women in his lair and then send them back to their homes all around the world. There they will wait for “instructions”.

Blofeld plans to use the brainwashed women to release a deadly virus that kills the world’s food supply. In Black Widow, Dreykov also mentions his Widows could starve a quarter of the world’s population if ordered, among other things.

At the end of Black Widow, Romanoff infiltrates the Red Room. After being captured, Dreykov shows her a map of all the Widows embedded around the world. Romanoff tricks Dreykov, and once he is out of the way, she downloads all the locations of the Widows for authorities to deprogram later.

This is very similar to On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. At the end of the film, James Bond infiltrates Blofeld’s secret base and finds a map that shows the locations of all the brainwashed women around the globe. He uses a little camera to take photographs of the map for authorities to find and deprogram these women later.


Former James Bond cast members 

Two actors from Quantum of Solace play prominent parts in Black Widow. David Harbour played CIA rat Gregory Beam and Olga Kurylenko played “Bond Girl” Camille in Quantum of Solace. In Black Widow, Harbour plays Alexei Shostakov a.k.a. Red Guardian, Soviet Russia’s only supersoldier and counterpart to Captain America, while Kurylenko plays Taskmaster.

Is Taskmaster Supposed to be like Jaws?

Kurylenko’s Taskmaster is a mute almost invincible henchwoman. Sound familiar?

The description of her character could also describe Jaws, the henchman from Moonraker. Although, he was male and not female. 

Taskmaster even switches sides in the climax of Black Widow, just like Jaws does in Moonraker. 



When Romanoff and her sister Yelena Belova (Florence Pugh) rescue Red Guardian from a remote Siberian prison, Yelena blows up a guard tower. The explosion triggers an avalanche that consumes the prison.

Something similar happens in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. Bond and his bride-to-be, Tracy, are being hunted down by Blofeld and his henchman in an epic ski chase. When Bond seems to be too far away to pursue in a valley, Blofeld fires a flare into the mountain range above and triggers an avalanche that floods the valley with ice burying 007 and Tracy.

The Red Room Looks Like Drax’s Space Station in Moonraker

The climax of Black Widow takes place on the Red Room, which floats miles above the Earth. The design of this structure looks very similar to the design of villain Hugo Drax’s space station orbiting the Earth at the end of Moonraker. Both the Red Room and Drax’s space station are invisible to radar.

As the Red Room explodes Romanoff’s “fake” parents take off in a plane from one of the platforms just as the Red Room explodes. The scene is very similar to Bond’s space shuttle pulling away from an access arm protruding from Drax’s space station as it also explodes.

Black Widow And Moonraker Both Have A Parachute-less Skydiving Sequence

In addition, the climax of Black Widow features a parachute-less skydiving sequence underneath the structure, as it collapses, which is inspired by the no-parachute sequence at the beginning of MoonrakerThe sequence even features the indestructible henchwoman Taskmaster skydiving after Black Widow, just like Jaws chased Bond in mid-air in Moonraker.

Black Widow is a fun ride that has no problem with blatantly referencing two James Bond films. The film still manages to be original in its own right. 


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