Scarlett Johansson goes sci-fi, superhuman in new ‘Lucy’ trailer

April 02, 2014 | 12:48 p.m.

Scarlett Johansson is back on the big screen in a big way this weekend in both “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” and the sci-fi-inflected art house film “Under the Skin,” but those films aren’t the only projects that see her in take-charge genre mode.

Set for release Aug. 8, “Lucy,” written and directed by Luc Besson, stars Johansson as a drug mule who ingests some contraband and finds herself with enhanced abilities, apparently because the chemicals allow her to access more of her brain.

“It is estimated most human beings only use 10% of the brain’s capacity,” Morgan Freeman’s character explains in the trailer. “Imagine if we could access 100%. Interesting things begin to happen.”

Interesting things indeed. In addition to learning Chinese in an hour, altering her perception of time and moving things with her mind, the trailer also spotlights Johansson’s character in full-on action, escaping her captors with impressive (if ruthless) physical prowess, shooting down her enemies and dropping a room full of thugs with a wave of her fingers.

Johansson has been on a professional run, with turns in films including the Academy Award-winning “Her,” in which she gave voice to a sentient operating system. In addition to “Captain America” and “Under the Skin,” she’s also set to appear in Jon Favreau’s indie restaurant movie “Chef,” due out in May.

She’s due to begin shooting Joss Whedon’s anticipated Marvel sequel “Avengers: Age of Ultron” soon, and there’s been a great deal of speculation about a possible Black Widow solo adventure as well. In a recent interview with Hero Complex, the actress said she’d be willing to star in her own Black Widow franchise for Marvel — something a vocal segment of fans has been clamoring for, citing a dearth of genre films anchored by compelling women.

“This character, because she’s this kind of reluctant superhero, because she doesn’t have superpowers, because she does have this really rich back story that doesn’t just involve putting on a suit and turning into something else, she’s earned her scars,” Johansson said. “There’s something to explore there. We see in this Marvel universe that these movies are kind of audience-driven, so if the people want it … I’m going to have to paint that suit back on.”

– Gina McIntyre and Noelene Clark | @LATHeroComplex

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