This article contains spoilers for Avengers: Endgame.
After years of mumbling and shuffling their feet every time the prospect of a Black Widow movie was raised, it would seem that Marvel Studios has seen the light. More likely, they have seen the stellar box office numbers and critical acclaim that were heaped on Wonder Woman – the first female superhero to headline her own movie and steered to success by a female director – and now their own Captain Marvel.
Still, the arrival of Wonder Woman on the big screen was at least 30 years overdue, and Black Widow doesn’t feel like it’s being turned around that quickly, since we’ve had Scarlett Johansson kicking ass as Black Widow for nearly a decade now (in a big handful of films across three different franchises) with no solo movie to call her own. To say that is a little weird is being charitable. But there is now, at last, officially a Black Widow movie in the works, and here’s everything we know so far.
Check back here for news and updates as soon as we get them.
Black Widow cast
The Hollywood Reporter has word that Scarlett Johannson has apparently landed a superheroic $15 million payday to headline the film as super-spy and Avengers regular Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow – a significant pay bump from what she was paid to appear in previous Marvel movies.
Ray Winstone (Sexy Beast) has recently joined the cast, Collider reveals, although there’s currently no info about who he’ll be playing.
O-T Fagbenle, the British actor who plays Luke on Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale, has recently joined the cast of Black Widow, but there are currently no details available about his character in the film.
Florence Pugh (Fighting With My Family) is to play a big role – an as-yet-unnamed character described as a “kick-ass female Bond” – while Moonlight’s Andre Holland has apparently auditioned as the villain. Rachel Weisz, Sebastian Koch and Alec Baldwin are all said to be potential choices for supporting roles, while new Hellboy and Stranger Things star David Harbour has also signed up to the cast in a currently-undisclosed part.
“Cate Shortland is a real indie director and she really believes in characters, so there’s a real depth to it that I’m already seeing as we rehearse,” Harbour told the audience at MCM London recently, adding that we’ll get the usual epic action and funny script that Marvel is known for with Black Widow.
As for whether or not Jeremy Renner as Clint Barton/Hawkeye or any of the other Avengers might appear, well…it’s too early to say. We’ll update this as soon as we know.
Black Widow director
Cate Shortland is directing the Black Widow movie. The Aussie director broke out with the Abbie Cornish-starring 2004 indie Somersault, and followed it up with 2012 Second World War drama Lore and 2017’s Teresa Palmer-starring horror, Berlin Syndrome.
Black Widow plot
Early reports suggested that the Black Widow movie will take place in the early 2000s, before Natasha’s Iron Man 2 introduction. If that’s true, it’s an indicator that Marvel is loving their prequels these days, what with Captain Marvel taking place in the 1990s.
Whatever era it’s set in, hopefully Black Widow will be heavy on the espionage and hard action. With Johansson’s spy-turned-SHIELD agent having no powers as such, this is a perfect opportunity for Marvel Studios to play with genres other than strict superheroics. A grounded, gritty thriller a la Atomic Blonde, perhaps?
After the events of Avengers: Endgame, it is certainly looking more like this film will be a prequel at any rate. Natasha Romanoff didn’t make it out of the saga’s conclusion alive, having sacrificed herself on Vormir to free up the Soul Stone for Clint Barton to bring back to the future. Or could they find a way to bring her back in the current timeline? A soul for a soul. Hmm.
Black Widow release date
No release date has been set for the Black Widow movie just yet. But it’s worth noting that there are currently a bunch of unclaimed dates on Marvel’s superhero movie release schedule, and Black Widow could fill any of those. It might be a while, though…Marvel won’t talk about what their next round of movies is until after Spider-Man: Far From Home hits over the summer.
Here are those potential dates from the Marvel release calendar…
1 May 2020; 6 November 2020; 12 February 2021; 7 May 2021; 5 November 2021; 18 February 2022; 6 May 2022; and 29 July 2022.
We’ll let you know as soon as there’s an official update.