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Ever since Scarlett Johansson made her Marvel debut in Iron Man 2, fans have clamored for a Black Widow movie. The pressure mounted as Marvel announced more films with male leads, with Captain Marvel (2019) as the first female-led franchise.
For a while, it seemed like Black Widow would never happen. Then in January 2018, Marvel hired a screenwriter to develop the spinoff. Black Widow officially started filming in Norway in May 2019, with an intriguing cast including Rachel Weisz and Midsommar star Florence Pugh.
Here’s everything we know about this movie so far.
Everything you need to know about Marvel’s Black Widow movie
Black Widow movie release date
The MCU‘s future is still shrouded in mystery, with Marvel expected to announce plans for Phase 4 after Spider-Man: Far From Home comes out.
At the moment, Marvel has three empty release dates each year in 2020, 2021, and 2022. Some of those will be filled by sequels to existing franchises, but there’s still room for Black Widow in there—although maybe not before 2021.
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Black Widow movie creative team
Jac Schaeffer will write the script, with Cate Shortland directing. Schaeffer is best known for writing and directing the sci-fi romcom TiMER, an excellent low-budget movie about a gadget that tells people when they’ll meet their soulmate. Shortland has three films under her belt, including the thriller Berlin Syndrome.
Ned Benson was hired in February 2019 to rewrite Jac Schaeffer’s script, which isn’t an especially unusual move for this type of studio movie.
Black Widow movie cast
While Scarlett Johansson is obviously onboard in the lead role, Black Widow‘s supporting cast is mostly a mystery. The Hollywood Reporter announced in March 2019 that British actress Florence Pugh is close to being cast as an antagonist, playing another Black Widow-like spy character—possibly Yelena Belova. Pugh recently starred in the BBC’s espionage miniseries The Little Drummer Girl and the wrestling drama Fighting With My Family, so she already has experience with action and spy roles. She also has serious dramatic chops, praised for her breakout role in the thriller Lady Macbeth and co-starring in Greta Gerwig’s upcoming Little Women adaptation.
Stranger Things and Hellboy star David Harbour has been cast in an undisclosed role, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Academy Award winner Rachel Weisz (The Favourite) also has an unnamed role, along with British actors Ray Winstone and O-T Fagbenle.
Set photos taken in June 2019 show that the film will include some kind of costumed villain, with fans speculating that it could be Taskmaster. (Or Spymaster. Or Darkhawk. There are a lot of C-list Marvel villains to choose from.)
Black Widow movie plot
For a long time, fans automatically assumed that the Black Widow movie would explore Natasha Romanov’s origin story with the Red Room. Following the release of Red Sparrow with Jennifer Lawrence, that no longer seems likely. Red Sparrow bears a close resemblance to Joss Whedon‘s interpretation of Black Widow’s backstory, complete with Russian ballerinas, sexual abuse, and plenty of Cold War-esque betrayal. Marvel won’t want to risk an overlap.
Black Widow could just as easily take place in the present day, or during a more recent place in the Marvel timeline. For instance, we don’t know much about the period immediately after Captain America: The Winter Soldier. There’s also the infamous Budapest incident mentioned in The Avengers; a secret piece of Widow/Hawkeye history.
Of course, a lot hinges on what happens in Infinity War and Avengers 4. For all we know, Natasha Romanov could’ve been a skrull for years.
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Black Widow movie trailer
Obviously, this doesn’t exist yet. But while you’re waiting, enjoy this Black Widow featurette from the original Avengers movie.
Editor’s note: This article is regularly updated for relevance.
Gavia Baker-Whitelaw is a staff writer at the Daily Dot, covering geek culture and fandom. Specializing in sci-fi movies and superheroes, she also appears as a film and TV critic on BBC radio. Elsewhere, she co-hosts the pop culture podcast Overinvested. Follow her on Twitter: @Hello_Tailor