Black Widow – Everything You Need To Know About Scarlett Johansson’s Solo Marvel Movie

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by Owen Williams |
Updated on

After a decade as a supporting player, a solo movie for Marvel's Black Widow is finally in production. Scarlett Johansson, of course, stars as SHIELD super-spy Natasha Romanoff. How does that work, given what happened in Avengers: Endgame ? Read on...

When is Black Widow set?

Black Widow - Captain America: Civil War

According to David Harbour, the events of Black Widow take place between Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War – a period which hasn't been explored on screen. It also seems likely that the film will otherwise explore additional parts of Romanoff's back story, which has only briefly been glimpsed in Age Of Ultron – but nothing has been confirmed by Marvel on that front.

What is Black Widow's story?

Scarlett Johansson - Avengers

Black Widow's specific narrative hasn't been revealed as yet, but the principal villain is reportedly Taskmaster (see below). In the just-post-Civil War period, Romanoff has gone rogue with Steve Rogers (who may make a cameo appearance). Footage shown at Comic-Con in 2019 revealed that part of the film takes place in Budapest – the location of a particular mission she previously alluded to with Hawkeye in the first Avengers. Shooting has taken place there, in Norway, and at Pinewood Studios.

Who stars in Black Widow?

Scarlett Johansson - Black Widow

Scarlett Johansson is Natasha "Black Widow" Romanoff. "I get to play Natasha as a fully realized woman, in all of her many facets," Johansson said at ComicCon. "I don’t think I could have played this iteration of Natasha 10 years ago, it would have been a very different film. I’m excited for fans to see what she perceives to be the flawed side of her, and I’m looking to wipe out some of that red in my ledger."

David Harbour is Alexei Shostakov, AKA Red Guardian. In the comics, Shostakov is sort of the Soviet equivalent of Captain America: an ace fighter pilot and hand-to-hand combatant... and Romanoff's ex-husband.

Florence Pugh is Yelena Belova, another graduate of the Black Widow assassin programme. Might the film's title actually have a dual meaning, introducing Pugh as a new Black Widow for Phase 4 of the MCU?

O-T Fagbenle is Mason, an old ally and potential love interest of Romanova's.

Rachel Weisz is Melina Vostakov, AKA super-assassin Iron Maiden.

Ray Winstone has also been cast in an as-yet undisclosed role.

We don't yet know who's playing Taskmaster.

Who is Taskmaster?

Spider-Man videogame - Taskmaster

In the comics he's a mercenary, real name: Tony Masters. His power is to be able to perfectly mimic the fighting style and ability of any non-superpowered combatant: an ability dubbed "photographic reflexes". He can then sell the moves he’s learned to the highest bidder, and various criminal organisations have used him as a training instructor. He was also an Agent of SHIELD at one point. He's been a frequent Avengers antagonist and occasional ally of Deadpool.

Who is directing Black Widow?

Cate Shortland
©Alexander Koerner / Getty

Australian filmmaker Cate Shortland is Black Widow's director, continuing the MCU's policy of giving a blockbuster leg-up to interesting indie filmmakers (see also Taika Waititi, the Russo Brothers, Jon Watts, Ryan Coogler, James Gunn, Anna Boden & Ryan Fleck...). Shortland's previous films are Somersault__, Lore and Berlin Syndrome_._

When is Black Widow released?

Scarlett Johansson - Black Widow

Black Widow is currently set to be released on 1 May 2020.

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