After a decade of joining forces with the likes of Iron Man, Captain America, and the Hulk, Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow is getting her own movie. Set for release in summer 2020, it’s a history-making project for Marvel (its second female-led movie after Captain Marvel)—and one poised to make a cultural impact. Here’s everything we know about Black Widow, from the prequel plot to its new cast members.
When will it be released?
Black Widow’s standalone movie will hit theaters on May 1, 2020.
Who’s in it?
The Cate Shortland-directed movie will see Johansson returning to the titular role after meeting her demise in Avengers: Endgame. Those joining the Oscar nominee will include Florence Pugh as Yelena, with Variety breaking news of her casting in late March and describing her role as the “second lead” in the film. In April, Variety reported that Oscar winner Rachel Weisz would board the project as Melina. That same month, Deadline announced that both David Harbour (Red Guardian) and O-T Fagbenle (Mason) were in talks for the movie. July’s Comic-Con panel with the cast provided more details about which character each actor would be playing. William Hurt was spotted on set as Thaddeus Ross, though his role in the film is unconfirmed.
At ELLE’s Women in Hollywood event in October, Johansson revealed that production on Black Widow had wrapped a week earlier. She opened up about working with Shortland, who is the first woman to helm a Marvel movie solo, during her Women in Hollywood acceptance speech: “Cate is one of the most brave and tireless crusaders I’ve ever had the great pleasure of collaborating with, and she reminded me every day that women just don’t have a choice,” Johansson said. “They are systemically made to feel lesser than, and must fight 10 times harder to have an opportunity to be heard and seen.”
What’s it about?
An official description of the plot, per IMDB, simply reads, “A film about Natasha Romanoff in her quests between the films Civil War and Infinity War.” It seems the prequel will be less about the spy’s origin story, and more about her journey in between two significant life events.
At July’s Comic-Con panel for the movie, Johansson delved further details into details, explaining per Entertainment Weekly, “Where we find Natasha in her life at this point is very specific. She really is in a dark place where she’s got no one to call and nowhere to go. She’s really grappling with her own self. When something huge explodes and all the pieces are landing, you have that moment of stillness where you don’t know what to do next—that’s the moment that she’s in. In that moment, you actually have to face yourself.”
Is there a trailer?
The official Black Widow trailer has not been released, but fans at August’s D23 Expo in Anaheim, California got a sneak preview of the film.
Will this be the final Marvel appearance by Black Widow?
This is unclear. While there are no official plans for a Black Widow franchise, especially in the light of Endgame events, characters in the MCU tend to return. At Comic-Con Johansson spoke with Variety about what she brought to the role after a decade playing her:
“I think I could have made the film 10 years ago but it would have been a very different film. I think it probably would have been much more of a caricature of a person. I feel after living an extra 10 years and becoming a mother and you know, life and how it happens to you, I feel much more in myself and able to explore all the kind of things that make me uncomfortable and then just lay it out for you guys. It feels like I’m a stronger person by the fact that I have embraced my vulnerability. And I think that will make this version of the character really, hopefully, complex.”
During an October 22 appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Johansson further dispelled rumors that Black Widow would return to the big screen following the prequel, saying filming the movie “brought a closure.” She added, “There’s very few certain things, but definitely death’s pretty certain, right? Yeah, definitely, for sure,” Johansson said about her character’s Endgame fate. “But, people…they definitely don’t believe it and have tried to convince me that my character did not actually die, but that maybe my character exists in an alternate universe, but no, I think death is the final thing.”