Spoilers to follow…
All of the Marvel/Netflix shows are only tangentially-related to the movies of the MCU, but The Punisher is even more removed than most. For obvious reasons, it would take the viewer out of the story if we were reminded that aliens and gods and whatnot existed in the same world as a gritty, gun-toting vigilante. However, it is a Marvel product and so, The Punisher does feature a very sneaky easter egg that name-checks one of the Avengers.
In episode 6, “The Judas Goat,” Lewis Wilson (Daniel Webber) murders O’Connor – who lied about being a veteran – in a fit of rage. As he’s attacking the guy, we can briefly see a stack of old VHS tapes and DVDs atop O’Connor’s TV, and one of them is titled Black Widow.
See for yourself in the screenshot below:
No, this isn’t suggesting that there’s a movie about Scarlett Johansson’s Natasha Romanoff in the world of the MCU. It’s actually referring to the 1987 film starring Debra Winger and Theresa Russell, about a femme fatale who weds wealthy men and murders them. However, the set designers clearly placed that specific tape on display as a neat Marvel in-joke.
Though it isn’t a direct reference to Agent Romanoff, it makes sense that The Punisher would include a nod to Black Widow, as out of all the Avengers, the super-spy would neatly fit into the aesthetic of the more mature Marvel/Netflix shows. Charlie Cox has even mentioned how he’d like to see Johansson appear in Daredevil, as Matt Murdock and Natasha were an item for a period in the comics.
As for whether we’ll see a Black Widow Marvel movie one day in the future, well, many of the MCU’s cast and crew remain positive that one may materialize eventually once Avengers 4 is over and done with. Johansson herself has explained that it would all come down to “timing,” and we remain hopeful that the studio will be able to work something out.
In the meantime, we’ll next see Natasha Romanoff in May’s Avengers: Infinity War. The Punisher, meanwhile, is now available to stream on Netflix.