Spoilers to follow.
After years of wishing for it to happen, Marvel Studios is finally – finally – giving us a Black Widow solo movie. Scarlet Johansson first appeared as S.H.I.E.L.D. super-spy Natasha Romanoff in 2010’s Iron Man 2 but, while her co-stars have had various vehicles to themselves since then, it’s taken an awful long time for the star to get her own standalone project.
So far, we know that Cate Shortland has been hired as director on the Black Widow movie, having risen out of the incredibly lengthy shortlist of 65 possible filmmakers that the studio had their eye on. We’ve also heard a bit of casting news, with big names like David Harbour boarding the project. But what we don’t know yet is what the plot will entail or when the pic will be set.
However, if the events of Avengers: Endgame are anything to go by, it looks like it’ll definitely be a prequel. And that’s because unfortunately, Black Widow meets her maker in the aforementioned film. If you’ve seen it, you’ll know that she makes the ultimate sacrifice on Vormir so that Ronin can acquire the Soul Stone. Meaning that unless Marvel has some grand resurrection plan in store for Nat, her standalone movie has to be set in the past.
This makes a lot of sense, too, as Natasha’s past has remained a mystery throughout her career in the MCU, but we know that there’s an interesting story to be told there. In The Avengers, for example, we learned she “had red in her ledger.” Then in Age of Ultron, we found out that she used to be a Russian agent who was trained in the Red Room.
But when exactly could Black Widow could be set? Well, it likely won’t be placed too far in the past. After all, Johansson is reprising her role. Perhaps we’ll see why she defected from the KGB to S.H.I.E.L.D. in the first place then, and how she was recruited by Nick Fury. Maybe we’ll even get to learn how she first built a friendship with Hawkeye as well.
Whatever Marvel’s got planned for us, Avengers: Endgame makes it pretty clear that the Black Widow movie will be diving into the past and we can’t wait to learn more about the hero’s backstory.