After years of fans attempting to wish it into existence, it looks like Marvel Studios is finally – finally – making 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 male colleagues have had various vehicles to themselves since then, it’s taken until now for the ball to get rolling on the star’s own standalone project.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, 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 drawn up. What’s more, THR’s report revealed when the film is expected to be set, too. It seems that Marvel’s planning on making Black Widow another prequel in the style of Captain Marvel, with the outlet noting the following:
“Johansson’s Widow is reportedly set before the events of the first Avengers movie and sees the actress reprise the Russian spy-turned-super heroine.”
This is what most fans had suspected a Black Widow solo film would do. Natasha’s past has remained a mystery throughout her career in the MCU so far, but what little hints we’ve received tease 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, it was clarified 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, as THR confirms that Johansson’s still playing the part. Our best guess, then, is that it’ll explore why Natasha defected from the KGB to S.H.I.E.L.D. in the first place and how she came to be recruited by Nick Fury. Maybe even how she built a friendship with Hawkeye as well.
Word is Marvel’s planning to get production going in early 2019. That would likely mean Black Widow will see release in 2020, alongside Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 and one other mystery movie, and that we should start to learn more about it in no time at all. As always, watch this space for more.