Black Widow directed by Cate Shortland will kick-off Marvel’s Phase 4 slate next year and we figured that we should put together a collection of information that we know so far about the solo comic book film starring Scarlett Johansson.
BLACK WIDOW TAKES PLACE BETWEEN CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR AND AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR
Despite previous rumors of a prequel that could take place before the events of Iron Man 2, this was debunked by cast members such as David Harbour, who confirmed to IGN Black Widow takes place after Captain America: Civil War and before Avengers: Infinity War.
HARBOUR: “It does get informed by the other movies, this movie happens right after Captain America: Civil War and those events factor in.”
I believe that the prequel stuff and even the R-rating suggestion came directly from old information from the cancelled Lionsgate/David Hayter incarnation of the solo film, which was acknowledged by Hayter himself while being interviewed by DiscussingFilm in November.
HAYTER: “And somebody just put out a synopsis of the upcoming film based on my script because it was essentially an origin story but they basically described what my logline was.”
THE COMIC BOOK CHARACTERS WE’LL SEE IN THE MOVIE
Here is a rundown of the cast and the characters they’ll be playing in the MCU movie.
RACHEL WEISZ PLAYS MELINA VOSTOKOFF AKA IRON MAIDEN: In the comics, Rachel’s character Melina is called the Iron Maiden, but in this movie, she will be a fellow Black Widow along with many others using the name according to Weisz. So this certainly would suggest that we’ll see a deeper dive into the Black Widow Program and how that turn Natasha into the skilled assassin she has become.
WEISZ: “Well, I can tell you Melina has been cycled through the Black Widow/Red Room Program five times, by the time the film starts. She started being cycled through when she was a child.”
“So, she’s a highly accomplished spy and assassin. But I can’t tell you her relationship to anyone else.”
Adding that there will be multiple Black Widows in the movie beyond the three we already know about.
WEISZ: “There are quite a number… I’m a Black Widow. Scarlet and Florence, there are also quite a lot of other characters that you meet who are also Black Widows.”
FLORENCE PUGH PLAYS YELENA BELOVA AKA BLACK WIDOW II: Yelena and Natasha seemingly get caught-up in some cat and mouse plot, and they aren’t adversaries but will likely be on the run together.
DAVID HARBOUR PLAYS ALEXEI SHOSTAKOV AKA RED GUARDIAN: Russia’s answer to Captain America, Alexei Shostakov is also a supersoldier and in the comics just happens to be the husband of Natasha, it remains to be seen if that romantic history will be explored in the film. However, Harbour did mention to IGN during Comic-Con they have a “complex history”.
HARBOUR: “They’ve known each for a while and there is a complex history there.”
O-T FAGBENLE PLAYS RICK MASON AKA THE AGENT: A former SHIELD Agent and fixer that just might have a slight crush on Natasha. Mason is likely where Nat will be getting any sort of weapons or gear throughout the movie.
RAY WINSTONE PLAYS ?: While Ray has been reported to have joined the cast via Variety, but he wasn’t announced at the Comic-Con presentation and his character is currently unknown.
? PLAYS ANTHONY MASTERS AKA TASKMASTER: While we got confirmation that Avengers baddie Anthony Masters aka Taskmaster will be in the film via blurry set photos, footage and concept art, we don’t know who will be playing him in the film.
Taskmaster’s muscle memory abilities enable him to match pretty much any superhero as he can mimic their fighting styles and counter their punches, making him a tough hand-to-hand fighter to beat.
Here is a bit of footage description from HN Entertainment.
Then there’s footage of Natasha and Yelena riding motorcycles through a European city and it ends with Natasha inside of a crashed truck with Taskmaster fighting her on a bridge at night. His costume looks better on-screen and has the hood/shield. She’s surprised when he mirrors her exact moves.
WHAT SCARLETT HAD TO SAY ABOUT THE FILM DURING SAN DIEGO COMIC-CON
Scarlett told MTVNews that the film will be sort of inspired by movies such as Logan, The Fugitive, and Terminator 2: Judgement Day.
JOHANSSON: “It’s pretty gritty, it’s kind of in its own genre. Some of the movies we talked about, we talked about The Fugitive, we talked about Logan, we talked about Terminator 2.”
The actress claimed to ScreenRant that there is more fighting in Black Widow than any other Marvel Studios film.
JOHANSSON: “Oh, yeah. There’s a lot of fighting in this movie. Like, so much fighting. Much more fighting than I think has ever… I think other producers that come onto the set, they’re like, ‘There’s more fighting in this than any other Marvel movie we’ve ever made.’ It’s just brutal. I think because it’s based in reality, all the action is based in reality and it’s a lot of hand-to-hand combat. It’s painful.”
While speaking with GoodMorningAmerica Scarlett admitted the Avengers won’t be there to back her up but kept mum about Hawkeye’s involvement.
JOHANSSON: “It’s a bit scary not having the kind of cushion of my fellow Avengers around. I to keep using the word vulnerable but you kind of feel like your putting yourself out there because the character stands on her own. “
On Renner showing up.
JOHANSSON: “[Laughs] Oh my god, that’s when you see the trank-gun come out. [Marvel] is going to take you out first and then I’m going out second.”
“My lips are sealed, you gotta wait and see.”
Some of the lovely and scenic locations used for the film so far include Norway, Budapest, and various locations in the United Kingdom such as Pinewood Studios.
It’s questionable if the Budapest scenes will actually be set there as the city has been known to double Russian locations often including in the Jennifer Lawrence film Red Sparrow. Those expecting some connections to the throwaway line in the original Avengers film might be disappointed.
Black Widow has been officially set for release on May 1st, 2020 and would suggest that we’ll likely see our first teaser trailer sometime in the fall/winter.