Warning: Contains spoilers for Avengers: Endgame.
Scarlett Johansson’s super-spy Black Widow is getting her own solo movie.
The leather-clad femme fatale, also known as Natasha Romanov, first appeared in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in 2010, and now a starry cast is being lined up to join her in the new film. The prequel sits within Marvel’s Phase 4.
Here’s everything you need to know, but beware – after the jump and the first couple of entries, we’ll be entering into serious spoiler territory for Avengers: Endgame.
When is Black Widow released in cinemas?
Black Widow will be released on 1st May 2020. Filming began in Norway in May 2019.
Who is in the cast of Black Widow?
Scarlett Johansson – known for her roles in Lost in Translation and Under the Skin among many others – will lead the cast as the titular spy, having first appeared as Black Widow in 2010’s Iron Man 2 before becoming a core member of the Avengers.
Rachel Weisz (The Favourite) and David Harbour (Stranger Things) have also joined the cast, with Weitz playing another Black Widow called Melina while Harbour plays Alexei Shostakov / Red Guardian, a Russian super-soldier who was an attempt to replicate Captain America and who has some history with Natasha.
Florence Pugh (Little Drummer Girl) is attached to play a rival assassin who has been revealed as Yelena Belova, a “little sister” figure to Natasha and another graduate of the Black Widow programme. In the comics, Yelena was Natasha’s successor when she left the KGB.
O-T Fagbenle (The Handmaid’s Tale) star has been cast as Mason, a SHIELD ally of Natasha’s with a romantic interest in her.
Ray Winstone (The Departed) has also joined the movie in an undisclosed role.
Olivier Richters – the world’s tallest bodybuilder nicknamed ‘The Dutch Giant’ because of his massive 7ft 2in frame – will also play an unspecified role.
It’s also rumoured that Iron Man star Robert Downey Jr could star in the film as a younger Tony Stark.
Interestingly, it’s also been revealed that the film’s villain will be Taskmaster (see below), but with no casting announced for the masked baddie’s role we’re assuming one of the above characters will be pulling double duty in a surprise reveal…
What is Black Widow about?
Marvel Studios 2019
The plot of the movie has largely been kept under wraps, though we do now know when the film is set within the MCU timeline – after 2016’s Captain America: Civil War, but before 2018’s Avengers: Infinity War, during a period where Natasha was on the run from the authorities with other heroes like Chris Evans’ Captain America.
Sizzle reel footage shown at San Diego Comic-Con showed Natasha heading to Budapest (the scene of a formative mission in her youth that’s been mentioned in the Avengers films), where she runs into Pugh’s Yelena before engaging in a brutal one-on-one fight.
Other clips showed Harbour’s Red Guardian in action with his shield and other action and chase sequences, as well as showing off some of Taskmaster’s (below) moves.
Previously, Johansson had spoken out about the tone of the film, calling it “pretty gritty,” but “also surprising.”
It’s kind of in its own genre, I think,” she told MTV News. “Some of the movies that we talked about, we talked about The Fugitive, we talked about Logan, we talked about Terminator 2.”
And Weisz has confused us all after explaining why there are multiple Black Widows in the plot: “There are quite a number… I’m a Black Widow and there’s Scarlett [Johansson] and Florence [Pugh]. There’s quite a bit of other characters you’ll also meet that are Black Widows.”
Natasha will also be donning a new white version of her traditional outfit, which debuted at August 2019’s D23 Expo.
Who is Taskmaster?
Andy Parkart, Director of Visual Development at Marvel Studios, confirmed that Natasha will be facing off with the Taskmaster – and no, we don’t mean Greg Davies.
A mercenary with the ability of “photographic reflexes” (basically, once he watches someone do something he can do it, assuming he’s physically capable), Taskmaster is a deadly foe who can quickly outmatch anyone by mirroring their moves. Usually portrayed as having a skull-like face, the design of the character in Black Widow seems to have ended up looking more real-world.
And it could be that Pugh’s Yelena Belova (assuming that is who she’s playing) will be teaming up with Taskmaster given her usually-villainous comic book pedigree, coming together as a pretty deadly obstacle to Natasha.
Who is directing Black Widow?
The film is being directed by Australian director Cate Shortland (Lore) – a female director.
Marvel was reportedly “extremely thorough” in its search for the right director, having met with more than 65 people before deciding on Shortland.
Female scriptwriter Jac Schaeffer has penned the script, with Ned Benson working on the second draft.
Is there a trailer for Black Widow?
Not yet, but watch this space…
We do have an official poster, though, revealing our first look at Harbour as Red Guardian.
Check back for updates.