After months of speculation (and plenty of paparazzi shots of the film shoot), Marvel Studios finally unveiled first details on Scarlett Johansson’s stand-alone Black Widow movie at the 2019 San Diego Comic-Con. Black Widow, the announced title of the film, will hit theaters on May 1, 2020.
According to Kevin Feige, the movie is a prequel — which makes sense given Natasha’s fate at the end of Avengers: Endgame — set after Captain America: Civil War and before Infinity War.
“I get to play Natasha as a fully realized woman, in all of her many facets,” Johansson said at the Hall H panel. “I’m excited for fans to see what she perceives to be the flawed side of her, and I’m looking to wipe out some of that red in my ledger.”
Marvel said that Black Widow has been shooting for about 30 days at this point. Despite the early days of filmmaking, Marvel brought a teaser trailer that appeared to be set in Budapest, and featured plenty of gunplay and brutal combat between Black Widow and a new character, Yelena. Marvel also revealed the film’s villain: Taskmaster.
Taskmaster is a longtime nemesis of the Avengers. He has the ability to master any physical skill simply by watching someone perform it, a talent referred to as “photographic reflexes.” As an adult, he turned his talent to the criminal sphere, observing the techniques of as many superheroes and villains as he could in order to master their skills.
Black Widow has long been a neglected Avenger, what with no movie of her own to explore her complicated past. Perhaps the only one of the main six with less explored backstory is Hawkeye, but, uh, he’s Hawkeye (and he’s getting his own headlining series for Disney Plus, Marvel announced today).
Johansson reprises her role as Natasha Romanoff, with Rachel Weisz (The Favourite) and David Harbour (Stranger Things) making their MCU debuts. O-T Fagbenle (The Handmaid’s Tale) will play a new character, described as “a contact from Black Widow’s past,” and Florence Pugh (Midsommar) will play Yelena, “a sister figure to Natasha.” Cate Shortland (Berlin Syndrome) directs, making her the first solo female director on a Marvel film. Previously, Captain Marvel was co-directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck.