Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase 4 is finally kicking off. In mid-2019, Marvel Studios announced at least ten projects that fans should expect over the next two years. The first of those projects, Black Widow, is nearly here.
After seven years of playing the Black Widow character, Scarlett Johansson finally has a solo movie. As you all know, the Black Widow first appeared in Iron Man 2 (2010). Since then, fans have been looking forward to a solo film starring the red-haired former KGB spy turned Avenger.
This is everything there is to know about Marvel’s Black Widow solo movie.
Black Widow Finally Heading To Streaming?
Black Widow has undergone big shifts in its schedule (see below) and now it’s actually being released via Premier Access on Disney+. Disney will simultaneously release the movie in theaters and on Disney+ at the same time on July 9, 2021.
To with the announcement of the Scarlett Johansson movie’s streaming release, Disney has also produced an new Black Widow poster. Here it is…
When Will Black Widow’s Solo Movie Be Released? #FreeBlackWidow
Marvel Studios had scheduled the release of Black Widow for on May 1st, 2020. However, fears about the spread of the Coronavirus worldwide have prompted them to cancel the movie’s release. Then the film was set to be released theatrically on November 6, 2020, but now that too has been cancelled.
Instead, Disney has given up on 2020 entirely (haven’t we all) and they won’t release the movie in the year at all. They’ve bumped it an entire year and Black Widow is now scheduled to be released on May 7, 2021.
The pressure to stream Black Widow instead of endlessly delaying it is mounting for Disney. A new survey by Variety found that out of the 1000 people quizzed, 87% would be OK with watching Black Widow at home rather than waiting for it to finally show up in movie theaters.
Here’s what Disney’s CEO Bob Chapek had to say about releasing Black Widow on streaming: “We are looking at Mulan as a one-off as opposed to saying there’s a new business windowing model we are looking at.”
But it’s worth noting that a few weeks ago Disney was saying the same thing about releasing Mulan on streaming. No matter what they’re saying, they’re clearly open to being swayed towards streaming anything, even big movies like Mulan and Black Widow.
So when it comes to releasing Black Widow on streaming, you can change their minds.
Fans have already begun campaigning to get Disney to release the movie straight to streaming. We need your help to convince Disney to let you see Black Widow. With people locked up in their homes months, Marvel’s faithful are starved for new content.
If you want Disney to release Black Widow streaming in your home right now, then show your support by simply CLICKING HERE.
For Disney, releasing Black Widow at some much later date would mean all the marketing money Disney has spent would be wasted. But releasing it on streaming or even on Disney Plus would help them get new Disney Plus subscribers (probably in record numbers) and at the same time make their fans incredibly happy.
David Harbour Supports #FreeBlackWidow
Even one of the movie’s stars has started voicing support for the movement to get Black Widow released on streaming. When asked what he thought about the movie being delayed, David Harbour who plays Red Guardian in the movie had this to say: “My publisher also sent me an email saying Black Widow had been postponed and I think I replied ‘shocker’… Wouldn’t it be fun if we all could just stream it? But that’s above my pay grade.“
Harbour is probably a lot more comfortable with, and familiar with how well streaming works than others involved in Black Widow. He built up his current career as one of the stars of Netflix’s Stranger Things.
So remember, if you feel the way David Harbour does and you want Black Widow streaming in your home right now, then show your support by CLICKING HERE.
Taking Advantage Of Delays
Shortly after Disney announced that Black Widow would have its release delayed indefinitely, they hired a new composer to do new work on the movie’s score.
Lorne Balfe has replaced Alexandre Desplat as the movie’s composer. Why the sudden change is unknown, but it’s suggests that Disney was unhappy with the previous score for the movie but didn’t think they had time to change it when it was slated for a May 1st release. Now they have all the time in the world, so why not get every detail right?
Lone Balfe is best known for work on Mission: Impossible – Fallout and The LEGO Batman movie. Meanwhile the deposed Desplat is a bit of a bigger name in the composer world, having worked on movies like the final Harry Potter films.
The Black Widow Trailer
Black Widow has unveiled three different trailers. Below is the final and by far the best Black Widow trailer we’ve gotten…
And here’s the first action-packed Black Widow teaser trailer…
The Woman In Charge Of Black Widow
Cate Shortland will direct the Marvel’s Black Widow solo movie. Shortland is an Australian filmmaker best known for the 2012 Nazi drama, Lore. It tells the story of a young woman leading her siblings through Germany as Allied forces move in.
Cate Shortland’s most recent film is Berlin Syndrome, a thriller about a disturbed teacher who holds a young photographer captive after a night out.
The search for a Black Widow director was not easy. It took over half a year of searching for the perfect candidate. Marvel Studios met with over 70 directors and it was a priority that a female director lead the project. Some of the finalists (alongside Cate Shortland) included Kimberly Peirce, Maggie Betts, Amma Asante, and Melanie Laurent.
Now that she’s been chosen, Cate Shortland is the first woman to direct a Marvel Cinematic Universe movie.
Black Widow’s Cast
Scarlett Johansson will be Natasha Romanoff aka Black Widow; an ex KGB spy turned Avenger.
Joining Johansson in Marvel’s Black Widow cast is Florence Pugh playing Yelena Belova. Yelena is a fictional character in the MCU, a spy/assassin trained in the Red Room. She is also at one point in her comic book history, the second character to use the name Black Widow. Florence Pugh is an English actress well known for films such as Midsommar (2019), Fighting with My Family (2019), and Little Women (2019).
A big name in the Black Widow cast is Rachel Weisz. In an interview with IGN, Rachel Weisz says, “I’m a Black Widow. There are a lot of other characters you will meet who are Black Widows too.” In the Black Widow solo movie, Rachel Weisz is cast as the leader of the Red Room, the super-spy training facility where Natasha Romanoff and Yelena Belova learn their skills.
A surprise addition to Marvel’s Black Widow cast is David Harbour. You know David Harbour as a tough cop in Stranger Things. In the Black Widow solo movie, he trades the badge for the Red Guardian suit and shield.
It’s been rumored that Robert Downey Jr will be return as Tony Stark. While there’s no sign of him in the trailer and no official confirmation, Marvel has been known to sneak in surprises. Don’t be surprised if Iron Man shows up in a twist.
Spoiler alert: Avengers fans should expect a lot of cameos.
The Marvel Workout Regimen
Playing a character in a Marvel superhero movie is hard work. Actors are required to maintain grueling workout regimens to keep their bodies in perfect superhero shape. So when Florence Pugh signed on to Black Widow she wanted to know what kind of workout it would take to be in the movie. When Marvel told her, she flat out refused. Not because she didn’t want to be in shape, but because she didn’t want to let someone else tell her what to do with her body.
Here’s how Florence explained it to EpicStream: “When I got the job, I wanted to know what the regime was. I wanted to know whether it was them or me calling the shots. That was a big deal for me. I didn’t want to be part of something where I was constantly checked on. And people making sure I was in the ‘right’ shape. That’s not me at all.”
Apparently Marvel gave in and let her be in Black Widow anyway, trusting that she’d get the job done on her own. Don’t be surprised if her refusal to give up control of herself to the studio inspires other Marvel actors to do the same in the future. Fat Thor may not be the last pot-bellied Avenger.
What’s Black Widow About?
Although Natasha Romanoff sacrificed herself in Vormir for the Soul Stone, she returns in the Black Widow solo movie, which is set much earlier than the Avengers: Endgame events. In an interview with IGN, David Harbour, playing the Red Guardian, revealed that the film is specifically set after Captain America: Civil War and before Avengers: Infinity War.
In the same interview, Harbour says the following about his character and Natasha, “They have known each other for a while, and there is a complex history there. This movie happens right after Captain America: Civil War, and so, those events will factor in.”
It’s expected that the Budapest storyline will dominate the movie. This is according to reports from the reel shown at the San Diego Comic-Con in Hall H. The Budapest storyline can be traced to the first Avenger movie.
Since then, it has featured prominently in the Avenger films and has even become an inside joke between Hawkeye and Natasha. It’s expected that Natasha will shed some light on what happened in Budapest.
In an interview with Vanity Fair, Scarlett Johansson revealed a few more plot details. She said, “I did not want the movie to be an origin story or an espionage story… The film deals with a lot of trauma and pain.”
She also told EW at the San Diego Comic Con, “We find Natasha in her life at this point is very specific. She is in a dark place, and she has no one to call and nowhere to go. She is grappling with herself.”
Kevin Feige also sheds light on when the film takes place. Talking to IGN Brazil, Feige confirmed that Black Widow‘s solo movie takes place before Avengers: Infinity War and after Captain America: Civil War. As such, it will not mess up with the established MCU timeline.
Marvel Studios enlisted Blacklist screenwriter, Jac Schaeffer to write the first draft of the Black Widow script. Schaeffer, who dreamt of becoming a feature film director, had her dreams fulfilled after the release of TiMER. Little did she know then that eight years later, after the release of Iron Man 2, she would write the script for the Black Widow solo movie.
Jac Schaeffer has a bold vision for the upcoming film. Uninterested in the staples comic book fans love: violent shoot outs and villains, Schaeffer has a different direction. She says, “I am not interested in adhering to the comic canon that is discriminatory or violates my value system.”
Schaeffer has also contributed to the 2019 Captain Marvel movie and WandaVision, a Disney+ series set for release in 2020. Collider reports that Ned Benson was hired by Marvel Studios to rewrite Black Widow but, there has been no comment from the studio.
Solo Movie In Production
Filming and principal photography began in Norway in May 2019. By early June 2019, Marvel’s Black Widow production moved to Pinewood Studios. In September 2019, after a wrap party held for the film ended, production again moved to Macon, Georgia.
Filming took place at the Terminal Station, which was dressed to appear as Albany, New York. Reports confirm that filming also took place in Morocco and of course, Budapest. Production officially ended in October 2019.
FAN EXCITEMENT FOR BLACK WIDOW
Anticipation for the arrive of Scarlett Johansson’s superhero solo movie has resulted in a variety of memes and fan tributes and anticipation. One of the most interesting is the artwork of one fan, who has started rendering Scarlett Johansson as other Marvel movie characters.
In this case, she’s been turned into Thor’s brother Loki. Take a look…
Look out Tom Hiddleston. If Scarlett ever gets tired of squeezing into Black Widow’s leather, she might be better at your job than you are.
BLACK WIDOW SPOILERS
Read no further if you don’t want to be spoiled on what the Black Widow movie may be about. You’ve been warned.
After Credits Scene #1: Black Widow’s Funeral
During the course of Avengers: Endgame, Natasha refuses to allow Clint Barton aka Hawkeye to trade his life for the Soul Stone. Instead, she sacrifices herself. At the end of Avengers: Endgame we see Tony Stark’s funeral, but Natasha never really gets one.
According to people who claim to have seen a leaked cut of the film, Black Widow will finally give Natasha the graveside service she deserves. Though the movie itself is a prequel, set before the events of Avengers: Endgame, word is she’ll get a memorial set in the present day as part of an after-the-credits scene.
In that scene Clint Barton is shown visiting Natasha Romanoff’s grave with his children. It was Natasha’s sacrifice which brought his children back after Thanos’s snap and saved his life so that he’d be there to see them when they returned. So it makes sense that he’d be the one there, paying regular tribute to her unselfish bravery.
After Credits Scene #2: Setting Up Marvel Phase 4
One of Black Widow’s After-Credits scenes is designed to set up Marvel’s phase four. During the course of Black Widow word is that it’s revealed that Florence Pugh is one of the movie’s villains alongside Taskmaster. And in this After Credits scene according to a leaker it shows, “Florence Pugh and skullguy giving William Hurt the flash drive thing, and him telling them they are just getting started.”
William Hurt plays General Thaddeus Ross in the Marvel universe. He was introduced as the character in The Incredible Hulk and he also played him in the Marvel One-Shot: The Consultant.
The suggestion here is that Ross is building his own team of gifted individuals. A team that can operate in the shadows without worrying about right and wrong. Since Black Widow is a prequel, that means Ross has been behind the scenes for years building this team all through Infinity War. A team which may be ready for its Marvel debut in one of the next Avengers movies.
Black Widow is set prior to the events of Avengers: Infinity War which means there’s plenty of room there for her Avengers friends to show up in her solo movie. According to reports from leakers who claim to have seen an early cut of the movie, they will.
Word is that Black Widow contains four secret cameos. The biggest of which is an appearance by Iron Man. Tony Stark, of course, sacrificed his life to save everyone in Avengers: Endgame. But Black Widow takes place before that, so in this time period he’s alive, well, and flying around in his Iron Man armor. Various leakers who’ve seen the movie confirm that Iron Man is in it.
As previously mentioned in this article, we know now that Hawkeye is set to appear. He’s Natasha’s best friend and it would be strange to have a Black Widow movie without at least some hint of his presence.
We also now know that Nick Fury will show up in the Black Widow solo movie. His entire job is basically to keep tabs on the various members of The Avengers, so it would be strange if he didn’t pop his head in to see what Black Widow is up to, at some point.
Lastly, actor Walton Goggins is rumored to make his return to The Avengers universe in Black Widow as Sonny Burch. The character was first introduced in Ant-Man and the Wasp. He’s one of the villains in that movie, though not the primary one. In that film Sonny was a black-market arms dealer out to steal technology from Hank Pym.
Read no further if you don’t want to be spoiled on what the Black Widow movie may be about. You’ve been warned.
The same leakers that revealed the cameos we’ll see in Black Widow also offered up their opinions on the movie they saw. Obviously what’s been shown to these early scoopers is a rough cut, so these opinions should be contextualized with that in mind.
The primary leaker says this movie is not Captain Marvel. Despite having a female lead it’s not weighted down by an obvious, over the top feminist agenda. They do say however, “I just feel like there could be some implied themes with all the Black Widows turning on Rachel Weisz at the end. If you wanna read into sh-t.”
However, those who’ve seen the film seem to be saying largely positive things, calling it a “pleasant surprise”. One 4Chan leaker compared it to a solid Mission: Impossible movie with all the same beats. “Excommunicated, hunted by the government, get this thing so life can go back to normal, oh no there’s a grander conspiracy, save the world, give the thing to your sister, deal with the consequences, peace out.”
Apparently for this person the worst thing about the movie was Red Guardian. They say, “Super cheesy forced quip guy. His death was welcome even though it’s played for tears.” But apparently all the fight scenes “kick ass”. And in the final analysis, “Anyway, didn’t hate it. 6.5/10”
The Future Of Black Widow
What’s next for Black Widow after her solo movie is over? Most have assumed this movie is a one and done for Scarlett Johansson’s Avenger. She was killed off in Avengers: Endgame and Black Widow only exists because it’s a prequel. But death is no obstacle where there’s money to be made.
The latest is that Scarlett Johansson has signed a deal with Marvel to return as Black Widow in future projects. Whether the deal is for actual solo movies or co-starring roles, or just a series of cameos is unknown, but if I were laying odds I’d bet that she’s just doing cameos.
Word is that Black Widow may show up in the Marvel universe timeline after the point at which she died in Endgame. Sources say Marvel is considering having her character appear in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. If she does show up, though, it won’t be the Natasha we know and love. It’ll be an evil, alternate universe version of the Black Widow character.
As the title suggests, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness will have Marvel’s Doctor Strange character leaping through multiple universes and multiple dimensions. That allows them to bring in alternate versions of familiar characters from different worlds. It’s a great way to bring Natasha back to life, temporarily. It could also potentially be used to bring her back to life more permanently, if they wanted to bring a Black Widow in from an alternate world and keep her around.
Black Widow Trivia
Black Widow made her first appearance on screen in Iron Man 2, undercover as Tony Stark’s assistant. At the time, Scarlett Johansson was not Marvel’s first choice to play the character. Emily Blunt was.
Luckily for Scarlett, Emily had to leave the project due to a contract conflict which required her to appear in the awful Jack Black movie Gulliver’s Travels. For Emily Blunt, it’s a decision that probably reduced the size of her bank account forever. For Scarlett Johansson, well she’s not letting it bother her that she wasn’t Marvel’s first choice.
In a recent interview with Parade, Scarlett talked about what it was like to be the backup choice and she has this to say, “The best call you can receive is after you are rejected for something and then you get it. You appreciate it more. I’ve basically made a career out of being second choice.“