UPDATE: This story was originally published April 26, 2019.
Warning: major spoilers for the end of Avengers: Endgame ahead.
Going into Avengers: Endgame, we knew we’d be losing some of the original Avengers one way or another. Chris Evans and Robert Downey Jr.’s are have been public about being done with Marvel after Endgame, so it was a given that we’d have to say goodbye to Captain America and Iron Man. But there were some characters we thought would be safe based on confirmed upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe films like Black Panther 2, Spider-Man: Far From Home, and most importantly Black Widow. And while we did indeed get Tom Holland’s Peter Parker and Chadwick Boseman’s T’Challa back, few people were prepared for Black Widow’s (Scarlett Johansson) death in Endgame. Even tougher though, is the realization that Endgame significantly changes the Black Widow solo movie — or does it?
Is A Black Widow Movie Still Coming Out?
First off, it should be noted that Marvel head Kevin Feige has not confirmed any of the Black Widow talk, and noted in an EW roundtable that Marvel hasn't officially announced a Black Widow movie at all. But, plenty of news has leaked about the film to give us enough hope to continue our line of questioning.
Fans have also been posting photos from an active movie set that many believe to be the Black Widow's solo film. The photos have stirred theories about the supposed film's villain and actress Florence Pugh's potential role in it, but obviously, Disney and Marvel are as tight-lipped about all that as they can be.
Will The Black Widow Movie Be A Prequel?
Though Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow permanently sacrificed her own life in exchange for the Soul Stone, which the Red Skull revealed was an “everlasting” exchange, Marvel has other ways of putting Natasha in a feature film. Considering that Endgame just resurrected half of the Earth's population, it's pretty clear Natasha is going to be Jon Snow-ed for the sake of a movie. Time travel is technically an option (that’s how Zoe Saldana’s Gamora returned despite being exchanged for the Soul Stone, after all), but the Black Widow standalone movie is actually reportedly a prequel, taking place before the events of the first Avengers film, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
What Will The Black Widow Movie Be About?
And earlier this April, when Stranger Things star David Harbour was rumored to be in talks for Black Widow, more supposed plot details were revealed, suggesting that the story would follow Natasha's KGB training and her subsequent escape to become an Avenger.
Who Is In The Cast Of The Black Widow Movie?
There's also plenty of speculation about who will be joining Johansson for the Black Widow standalone movie. In addition to Harbour, Rachel Weisz and Florence Pugh are in reportedly talks to co-star, per Variety. You might also see names like Emma Watson and Andre Holland floating around Black Widow rumor mills, but neither actor has been confirmed (probably because the movie itself hasn't been, but let's move on). The Hollywood Reporter also broke the story that Berlin Syndrome’s Cate Shortland is reportedly attached as the director.
When Does The Black Widow Movie Come Out?
Despite zero confirmations from Marvel, Black Widow is rumored to have begun production this summer in London. Even if it did begin filming in 2019, it's entirely certain that we won't see a completed film until at least 2020 — and that would be an incredibly tight turnaround (not that Marvel is averse to those). Fans should, however, prepare themselves for the possibility that it will be released after Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, which is confirmed and only just getting started. That movie likely won't start production until after director James Gunn finishes his Suicide Squad movie for Warner Bros., so it will be a while before we see it.
Is Scarlett Johansson In The Black Widow Movie?
Despite it taking place long before 2012, Johansson will still reportedly be a major part of the film. Johansson is reportedly set to make $15 million for Black Widow, per The Hollywood Reporter, which is the same amount that Evans and Chris Hemsworth each made for their most recent standalone films. We are so here for that Marvel gender equality pay equity! That almost makes up for the fact that we just lost the only female from the original Avengers team (at least in the present day MCU).
Yeah, we’re still a little salty about that — even with the upcoming Black Widow prequel. Deal with it.