Photo Credit: Disney/Marvel Studios
Black Widow will return. At San Diego Comic-Con 2019, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige announced that the standalone Black Widow movie will be part of Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The release date is May 1, 2020. Scarlett Johansson will (naturally) reprise her role in the lead, with the likes of David Harbour (Stranger Things), Florence Pugh (Lady Macbeth), O-T Fagbenle (The Handmaid's Tale), and Rachel Weisz (The Favourite) also part of the cast. Cate Shortland (Lore) is directing Black Widow, off a script by Jac Schaeffer and Ned Benson.
“I get to play Natasha as a fully realised woman,” Johannsson said at Comic-Con. “Looking forward to knocking out some of that red in my ledger.” Marvel showed off Black Widow footage too, which reportedly included a fight scene in Budapest between Natasha and Yelena (Pugh). The characters played by the other cast members have not been revealed. Also, Ray Winstone (The Departed) wasn't mentioned in the official announcement as a cast member.
The timeline for the Black Widow movie is still unclear, though it's obvious that it will explore Natasha Romanoff's (Johansson) past — spoilers ahead for Avengers: Endgame — considering the character died in Endgame. Pugh stars as Yelena Belova, described in casting reports as a spy on Romanoff's level with an opposite moral compass. In the comics, Belova was trained in the Soviet facility Red Room, just like Romanoff. She was later sent to kill Romanoff but ended up becoming an ally, eventually taking over the mantle of Black Widow from her.
Filming began on Black Widow in May in Norway and the UK, and moved to Budapest, Hungary in June. Production will reportedly go on till September. It's interesting that the standalone Black Widow movie is filming in Budapest, which has immense significance to Romanoff's backstory, as we've been repeatedly told by Clint Barton / Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) and Romanoff herself in previous Marvel Cinematic Universe films.
Black Widow will release May 1, 2020 in cinemas worldwide.