Black Widow with Scarlett Johansson: Release date, cast, trailers and more

Marvel's Black Widow movie offers a closer look at Natasha Romanoff and her family. Find out everything there is to know about the movie, which is set to debut on July 9, 2021.

Bonnie Burton
Journalist Bonnie Burton writes about movies, TV shows, comics, science and robots. She is the author of the books Live or Die: Survival Hacks, Wizarding World: Movie Magic Amazing Artifacts, The Star Wars Craft Book, Girls Against Girls, Draw Star Wars, Planets in Peril and more! E-mail Bonnie.
Bonnie Burton
4 min read

Black Widow/Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) finally gets her own Marvel standalone movie. 


Thor Iron Man Captain America , Hulk and Spider-Man have all had their origin stories play out on the big screen. Now it's Black Widow's turn. The standalone Black Widow film kicks off Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe  and will show Scarlett Johansson's Natasha Romanoff fighting a new villain. 

The film, originally for May 1, is now set for July 9, 2021, delayed due to COVID-19 health concerns. 

Marvel dropped a new trailer for Black Widow on April 3. The clip says we "have to go back to where it all started" and promises insights into "her world, her secrets, her legacy." As plenty of big-budget MCU action explodes on the screen, our hero makes a pronouncement: "One thing's for sure," she says. "I'm done running from my past."

In a previous trailer, fans saw more of the family dynamic between Natasha Romanoff and fellow assassin/sister Yelena Belova (Florence Pugh). There's also more about the villain Taskmaster.

A trailer before that also showed David Harbour as the fatherly character Alexei Shostakov, also known as the Red Guardian, as well as Rachel Weisz as his wife Melina. 

Marvel's Black Widow posters show Romanoff, her allies and enemies. Marvel also debuted a comic-book-inspired Black Widow poster.

Everything we know about the Black Widow movie

The film will be set in Budapest. Fans first heard Romanoff mention Budapest during the first Avengers film in 2012, when she chatted with Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) about a mysterious adventure in the Hungarian city. 

"It's a film about self-forgiveness... and family," Johansson said in an interview with Vanity Fair in 2019. "In the Black Widow film, the character when we find her is in a moment of real crisis. Throughout the film by facing herself in a lot of ways (and all the things that make her her) she actually comes through that crisis on the other side, and is able to reset into a space where she's a more grounded self-possessed person."

Previous trailers show a lot more of Romanoff and her sister Belova. In fact, when they reunite in the movie, they initially have a knock-down, drag-out fight. Belova's moves match Romanoff's, which may imply they were trained by the same person. 

The trailer also reveals scenes of other women dressed in costumes like Black Widow's, which implies other female Russian agents could replace her at any moment. 

Possible cameos?

While he's not in the trailers, fans are still hoping for a cameo from Avengers member Tony Stark/Iron Man (played by Robert Downey Jr.), according to Deadline. However, Marvel has yet to officially announce he's in the movie, and neither Marvel nor Disney immediately responded to a request for comment about the casting mention.

Previously, actor William Hurt was photographed on the Black Widow movie as General "Thunderbolt" Ross. General Ross appeared in Infinity War as an adversary to Captain America and Black Widow. General Ross also had a cameo in Endgame during the funeral scene. 

When does it take place?

The movie will be set shortly after Captain America: Civil War but before Infinity War and Endgame, making it a prequel to the more recent Avengers films. 

In the new Black Widow movie, fans will see what happened after Romanoff went into exile after allowing Captain America and Bucky Barnes to escape in Civil War. 

Who is the main villain, Taskmaster?

The supervillain made his first appearance in The Avengers comic book series in 1980. His superpowers include the ability to mimic his opponent's physical movements simply by seeing them.

Taskmaster wears a hood over his head and uses a protective shield. In the  comics , Taskmaster also taught criminals how to improve their fighting skills. 

Marvel Studios' director of visual development, Andy Park, posted on Instagram in July 2019 the first concept art for the movie, which shows Black Widow battling Taskmaster. 

Who is the Red Guardian?

Stranger Things and Hellboy star David Harbour is Alexei Shostakov, also known as the Red Guardian.

The Red Guardian first appeared in the comics in The Avengers No. 43. The comics have Shostakov as a longtime agent of the KGB, but it's unclear yet if his character will be an enemy or ally to Romanoff.

Who's making the film? 

Cate Shortland directs, making her the first female director Marvel has hired to single-handedly helm a feature-length, live-action film. Shortland is best known for her female-led movies Lore and Berlin Syndrome.

The script is penned by female screenwriter and producer Jac Schaeffer, best known for her other female-led superhero movie Captain Marvel. Black Widow is the first Marvel film to be solely written and directed by women.

What's the release date?

Black Widow was originally set to hit theaters worldwide on May 1, 2020, but has been pushed back to July 9, 2021.

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