Thor. Iron Man. Captain America. Hulk. . They've 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 lost and broken down -- until she finds herself fighting a new villain.
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. (Read: Black Widow en español.)
There could even be a cameo from Avengers member Tony Stark/Iron Man (played by Robert Downey Jr.), according to Deadline. However, Marvel has yet to officially announce Downey Jr. is in the movie, and neither Marvel nor Disney immediately responded to a request for comment about the casting mention.
On Oct. 1, actor William Hurt was photographed on the Black Widow movie set sparking a fan theory that he will reprise his role as General "Thunderbolt" Ross in the Marvel universe during a possible end credits scene. 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. Which makes sense, considering what happened to Romanoff during Endgame.
In the 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.
What footage was shown at Comic-Con and D23?
The SDCC footage includes past footage of Romanoff from Marvel movies like Iron Man 2, Age of Ultron, Civil War and Endgame.
Then the video shifts to a shot of Budapest, where Romanoff approaches the door of an apartment building with her gun drawn. Romanoff searches each room until she hears a woman with a Russian accent say, "I know you're out there." It's Belova and her gun is drawn as well.
The two have a knock-down, drag-out fight in various rooms of the apartment. Belova's moves match Romanoff's, which may imply they were trained by the same person. The fight ends with the characters choking each other on the floor with a shower curtain.
The SDCC footage also includes a motorbike chase, and Romanoff and Belova sharing a drink where Romanoff calls her "sis." Also it shows Romanoff saying, "I have a very specific skill set" and wanting to wipe the red from her ledger.
Interestingly, there are a few shots of other women dressed in costumes like Black Widow's, which implies other female Russian agents could replace her at any moment.
Theexpands slightly on what was seen at SDCC and also shows off a new white outfit for Black Widow. The fight scene between ScarJo and Pugh culminates in the reveal that Pugh is Black Widow's sister, Yelena, and the battle was merely her welcoming Natasha home.
Who is the main villain, Taskmaster?
Other SDCC footage shows Romanoff's car blown up by the villainous Taskmaster. They fight and Romanoff notices that he can mirror all her fight moves -- much like Belova in the previous fight. Could Belova secretly be Taskmaster, or is there more to this mysterious baddie?
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 on July 22 the first concept art for the movie, which shows Black Widow battling Taskmaster.
Who is the Red Guardian?
Stranger Things and Hellboy starhas been cast as 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.
What's the release date?
Black Widow is set to hit theaters worldwide on May 1.
Who's in the cast?
- Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow
- David Harbour as Alexei Shostakov, aka the Red Guardian
- Florence Pugh as Yelena Belova
- O.T. Fagbenle as Mason
- Rachel Weisz as Melina
- Ray Winstone in an unnamed role
No official word yet if Jeremy Renner will reprise his role as Hawkeye in the Black Widow movie.
This article was originally published July 25 and will be updated as news rolls in.