The Black Widow standalone movie is currently in development at Marvel Studios. Studio boss Kevin Feige has yet to officially announce the movie, but the casting process is underway and it has a 2020 release date. This will all more than likely be officially announced at this year's San Diego Comic-Con. Avengers: Endgame is the current focus of Marvel Cinematic Universe fans and it was just released in theaters, leading to many questions about the past and future of the MCU. So what does it mean for the Black Widow movie? There are SPOILERS for Avengers: Endgame below, so read ahead at your own risk.

Avengers: Endgame sets up the MCU's Phase 4, but it also leaves a lot of questions as to how everything is going to work out moving forward. For Black Widow, things especially get a little more complicated. She and Hawkeye end up heading to Vormir to retrieve the Soul Stone, which finds the duo in the same predicament Thanos and Gamora were in for Infinity War. However, these are two heroes placed in a difficult situation and they end up fighting over who gets to throw themselves over the cliff to save the universe.

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Natasha Romanoff doesn't get killed on the battlefield. Instead, she sacrifices herself for the greater good, "whatever it takes." As we learn in Avengers: Endgame, there is no coming back from the Soul Stone swap. Natasha is dead and so is Gamora, even with time travel. This could change in the MCU's future, but it might not have to for the Black Widow movie. It has widely been reported that the standalone movie will be a prequel, perhaps set in the early 1990s or 2000s, meaning it would be set before the whole Decimation and reversal.

Though not much is clear about the Black Widow movie, Australian director Cate Shortland is attached to direct from a script by Jac Schaeffer. The movie is being described as an outlier for the MCU and as a dark spy thriller without all of the mystical elements. It's believed it will focus on Natasha Romanoff's time in the KGB and her first encounters with S.H.I.E.L.D. We could see elements that have been alluded to in past MCU movies like meeting up with Winter Soldier or even the mentioning of her father in Avengers: Endgame, which seems logical now.

When it comes down to it, MCU fans may get to see how Natasha Romanoff became Black Widow after knowing how she sacrificed it all to save the universe in Avengers: Endgame. Regardless of how it happens, Endgame shows the end of the character's story arc, which will make her origin story that much more effective and meaningful at the same time. Production is expected to begin on the movie in the near future, possibly June. Hopefully Marvel Studios will give us an official update on the Black Widow movie this summer.

Kevin Burwick at Movieweb
Kevin Burwick