Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige has revealed that Black Widow could set a precedent for more prequels exploring the earlier years of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Scarlett Johansson's first solo outing as the character will take audiences back a few years, with Black Widow set just after the events of 2016's Captain America: Civil War, and Feige has now stated that this could start a new MCU trend.
"Certainly this film and this story is a particular case for Natasha. But the notion of exploring the past, present, and future of the MCU is certainly in the cards for all of our characters. This particular story of this particular cast is very personal, very specific to Natasha."
Feige asserts that setting Black Widow earlier in the timeline is very specific to the character, which is no doubt in part due to her being, well, quite dead, but that the idea could certainly be applied to others, meaning that the MCU, and particularly solo outings, could start jumping backwards.
For now, Black Widow finds Natasha Romanoff forced to confront the darker parts of her famous ledger when a dangerous conspiracy with ties to her past arises. Pursued by a force that will stop at nothing to bring her down, Natasha must deal with her history as a spy and the broken relationships left in her wake long before she became an Avenger. Black Widow will provide some insight into the origins of one of the founding Avengers, even revealing details regarding the famous mission in Budapest.
Joining Scarlett Johansson, who will reprise the title role for what could be the final time (though the idea of more Marvel prequels could quite easily see her brought back for more), Black Widow features a stellar supporting cast including Florence Pugh as Yelena, David Harbour as Alexei/The Red Guardian, and Rachel Weisz as Melina. Much focus has been placed on Florence Pugh's Yelena, who will provide a sister-figure to Romanoff and was also trained in the Red Room as a Black Widow. Director Cate Shortland has revealed that Romanoff would be "handing [Belova] the baton" in the movie, which would "propel another female storyline", suggesting that, following Natasha's death, Yelena will take over the mantle, which could lead to her entering the wider Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Scarlett Johansson, who has portrayed Black Widow since 2010's Iron Man 2, has since discussed her feelings over leaving the role behind after all this time. "It's definitely bittersweet because I love my Marvel family," she said. "I'm never going to be ready to not be a part of it. They'll always be family. I'll never feel ready to not be in it, because I hate to feel like I'm missing out on stuff with them. And who knows? Maybe at some point, we'll have some opportunity to collaborate in some other kind of way."
Like many movies over the past year, Black Widow has struggled to get to the big screen amid the ongoing global situation. After being delayed multiple times, Black Widow is now scheduled to be released in the United States on July 9, 2021, simultaneously in theaters and through Disney+ with Premier Access. It will be the first installment in Marvel's Phase Four of the MCU. This comes to us from Slash Film.