Avengers: Endgame had Natasha Romanoff sacrifice her life to save the universe on Vormir. Marvel Cinematic Universe fans were shocked to see the beloved character die, especially since the Black Widow standalone movie is on the way. Marvel Studios have not officially announced the project yet, but Scarlett Johansson is already busy shooting the movie in Norway. It is widely believed that the movie is a prequel, but some new images may provide evidence contradicting the original speculation.
Smart Hulk was not able to go back and resurrect Natasha Romanoff in Avengers: Endgame through time travel. However, there have been other theories floating around as to how the character can come back for the Black Widow movie. The latest leaked photos from the set show Romanoff in what looks like a lake with something red in her hands, which some are assuming is the Reality Stone. Could Captain America have gone back and resurrected her before going to live his life with Peggy Carter using the Reality Stone?
Avengers: Endgame screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely have defended their decision to kill Natasha Romanoff, so she might not be returning in this manner. Markus said the movie is "the natural end of her journey, and it is the sort of apotheosis of who she is becoming," as a character. It was a good spot to let her go, but what does that mean for the Black Widow movie? It is entirely possible that Captain America could have done some trickery to bring her back to the current timeline or possibly placing her somewhere else. The character has died in the comics and come back, so this isn't unprecedented.
Gamora was murdered by Thanos in Infinity War and shows up in Avengers: Endgame, but she is from the past. The same thing could, in theory, be done for Natasha Romanoff, but that sounds like a lot of trouble and explaining to pull off. From what we have seen from the Black Widow set pictures, the character appears to be on her own, much like how she started. There is also a recent set image that appears to show Black Widow attending a funeral. This has sparked much discussion online about who this funeral is for. While the prequel rumors have been floating around, there are also rumors that the movie will take place after the events of Captain America: Civil War, which obviously has not been confirmed at this time.
Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige is expected to shed some more light on the MCU's Phase 4 this summer at San Diego Comic-Con and D23. However, it is unclear just how much he will divulge when it comes to the Black Widow movie. If it is indeed a prequel, Feige should be able to announce it. But, if it is set in the current timeline of the MCU, he may want to keep that information under wraps. The Russo Brothers, along with Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely have warned all of the deaths in Avengers: Endgame are permanent, so this new rumor could end up being false. Hopefully Marvel Studios will let us know soon. You can check out the images below and see for yourself.