In another timeline not all that different from the one we are living in now, the internet is being set ablaze with Black Widow buzz. Instead, we still have months to wait for the latest entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as the movie was delayed by six months due to the ongoing theater closure brought on by current events. But, had things panned out as planned, Scarlett Johannson's long-awaited and sorely deserved solo adventure as Natasha Romanoff would be in theaters right now.
When Marvel Studios officially announced its Phase 4 slate, it was revealed that the Black Widow movie was finally happening. Not only that, but it was also going to be the movie to kick off the next phase of the MCU. The solo flick was set to arrive on May 1, just over a year after Avengers: Endgame obliterated the box office and closed the door on more than a decade of interconnected storytelling. It also effectively ended Natasha's journey, as she sacrificed herself to get the Soul Stone, which was needed to undo Thanos' deadly snap.
Unfortunately, with theaters shut down all around the world, Disney and Marvel Studios had to make a difficult choice. Black Widow was pushed back to November 6, which then had something of a domino effect. The entire MCU Phase 4 slate was pushed back as a result. But this is the situation the movie business finds itself in right now. Sure, a movie like Trolls World Tour can make enough money on streaming, but big blockbusters such as this still require box office dollars to make financial sense. Not only that, but many fans still want to see this on the big screen. That will still be possible, in due time.
Black Widow is directed by Cate Shortland, which marks the first time in MCU history that a woman has helmed a movie solo. Anna Boden previously co-directed Captain Marvel with Ryan Fleck. The cast also includes David Harbour, Florence Pugh, O-T Fagbenle and Rachel Weisz. As far as the villain goes, Taskmaster will be the villain in this one. Though, the identity of the person under the mask has remained mysterious, which is unique as it is pretty hard to keep the actor playing a big role like this under wraps. We might be in for something of a big surprise.
It's also important to note that this is a prequel, taking place after the events of Captain America: Civil War and before Infinity War. So it won't be undoing any of the narrative that has already been established. Black Widow will be followed by Eternals on February 12, 2021, with Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings arriving on May 7, 2021, and Spider-Man 3 swinging in on November 5, 2021. The comes Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness on March 25, 2022, and, rounding out Phase 4 for Marvel will be Thor: Love and Thunder on February 11, 2022.