Black Widow with Scarlett Johansson: Plot, release date, cast, and more – CNET


Black Widow/Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) finally gets her own Marvel standalone movie. 


Thor. Iron Man. Captain America. Hulk. Spider-Man. 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 (MCU) 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’s only been in production for a month, according to the cast on the MCU panel at Comic-Con 2019.   

The film will be set in Budapest. The first time fans heard Romanoff mention Budapest was during the first Avengers film in 2012, when she chatted with Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) about a mysterious adventure in the Hungarian city.

When does it take place?

The movie will take place 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. 

Black Widow footage shown at Comic-Con 2019

Comic-Con 2019 attendees saw some footage of an epic fight scene between Scarlett Johansson and fellow cast member Florence Pugh as the character Yelena Belova. The two were described as “sisters.” 

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 an apartment building door 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. 

Now playing:
Watch this:

Marvel’s Phase 4 plan explained


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 previously 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; Romanoff and Belova sharing a drink where Romanoff calls her “sis”; and Romanoff saying, “I have a very specific skill set” and wanting to wipe the red from her ledger.

Interestingly enough, 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. 

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 back 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’s 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 star David Harbour has been cast as Alexei Shostakov, also known as the Red Guardian.

The Red Guardian first appeared in the comics in The Avengers #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.

The script is penned by female screenwriter and producer Jac Schaeffer, best known for her other female-led superhero movie Captain Marvel. 

What’s the release date?

Black Widow hits theaters worldwide on May 1, 2020.

Meet the cast

No official word yet if Jeremy Renner will reprise his role as Hawkeye in the Black Widow movie.

This article was originally published on July 25, and will be updated as news rolls in.