Fans have been begging Marvel for a Black Widow movie for almost a decade, and now the dream is finally coming alive. The presumably eponymously named Black Widow will feature Scarlett Johansson in the title role, a.k.a. Natasha Romanoff, whom she's portrayed already in eight installments of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, including this year's Avengers: Endgame.
Joining Johansson on screen for the solo superhero movie are an exciting ensemble of varied talents. Variety has reported the possible addition of Oscar-winning actress Rachel Weisz, who was recently nominated by the Academy again for her performance in The Favourite. And The Hollywood Reporter has revealed the casting of Stranger Things breakout David Harbour, who plays the titular character in the new comic book movie Hellboy.
Here's everything we know about Black Widow so far:
What is the plot of the solo Black Widow movie?
While there is no official word on the Black Widow synopsis, reportedly the movie will be a prequel of some kind, possibly shedding more light on Natasha Romanoff's origins in Russia and leading up to her MCU introduction in Iron Man 2. Whatever the story, though, we can expect the plot to fit the spy movie genre.
Scarlett Johansson will still be in the title role, right?
The role of Black Widow won't be recast, even if the movie is a prequel set more than a decade ago. The character did make it out of Avengers: Infinity War alive, so the movie also could be set afterward. But we're all still waiting to see if she survives whatever happens in Endgame. One thing is for sure: Johansson wants and deserves her own solo MCU installment.
Who else will star in the movie?
Oscar-winning actress Rachel Weisz, who co-starred in the 2005 DC Comics adaptation Constantine, and Stranger Things actor David Harbour, who makes his debut as the titular superhero in Hellboy this year, are in talks to join Johansson for the solo Black Widow outing, according to Variety and The Hollywood Reporter, respectively.
Previously, we learned that Fighting with My Family star Florence Pugh will also have a significant part in the Black Widow movie. Obviously, with absolutely no official information on this MCU installment, neither her nor any other supporting character details have been revealed.
Who is the director of Black Widow?
Australian filmmaker Cate Shortland has landed the gig helming the solo Black Widow movie. Although a relative unknown in the US, she’s been a big deal on the festival circuit with award-winning shorts and features, the latter including the 2012 Nazi drama Lore and the 2017 Sundance selection Berlin Syndrome.
Marvel Studios reportedly vetted more than 70 women filmmakers for the job, then the selection was down to three shortlisted favorites, including Shortland, Amma Asante (Belle) and Maggie Betts (Novitiate). Apparently, it was Johansson who pushed for Shortland.
Who is writing the script?
That would be Jac Schaeffer, who wrote and directed the 2009 indie sci-fi rom-com Timer and more recently worked on the scripts for Disney's Frozen short Olaf's Frozen Adventure and the upcoming women-led Dirty Rotten Scoundrels remake,The Hustle, starring Anne Hathaway and Rebel Wilson. She’s also credited with writing the Disney+ MCU series The Vision and Scarlet Witch.
When does it come out?
While production is expected to begin on the movie in London this June, Marvel hasn't made an official announcement on when Black Widow could come out in theaters.