‘Black Widow’: release date, plot and everything we know so far

Marvel's Phase 4 is about to kick off...

Countless fans in the Marvel Cinematic Universe have been crying out for an origin story of assassin Natasha Romanoff, aka the Black Widow. Next year, they’re finally set to get their wish with the Scarlett Johansson-starring film underway.

It’s also, excitingly, the first glimpse into Marvel’s next era: Phase 4. Set to update the franchise in plenty of new ways and delve into the back stories of some of its most beloved stars, it’s set to bring a whole host of revelations.

After Marvel brought footage and a trailer for Black Widow to this month’s San Diego Comic-Con, anticipation has hotted up for the first movie of Phase 4.

The footage isn’t available online yet – it remains a secret to only those who were in the room – but there are plenty of clues about as to what to expect from the film. From a release date to cast, a plot and more, here’s everything we know so far about Black Widow.

When will Black Widow be released?

Black Widow is set to come out on May 1 2020.

Is there a trailer for Black Widow?

A trailer for the film certainly exists, but not one that we can watch just yet. Lucky fans at July’s San Diego Comic-Con were treated to a viewing of footage and a trailer for the upcoming film, but said trailer isn’t available online for now.

As Cinema Blend report, the reel shown in San Diego began with a history of Black Widow’s involvement in the MCU, before turning to footage from the actual movie. It begins with a city-wide spot and the unmistakable word “BUDAPEST” on screen, confirming that the film is set to shed some light on Natasha and Yelena Belova (Florence Pugh)’s past in the city, which harks back to the first Avengers film.

And what about the cast?

As expected, Scarlett Johansson is set to return as Black Widow to star in the film. A first look at the movie came through a poster shared on Instagram by Marvel concept artist Andy Park showed that Black Widow is set to feature classic Marvel villain Taskmaster.

The poster sees Johansson doing battle with Taskmaster, suggesting that they’ll be locking horns in the 2020 movie. It’s not clear yet who is set to play the villain in the movie.

The Comic Con panel also revealed that Florence Pugh will play Natasha’s surrogate sister Yelena Belova, while Rachel Weisz has been cast as the leader of the super-spy training facility where Romanoff initially learnt her trade.

Earlier this year, it was revealed that David Harbour will play Red Guardian in the film.

What do we know about the plot for Black Widow?

During an interview with IGN, David Harbour revealed that, chronology-wise, the film will take place after Captain America: Civil War, and presumably before Avengers: Infinity War.

“They’ve known each other for a while and there’s a complex history there,” Harbour said of the relationship between Natasha and his character, sometimes known as the Captain America of Russia. “This movie happens right after Captain America: Civil War, and so those events do factor in.”

“She is a Russian operative in a sense, and so they have some history together themselves,” he continued. “But there is a dynamic that evolves where she’s gone beyond in terms of joining the Avengers and his reactions to that.

There’s also the Budapest storyline, that’s revealed to dominate the film in reports from the reel shown at San Diego Comic-Con. The storyline around the Hungarian capital can be traced back to the first Avengers movie, and has since then been used heavily as a point of reference – and often some sort of inside joke – for the pair. It now looks like Black Widow is set to reveal the much-debated happenings in the city, and shed some light on what really went on.

Scarlett Johansson has also revealed a little of what to expect from her character in the movie. Speaking t0 Yahoo Entertainment at the recent Comic-Con, she says it will revolve more around her characters flaws.

“I’m excited for fans to see the flawed side of her, what she perceives to be the flawed side of her,” she said. “I’m looking to wipe out some of that red in my ledger so you guys will be seeing more of that.”

Who will direct Black Widow?

Cate Shortland will take the helm for the Phase 4 opener, it’s been revealed. The Australian director has three films to her name thus far – 2004’s Somersault, 2012’s Lore, and 2017’s Berlin Syndrome – and is a largely unknown quantity coming into the film, but Scarlett Johansson is reportedly a fan of hers, and pushed for her to get the job.

Cate Shortland