Marvel Studios revealed a massive 10-project slate for Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe at San Diego Comic-Con Saturday night, but it turns out they saved their next blockbuster for last. After unveiling a number of new films and Disney+ streaming series, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige confirmed that the long-anticipated Black Widow movie will hit theaters May 1, 2020, less than a year from now.
The cast for the film, directed by Cate Shortland, includes Scarlett Johansson returning in the title role, along with David Harbour, Florence Pugh, O-T Fagbenle, and Rachel Weisz.
Harbour will play Alexei, aka The Red Guardian, who in the comics is the Soviet Union's created equivalent of Captain America. Pugh will play Yelena, a "sister figure" to Natasha Romanoff, which very likely means she's playing the second Black Widow from the comics, Yelena Belova. Rounding out the cast are Fagbenle as Mason, a "fixer" who's romantically linked to Natasha, and Weisz in the still-mysterious role of Melina.
"I don't think I could have played this iteration of Natasha 10 years ago," Johansson said of the project, which will be a prequel focusing on Romanoff's earlier years. "It would have been a different film. I get to play her as a fully realized woman ... and I'm looking to wipe out some of that red in her ledger."
After introducing the cast, Feige and company unveiled the first footage from the film, which opened with a montage of Natasha's history in the MCU and included the voice of Tony Stark saying "They're coming for you," suggesting connections to Captain America: Civil War. The footage largely consisted of a fight between Natasha and Yelena, and ended with confirmation of another major Marvel Comics supervillain: Taskmaster will appear in Black Widow, though we don't yet know who's playing him.
In the wake of Avengers: Endgame, a Black Widow film was widely expected but never officially confirmed by Marvel, despite frequent hints and reports and even some set photos that suggested Johansson was not yet done with the role. Now, we officially know when we can expect her to return, May 1, 2020. Here's the film's logo: