Scarlett Johansson is back in spandex to usher in Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and I couldn’t think of a character more deserving of a standalone film than Black Widow. The film will be directed by Cate Shortland (Somersolt, Lore), making it the first MCU fixture to be directed solely by a woman.
The movie also stars Florence Pugh, who many speculated would be playing a younger version of Johannsson’s character Natasha Romanova, as fans finally get a chance to explore her history. Instead, Pugh will play Romanova’s sister; and judging by their fight scene in the trailer, the two are not close. (Rachel Weisz and David Harbour also appear in the teaser.)
The timeline of the movie—because it’s not a Marvel movie if you’re not confused about the timeline—begins after the events of Captain America: Civil War, which ended with the Avengers squad on the run after boyfriends Iron Man and Captain America had a massive fight over Captain America being a liar and a traitor.
To my dismay, this will be Black Widow’s final appearance in the Marvel Universe coming off of her under-appreciated sacrifice in Avengers: Endgame. The Avengers couldn’t even give my girl a funeral, but I’m not bitter about it.
After the success of the MCU’s first woman-led film, Captain Marvel, which grossed $1 billion worldwide, box office expectations for Black Widow are high. The film will also serve as a litmus test on how other MCU woman-centered projects will fare, like the next installment of Captain Marvel and the introduction of Kamala Kahn as Ms. Marvel.
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Black Widow will be in theaters nationwide on May 1, 2020.