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Black Widow movie release date, cast, trailer, villain, and everything else you need to know

Black Widow movie
Image credit: Disney/Marvel

The Black Widow movie isn't short of surprises. Hidden among its confirmed release date, posters, and abundance of news is the rumour that two familiar MCU faces will be joining Scarlett Johansson in the 2020 Marvel Phase 4 kickoff.

We'll go through all that, as well as every scrap of info you need to know about the Black Widow movie. That includes the confirmed cast, plus who they will be playing, and even quotes from San Diego Comic-Con 2019 that help flesh out their motivations. Plus, there's finally confirmation on where this takes place in the Marvel timeline, just in case you'd lost track.

As ever with Natasha Romanoff, you can't turn your back for a minute. Keep checking back - this page is updated early and often; it's packed with the latest Black Widow movie news, right up until D23 (and beyond). So, come on in: it's time to see why a certain someone has so much red on her ledger.

Fast Facts:

  • Black Widow movie release date: May 1, 2020
  • Black Widow movie cast: Scarlett Johansson, Rachel Weisz, Florence Pugh, David Harbour, Ray Winstone, O.T. Fagbenle
  • Black Widow movie director: Cate Shortland
  • Black Widow movie writer: Ned Benson

Black Widow movie release date

black widow movie release date

Image credit: Disney/Marvel

(Image credit: Marvel Studios/Disney)

Less than a year to go now. The Black Widow movie release date is set for May 1, 2020. Announced as part of a heaving slate of upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe entries at San Diego Comic-Con 2019 (SDCC 2019), the movie will kick off Marvel Phase 4.

With the movie already midway through filming, it’s hardly a surprise that Marvel chose the Black Widow movie as next in line considering how Spider-Man: Far From Home ended Phase 3 in such devastating fashion.

Black Widow movie cast

Black Widow movie cast

Image credit: Disney/Marvel

Scarlett Johansson, inevitably, is back at Natasha Romanoff. After all, how could it be a Black Widow movie without her? But she isn’t coming alone.

Joining her in the Black Widow movie cast is Midsommar lead Florence Pugh as Yelena, another member of the Black Widow training program. Pugh describes her character as “like a sister” to Natasha, though, as we’ll soon discover, there’s plenty of bad blood between the two.

Rachel Weisz, meanwhile, is yet another new Black Widow on the block. She told IGN: “I’m a Black Widow… There’s quite a lot of other characters that you’ll meet who are also Black Widows.”

Perhaps the hottest commodity joining the cast is Stranger Things’ David Harbour. Here, though, he’s switching his police hat for a big-ass shield as he’ll be playing Alexi, otherwise known in the comics as the Red Guardian.

As for the main villain of the piece: the Taskmaster is in the movie. No word on casting yet, though it’s been revealed that Natasha will be facing off against the villain who recently made an (irritating) series of appearances in the Spider-Man PS4 game.

Elsewhere, Variety is reporting that British acting legend Ray Winstone has signed on to play an unnamed role in the movie, while THR says O.T. Fagbenle, of The Handmaid’s Tale fame, is also appearing in the Black Widow movie.

More recently, however, there have been rumblings about two MCU actors who are making their presence felt as part of the Black Widow movie cast.

First up is a big one: Robert Downey Jr. Yup. Tony Stark may be returning less than a year after his supposed departure in Avengers: Endgame. There's a bit of a twist, though. Reports suggest his cameo will actually be ripped straight from a Captain America: Civil War unreleased deteled scene, showing Stark telling Nat to make a run for it. That also fits in nicely with the Black Widow timeline fitting snugly in-between Infinity War and Endgame.

More intriguing is the apparent inclusion of General Ross, who was last seen in Endgame but is best known for his antagonistic role in 2008's The Incredible Hulk. He was spotted on-set (via Just Jared), using a cane to help support himself. Could he be setting up The Thunderbolts, the nefarious Marvel team-for-hire?

Black Widow movie trailer

Image credit: Disney/Marvel

Image credit: Disney/Marvel

There’s been no sighting of a Black Widow movie trailer out in the wild just yet. Those in attendance at Marvel’s Hall H panel during SDCC 2019, however, got a sneak peek at some footage which may or may not make it into a future trailer.

In it, Romanoff and Pugh’s character, Yelena, are seen fighting in Budapest. They use everything at their disposal (even a literal kitchen sink) but the scrap ends in a stalemate. The short clip ends with a car chase and Black Widow crashing. She is met by Harbours’ Alexi, who blocks her rapid-fire gunshots with a shield.

With the Black Widow movie already shooting, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see a trailer before the end of the year, especially if Marvel is already confident enough to show footage just weeks after production commenced.

Black Widow movie plot: is it a prequel?

Image credit: Disney/Marvel

Image credit: Disney/Marvel

First thing’s first: the Black Widow movie is a prequel. Yes, it had been rumoured for some time – including a rogue piece of product placement helping piece together the clues – but now it’s official thanks to David Harbour’s interview with IGN. He told the publication that it’s being set in the gap between Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War on the Marvel timeline.

So, what can we expect from the Black Widow movie plot? Exact story details haven’t been revealed but, in terms of character details, we’ve got a few choice quotes about Natasha Romanoff’s arc in the movie.

Director Cate Shortland says that “[Black Widow] gets to put all the pieces of herself back together,” while Scarlett Johansson says she’s going to play “Natasha as a fully-realised woman… and I’m excited for fans to see the flawed side of her.”

As recently revealed in a THR profile of Johansson, the actress says that "The movie packs a big punch." She's also involved in tweaking the script in her role as executive producer, revealing that it makes her feel as if she's "in control of the destiny of this film, which gives me a lot more peace of mind."

The Black Widow movie poster has been revealed

The very first Black Widow movie poster has been revealed. Post-D23, Marvel Studios' director of visual development, Andy Park, unveiled the artwork, showcasing a look not only at the titular agent, but also her supporting cast.

Fusing together the character's two characters black (of course) and red (still on her ledger, lest we forget), the Black Widow posters shows Natasha Romanoff clad in a slightly new suit to the one we're accustomed to seeing from here. The yellow trim and belt looks, if anything, a little too flamboyant for the punch first, ask questions later Black Widow.

There's also a look at the designs of David Harbour's Red Guardian, as well as showcasing Rachel Weisz's Black Widow character, plus Florence Pugh's Yelena. Take a look at it above in more detail.

Black Widow movie director: who is Cate Shortland?

Black Widow movie

Image credit: Disney/Marvel

Despite being officially revealed at SDCC, the Black Widow movie director has been known for a while. THR reported studio executives met with more than 70 potential directors for the flick, with Cate Shortland ultimately getting the big gig – the first woman to helm a Marvel movie solo, after Anna Boden directed Captain Marvel with Ryan Fleck.

Shortland made her name with a succession of short films in her homeland of Australia before the 2004 release of Somersault, her first feature. She’s best known for Lore, a 2012 historical drama where a Nazi family seek to evade Allied forces at the end of World War 2.

Potential directors who lost out to Shortland include Amma Asante (Belle, A United Kingdom), Kimberly Peirce (Boys Don’t Cry, Carrie) and Maggie Betts (Novitiate).

Meanwhile, Collider reports that the Black Widow movie writer is Ned Benson, most famous for his work on The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby. The role originally went to Jac Schaeffer (The Hustle), but apparently Benson has been commissioned for a significant rewrite of Schaeffer’s script.