Skip to main content

How can there be a Black Widow movie? Here’s why it makes sense

Marvel Studios' Black Widow - Official Teaser Trailer

The first trailer for Black Widow has been released by Marvel Studios, and if you’re wondering how Scarlett Johansson’s superspy character can be back on the big screen after the events of Avengers: Endgame, you’re not alone. (Warning: Spoilers ahead.)

Fortunately, the reason behind her return to the screen doesn’t involve the sort of complicated resurrections or convoluted narratives comic-book stories frequently rely on, so you shouldn’t be confused for long.

If you’re reading this, you’re probably well aware that Black Widow sacrificed herself in Avengers: Endgame by falling to her death in order to save the universe. No, she isn’t being brought back to life for Black Widow (at least, not that we know of at this point). Instead, the new film will be a blast from the past.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Marvel Studios has indicated that Black Widow is set between the events of 2016’s Captain America: Civil War and 2018’s Avengers: Infinity War, making the film a prequel story set before Black Widow enters the fray in Infinity War.

If you need a brush-up on Captain America: Civil War, the film ends with Natasha Romanoff (aka Black Widow) and many other Marvel heroes going into hiding after assisting Captain America in a mission that put him at odds with both the U.S. government and some of their former teammates. That’s where — or rather, when — Black Widow picks up Natasha’s story, with the film exploring where she spent her self-imposed exile after Civil War.

While it might seem like a short period of time to squeeze her solo adventure into, quite a lot happened in the Marvel Cinematic Universe during that time.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Two other MCU movies were set in that period: Spider-Man: Homecoming and Black Panther. Some of the events of Thor: Ragnarok and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 also occurred during that period, albeit in galaxies far away from Earth. As such, there’s a lot to work with in that portion of the MCU timeline.

When we first see Black Widow in Infinity War, she’s already reunited with Captain America and Falcon, so Black Widow will show us where she went — and possibly what brought her back to her teammates. From what we know of Black Widow so far, that involves a journey back to Russia, where she first endured the harsh training that made her a lethal superspy.

In fact, all the way back in a March 2018 interview with Entertainment Weekly, Johansson hinted that Natasha experienced some life-changing events leading up to her return in Infinity War — an early nod to the studio’s plans for her character in Black Widow.

Walt Disney Studios

“It’s been a dark time,” said Johansson of her character’s outlook heading into Infinity War. “I wouldn’t say that my character has been particularly hopeful, but I think she’s hardened even more than she probably was before.”

The events of Black Widow will reportedly bring her back to the Red Room — the mysterious school that trains deadly spies and assassins — and into contact with several former teammates and rivals. During the adventure, she’ll confront some of the demons of her past before finding her way back to Captain America and the Avengers.

Hopefully, that makes it clear why Johansson — and Black Widow — are headed back to the big screen.

Black Widow hits theaters May 1, 2020.

Editors' Recommendations

Rick Marshall
A veteran journalist with more than two decades of experience covering local and national news, arts and entertainment, and…
All the Marvel Easter eggs in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
The cast of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.

Director Ryan Coogler and Marvel Studios' sequel to Black Panther has finally premiered in theaters, giving audiences a spectacular and emotional cinematic tribute to the late Chadwick Boseman. It also adds to the legacy of Black Panther and expands the Marvel Cinematic Universe with its introduction of Riri Williams' Ironheart, Namor the Sub-Mariner, and the undersea kingdom of Talokan.

In this movie, there are multiple references to past films in the MCU and the comic book source material that it is based on. For those who have yet to see the movie or want to look back to see what they missed, here is a guide to all the Easter eggs in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.
10. Anderson Cooper and the news headlines

Read more
The scariest MCU characters ranked
Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff.

The MCU is famous for its lighthearted and kid-friendly vibe. Most of its films are notorious for their abundance of jokes and low stakes, amounting to colorful and visually dazzling but unimpactful stories. The heroes are all clean-cut and safe, paragons of correctness and physical beauty. Meanwhile, most of the villains in the MCU are somewhat forgettable, posing only a fleeting challenge to Earth's Mightiest Heroes and acting more like nuisances than genuinely dangerous threats. All in all, there seems to be no room for weird or unconventional in the MCU, much less scary.

Still, some MCU figures have enough creepy qualities to come across as scary. These characters are chilling, whether because of their eerie behavior, imposing physical appearance, wealth and influence, or a mix of all these. And while they might not send anyone running for the hills, they successfully unsettle audiences, especially considering the colorful and low-stakes universe they call home.
5. Wilson Fisk

Read more
Marvel reveals new Avengers movies, Black Panther 2 trailer, and more
marvel sdcc 2022 slate black panther wakanda forever 3

It wouldn't be San Diego Comic-Con without an in-depth look at the MCU. After a comparatively lackluster presentation by rival DC, Marvel unveiled new trailers, new characters, new casting announcements, and new release dates for most (but not all) of its upcoming film and television projects.

First, the Disney+ content. Fans got a closer look at the forthcoming She-Hulk: Attorney at Law series, which stars Tatiana Maslany as the jade giantess who is trying to reconcile her life as a lawyer with her new role as a superhero. Helping her out is her cousin Bruce Banner aka the Hulk, played once again by MCU veteran Mark Ruffalo.

Read more