Marvel Studios’ final “Phase 3” film, Spider-Man: Far From Home, hits theaters on July 2, and fans are lapping up any information they can about the studio’s next slate of superhero blockbusters. Black Widow, starring East Ender Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff, is rumored to be the first film of “Phase 4.” While the movie’s official title hasn’t even been announced, it is speculated that it will be released on May 1, 2020 and explore the dark past of the Russian spy-turned-universe-saving hero.
Directed by Cate Shortland, Black Widow is currently filming at Pinewood Studios in England. Photos from the set have surfaced on Twitter, seeming to reveal a potential villain for the film. Spoilers follow below!
— Daniel Richtman (@DanielRPK) June 26, 2019
In photos tweeted out by Daniel Richtman, a character who appears similar to comic book villain Taskmaster is featured prominently. In the comics, Tony Masters is a villainous (and occasional reluctantly heroic) mercenary able to mimic the physical movements of anyone, making him a formidable foe for Black Widow—who is an expert fighter, spy and trained assassin. The character’s first comic book appearance was in The Avengers #195 from May 1980.
In addition to Johansson, Florence Pugh (Outlaw King), Rachel Weiss (recently Oscar nominated for The Favourite) and David Harbour (Sheriff Jim Hopper in Netflix’s Montauk-inspired hit Stranger Things) are also confirmed as cast members, and most speculate that Pugh, seen in on-set photos with Johansson, will play fellow Russian super spy Yelena Bulova.
Johansson has played the Black Widow in eight Marvel Cinematic Universe films. Her character was killed off in a heroic sacrifice in Avengers: Endgame. Black Widow is reportedly set in the 1990s. It’s not known if this will be Johansson’s final turn as the beloved character, or if Black Widow is the start of its own series.