Marvel’s ‘Black Widow’ Leak Reveals Possible Timeline And Villain

Production on Marvel’s Black Widow film is officially underway and photos from the set hint at a possible villain and timeline. Scarlett Johansson’s character was killed off in Avengers: Endgame and it looks like her new solo film will be set before the war with Thanos, which means the events in Endgame will not be undone.

'Black Widow' star Scarlett Johansson
‘Black Widow’ star Scarlett Johansson | Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

New villain spotted in leaked photos

Photos from the set of Black Widow feature a costumed individual that many fans suspect is the villain. The images show a character covered in a suit of armor wearing a backpack and vest of some sort. It is difficult to tell who the character is, though it could be Taskmaster, Darkhawk, Spymaster, or Night Thrasher.

One of the photos also includes the masked villain riding in an armored vehicle. Some fans have suggested that the person looks like Blue Streak, though it is too difficult to tell with the mask on. Either way, it is exciting that filming for Black Widow has officially started and that we are getting a new villain in the MCU.

What’s ahead for Black Widow?

Considering how Black Widow died in Endgame, it is unclear how Marvel plans to bring her back without undoing the events in the movie. The timeline in her solo film cannot start after Endgame without resurrecting her or bringing her back from an alternate universe. The downsides of this approach are that it would invalidate previous events and could get confusing pretty quick.

Fortunately, there is another way Marvel can give us a Black Widow film without messing with the current timeline.

The photos from the set hint that Black Widow’s successor, Yelena Belova, will be introduced in the movie. If that is the case, then the film could serve as a way to establish a lasting legacy for Black Widow that will extend beyond the timeline of Endgame.

After all, Marvel intended to end Black Widow’s story arc in Endgame, and it sounds like they are sticking to this plan. By introducing Belova, the studio can still honor Black Widow’s sacrifice while continuing her character’s journey via her successor.

Who will be Natasha’s successor?

Marvel has not announced who will play the role of Belova in the upcoming Black Widow. We do know, however, that Florence Pugh has been cast to star alongside Johansson in the film and is very likely to be portraying the character. Pugh is well known for her roles in Outlaw King and Lady Macbeth.

The new set photos, meanwhile, teased that we will meet Belova at some point in the movie. One image features crates that are tagged “Natasha” and “Yelena.”

As a character, Belova was created back in 1999 by J.G. Jones and Devin Greyson. She was first introduced in an edition of the Inhumans, where she attacked a city called Attilan. Belova carried the same symbol as Black Widow, which placed her as the newest assassin from the Red Room. She eventually came face-to-face with Black Widow and the characters were featured in their own miniseries. After fighting each other, Black Widow revealed the truth about the Red Room and convinced Belova to break free.

Pugh dishes on joining the MCU

While we wait for an official word from Marvel, Pugh recently opened up about the film and admitted that it was “well needed.” The actress, who is set to star in the new Fallen Avengers film in 2020, explained that fans have been waiting for a solo Black Widow for a long time. She then revealed that the movie has gotten a lot of support and love, which definitely bodes well for its success.

Apart from Pugh and Johansson, the film will star David Harbour (Stranger Things), O-T Fagbenle (The Handmaid’s Tale), and Rachel Weisz. Marvel has not revealed any character details about the movie.

Cate Shortland is directing Black Widow, marking the first time a female director has helmed a Marvel movie. The film is expected to premiere sometime in 2020, though an exact date has not been set.