Marvel’s ‘Black Widow’: Two Big Stars Were Frontrunners for the Film, Confirming This Major Theory

Black Widow is amping up for release as the first Marvel film of 2020. While the identity of the film’s primary villain has not been confirmed, an early casting leak that revealed two actors up for primary roles may indirectly confirm a theory.

Marvel Studios Hall H Panel
Rachel Weisz and Scarlett Johansson of Marvel Studios’ ‘Black Widow’ at the San Diego Comic-Con International 2019 Marvel Studios Panel | Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney)

‘Black Widow’ is Marvel’s next film to be released

The film will be the first movie from Phase 4 film of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It will effectively begin a new era for Marvel and will be Scarlett Johansson’s last Marvel film. The film is likely also introducing a character to take over the Black Widow mantle through the rest of Phase 4 and possibly further.

Black Widow brings back Johansson as the assassin-turned-Avenger, Natasha Romanoff. Florence Pugh is Yelena Belova, a sister-like figure to Romanoff and another Black Widow. Rachel Weisz is also a Black Widow, Melina, who is a mother-like figure to Romanoff. David Harbour is Alexei Shostakov aka Red Guardian and O-T Fagbenle is a character named Rick Mason.

The film is a prequel film taking takes place after the events of 2016’s Captain America: Civil War. It will  find Romanoff “very much on her own” and having to “reckon with some of the red in her ledger.” Marvel fans who have watched all of the films will know that there is not much known about Romanoff’s period of time between Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. This will fill in that time while also connecting to the present day in a post-Endgame MCU.

André Holland and Emma Watson were up for lead roles

André Holland of Moonlight fame and Harry Potter alumna Emma Watson were both up for roles.

Watson was up for the role of Yelena Belova, the character that is heavily assumed to take over Natasha Romanoff’s role in the next generation of Avengers. Ironically, Watson and Pugh starred together in the 2019 film, Little Women.

The villain role that Holland was up for is unclear, but it is likely that he was auditioning for the role of Taskmaster.

Holland auditioning for the role checks out, given that it backs up the fact that the mostly-undisclosed role of O-T Fagbenle is in fact, Taskmaster.

Holland reading for the film nearly confirms this huge theory

Right now, all we know is that Fagbenle’s character’s name is Rick Mason, an ally from her S.H.I.E.L.D. days who is romantically interested in her. However, the character is most likely Taskmaster as the villain’s identity has not been revealed yet in any of the news about the film so far. Holland and Fagbenle have striking similarities, which adds a plethora of validness to the theory that Rick Mason is Taskmaster.

In the report that Holland and Watson were in talks for the film was also the fact that Rachel Weisz was being eyed for a female role, as well as Sebastian Koch and Alec Baldwin both being eyed for a male role. Both characters would said to be assisting the villain.

Now, Weisz’s character, Melina Vostokoff, a Black Widow and a mother figure to Natasha, has also been theorized to be Taskmaster, although this is a theory that is not that popular. But, the fact that this early report said her character would be assisting the villain may be true. The male character assisting the villain that Baldwin and Koch were eyed for is likely the undisclosed character that will be played by Ray Winstone.

Black Widow will be released in theaters on May 1, 2020.