This Is Why Fans Believe Scarlett Johansson Started Filming ‘Black Widow’

Marvel Cinematic Universe fans think they may be getting the long-anticipated Black Widow solo movie sooner rather than later. Signs say they’re probably right.

Scarlett Johansson has recently been seen filming in Norway, so unless Disney is doing something very strange and unusual, it’s a safe bet she’s not preparing for Frozen II, which is set to come out this November. (That Scandinavian country was the primary inspiration for the setting of the animated land of Anna and Elsa).

Marvel has not announced the next Marvel movies yet beyond this July’s Spider-Man: Far From Home, but we think we have a pretty good idea of what’s coming up.

The ‘Black Widow’ movie has a cast and director

Scarlett Johansson
Scarlett Johansson | Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

That Black Widow would be going into production now makes sense, given that Johansson’s co-stars and director have already been announced. David Harbour of Stranger Things fame will join her, as will Academy Award winner Rachel Weisz and Florence Pugh, who most recently played wrestling superstar Paige in the wrestling biopic Fighting with My Family.

Just as Marvel hired Anna Boden to co-direct Captain Marvel, they have hired another female director, Cate Shortland, to make Black Widow. Shortland is an Australian director whose credits include Somersault, Lore and Berlin Syndrome. Johansson reportedly pushed for Lore, having admired her direction of the female lead. She was chosen from some 70 directors.

The plot of the movie is unknown, although given that Black Widow met a dire fate in Avengers: Endgame, this movie will be a prequel, possibly exploring her origins, which have never specifically been shown on film.

Filming of ‘Black Widow’ might be happening now

The frenzy of activity in Norway gave some indication that filming has begun. There’s nothing that screams Black Widow per se. Based on the photos alone, Johansson could be shooting any kind of movie.

However, there is one giveaway. Vehicles have signs that say Blue Bayou. Since Johansson is probably not making a biopic of Linda Ronstadt, it’s likely that Blue Bayou is a working title for the movie, just as Blue Harvest was the title used for Return of the Jedi when filming was underway in the early 1980s.

A number of characters in Marvel Comics have been called Black Widow, but it may surprise some people to learn Stan Lee created her character in 1964, about the same time Spider-Man made his first appearance. One of her early appearances was alongside Iron Man, which would explain why the movie character was introduced in Iron Man 2.

After she joined The Avengers, Black Widow got a visual update in the Spider-Man comics in the early 1970s. Considering the next Marvel movie features Spider-Man, perhaps it’s not so unlikely that somehow she’ll be tied into Far From Home. She probably wouldn’t be in the main body of the film, but might be in one of Marvel’s famous post-credits scenes.

What else Marvel might release next

Box Office Mojo’s release schedule doesn’t list any specific Marvel films, but here are our best guesses for the “Untitled Marvel” spots on the slate through 2021.

May 1: Black Widow

October 2 2020: This could be either Venom 2, which is not specifically part of the MCU but is part of the Sony/Spider-Man properties. It could also be Morbius, about a vampire antihero played by Jared Leto.

November 6  2020: The Eternals is set millions of years ago when cosmic beings known as Celestials genetically experimented on humans to create super-powered individuals, the titular Eternals. Angelina Jolie is in talks to star, as is Keanu Reeves.

February 12,  2021: Black Panther 2. This guess is based mainly on the fact that the first Black Panther came out in February of last year, so it makes sense that Marvel would reserve that slot for another visit to Wakanda. Ryan Coogler is already set to return as director.

May  7, 2021: Shang Chi, a martial arts hero, is slated to be directed by Destin Daniel Cretton, who directed Brie Larson in Short Term 12.

November 5, 2021: Doctor Strange’s first movie came out in November 2016, so it’s a good bet his second will get the same time slot.