The ‘Black Widow’ Trailer May Have Hinted at a Secret About Hawkeye’s Past

The setting of Budapest in the MCU’s upcoming Black Widow movie is no coincidence in why Natasha Romanoff is seen going back there. A mysterious event occurred there in her past that involves the equally enigmatic character, Taskmaster. There’s a prevailing theory Hawkeye (played by Jeremy Renner) and Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) battled Taskmaster there between the time of Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War.

Taskmaster’s identity is yet another mystery that might be solved in Black Widow. First, though, fans just want to know what Hawkeye and Natasha did there in Budapest and how it factors into their relationship later.

In the end, it may involve a very intriguing plot mirroring the testy relations America currently has with Russia in a post-communist era.

Will Hawkeye show up in a flashback sequence?

'Black Widow' star Scarlet Johansson and Avengers cast mates
‘Black Widow’ star Scarlet Johansson & MCU cast mates | Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney

Despite some personal controversy with Jeremy Renner recently, it appears he’ll continue to play Hawkeye. He might have even filmed a flashback cameo in Black Widow that Marvel wants to keep secret.

A hint to this comes in Robert Downey, Jr. already being reported to have a flashback cameo in the film. Plus, there seems to be a general consensus that the MCU is beginning to utilize flashbacks to bring back favorite Avengers. Not that Hawkeye won’t be back anyway in an upcoming Disney+ series.

Answering questions about the past, though, is becoming a cottage industry for Marvel. Many other unknowns about the pasts of Avenger superheroes will likely be explored at later dates.

In the meantime, the theory of Hawkeye and Natasha once battling Taskmaster in Budapest will probably be answered, unless Marvel thinks they can stretch it out into a sequel.

Just who is Taskmaster?

Based on the quick appearance of Taskmaster in the trailer, most viewers would assume it’s a man. Because the character was trained under the Soviet regime to mimic whatever task another superhero’s abilities were, it’s clearly one of the scariest villains based squarely on impersonation ability.

Whoever the character is, the chances are good there’s going to be a twist on who it is. There’s a new consensus it’s possibly a woman – maybe even one of the Black Widows Natasha knows all too well. Yes, the possibility of Yelena or Melina being Taskmaster is being thrown around at the moment. If true, it would throw a major curve ball on the relations among Natasha and her fellow Black Widows.

Further theories say Yelena or Melina are looking to replace their fellow Red Room training associate. It’s the Red Room program from the KGB that Taskmaster might be running when Natasha returns home in the film.

‘Black Widow’ may answer questions about what happens after ‘Endgame’

Since everyone knows Natasha Romanoff sacrifices herself in Avengers: Endgame to save Hawkeye, the thought is Yelena is the most logical person to replace her. What if it isn’t her, though? Maybe Melina is adamant in wanting to replace her if she’s the mysterious figure behind Taskmaster.

Having her being behind the mask would be a little shocking and make some sense in her training others in the Red Room. The goal of Natasha may be to infiltrate the place, destroy it, and presumably Taskmaster.

Perhaps in the end, Natasha will find redemption in killing Taskmaster and ultimately ending any chance of another Black Widows taking her place. Red Guardian (played by David Harbour) may also be in on secretly trying to kill Natasha, ending in his own death.

Florence Pugh, who plays Yelena, confirms she won’t be taking over the Black Widow role, so all theories of that have been squelched. Regardless, chances are always good Hawkeye and Natasha will be seen together again in a flashback when the Hawkeye series debuts on Disney+.