This Is Where ‘Black Widow’ Takes Place in the Marvel Cinematic Universe Timeline

Marvel is getting ready to kick off Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe with Scarlett Johansson’s first solo flick, Black Widow. Johansson has played Natasha Romanoff, a.k.a Black Widow, since Iron Man 2 and is only now getting a movie of her own. With the film set to premiere in a few months, here is a quick look at exactly where Black Widow takes place in the MCU timeline.

Marvel Black Widow Scarlett Johansson
Black Widow Scarlett Johansson | Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images

‘Black Widow’ drops new trailer

This week, Marvel released the first official trailer for Black Widow. The clip offered a fist look at some new characters and revealed a little about the movie’s storyline.

Some of the new characters include Florence Pugh as Yelena Belova, Rachel Weisz as Melina, and David Harbour as Red Guardian. Yelena is another graduate from the Russia spy program that gave us Natasha.

Red Guardian is the Russian equivalent of Captain America (Chris Evans). The character appeared in the Black Widow comics, though it is unclear what type of role he will play in the film.

Apart from new characters, the trailer confirmed that we will be dealing with multiple timelines in Black Widow, all of which predate the events in Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame.

When is ‘Black Widow’ set?

According to Screen Rant, the main storyline in Black Widow will be set somewhere between the events in Captain America: Civil War and Infinity War. This lets Marvel explore multiple stories in Natasha’s past without interfering with what happened to her in Endgame.

As fans will recall, Natasha gave her life to secure an Infinity Stone in Avengers: Endgame. Her demise has been met with a lot of controversy, leaving Marvel fans hoping Black Widow will clear things up on that front.

The trailer also featured shots of Natasha’s previous outings in the MCU, including the first time she met Nick Fury in The Avengers. We also got flashbacks of her during Avengers: Age of Ultron and her training in the Red Room.

There is even a scene that features Thunderbolt Ross (William Hurt), though he looks a lot younger than he did in The Incredible Hulk and Civil War. This suggests that Black Widow will be flashing back to times before Natasha was a part of the Avengers.

How does Yelena fit into this?

The Black Widow trailer features a scene where Natasha tells Yelena that they need to return to the place “it all started.” This means we could be getting some scenes while Natasha was still a Russian spy.

If that is true, these missions could be the key to unlocking her mysterious past. It should also help wrap up her story in a meaningful way and help us understand why she was the one who had to sacrifice herself in Endgame.

The fact that we already know what happens to Natasha makes Black Widow a little unusual. This is the first time the MCU has gone backward after a character death, and hopefully, the film adds more layers to her story arc.

What else do we about ‘Black Widow’?

Timeline aside, we do know that the main antagonist in Black Widow is Taskmaster. Marvel has not revealed who is playing the villain, but we did get our first look at him in action.

There is also some confusion about when the movie will premiere in theaters. This past summer, Marvel announced that Black Widow was kicking off Phase 4 of the MCU on May 1, 2020.

But a recent post from the studio teased that the film will be out a day earlier. That is admittedly not much of a change, but fans are definitely looking forward to the movie’s release.

Following Black Widow, the next movie in Phase 4 is The Eternals. The film will introduce a whole new set of heroes and stars the likes of Angela Jolie, Richard Madden, and Kit Harington.

The Eternals is scheduled to open in theaters next November. Marvel has a slew of projects in the pipeline for Phase 4 — including several television shows on Disney + — so fans will have to keep checking for more updates.