Black Widow — set to premiere in May 2020 — will be a prequel, occuring between the events of Civil War and Infinity War. At this moment in time, Natasha was a fugitive on the run from the government, and Avengers: Endgame was still only a twinkle in the Russo Brothers’ eyes.
Based on information already provided, mostly during San Diego Comic-Con, it’s clear that the narrative will also function as an origin story, likely providing glimpses of the Red Room, where Natasha became one of the multiple Black Widows to graduate from the elite program.
With this information, one question rises to the surface: how will the movie affect the present MCU timeline? How will the events play into an unfolding post-Endgame narrative? Is it not a little late for a Black Widow standalone movie? The heroine died in Endgame; meaning, there is no plausible way the movie can give the story value beyond the sentimental sort, right? Maybe not.
Recently leaked information and theories suggest that Kevin Feige — and the rest of his Marvel team — have worked out a way to give this film more value than the average prequel, more significance than the typical origin story. So, let’s dive into what may happen.
Evidence that ‘Black Widow’ will play into a post-Endgame MCU
So far, reports have indicated that Black Widow will be anything but an inconsequential snapshot of the heroine’s life and journey to her place among the Avengers.
General Ross was spotted on set likely filming a vital post-credits scene. Leaked photos of Black Widow’s hairstyle suggest that we may view Endgame moments from Natasha’s perspective — giving the actress time to set plans in motion prior to her ultimate death. Such scenes will also grant the actress a greater degree of value concerning the ultimate conclusion, which many feel she deserved but did not receive during Avengers: Endgame.
Lords of the Long Box even reported that Marvel intends to make a Black Widow 2 with Daredevil, and hopes to Keep Johansson’s Natasha in her beloved role; meaning, some Infinity Stone story switcheroos may be coming in to play during Black Widow.
How the signs works to create stories that proceed ‘Avengers: Endgame’
Based on the leaked photos and leaked insider reports, a few different narrative options wind up on the table. One of the most obvious: Yelena Belova becomes the next Black Widow, and the movie shows a conversation between Natasha and Yelena before Natasha’s ultimate death that sets this plan in motion.
Black Widow could also be setting up a Dark Avengers movie, as the Red Guardian could play the future counterpart to Captain America and Belova could be Natasha’s dark doppelgänger.
Many also believe that General Ross’s appearance hints at the forming of a future villain team, specifically the “Thunderbolts.” Considering he was reportedly spotted filming scenes that do not include Natasha, he may be requesting that Yelena join his new team.
While Black Widow is set to be a prequel, evidence suggests that it will greatly sculpt the future of the MCU, giving Natasha a more dignified purpose in the saga (which many agree she was stripped of in Endgame).
Natasha’s sacrifice may have fit with her character arc, yet it minimized her screen-time, making her prequel feel like an apology. Feige is likely aware of this, which is why all signs point to the film doing the very opposite of what many expect— cementing far-reaching importance in the present timeline. Which of these theories turns out to be true remains a mystery; however, Natasha will, in some way, shape present circumstances.
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