Marvel isn't ready to officially confirm that a standalone Black Widow movie, starring Scarlett Johansson, is in the works, but Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige has further hinted that it would likely be a prequel — and that it might be a bit like Better Call Saul, the prequel series to Breaking Bad, one of the greatest shows of all time. Black Widow is one of several reported superhero films that will make up Phase 4, the next chapter of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Official announcements are expected at the 2019 San Diego Comic-Con in July, or at Disney's D23 convention in August.
“There's a method to the madness,” Feige told io9 during the press tour for Spider-Man: Far From Home, when asked how a Black Widow prequel would help the MCU. “There's always a method and doing things in an unexpected way is something we find fun. There are ways to do prequels that are less informative or answer questions you didn't necessarily have, and then there are ways to do prequels where you learn all sorts of things you never knew before.”
“I look at Better Call Saul as a wonderful example of a prequel that almost completely stands on its own apart from Breaking Bad because it informs you about so many things you didn't know about before,” Feige added. “So time will tell which way we've gone with a supposed Black Widow movie.”
Io9 noted that Feige “chuckled” after uttering that last bit — ‘supposed Black Widow movie' — since Marvel has yet to confirm whether it's actually happening. That said, the film is very much happening, since we've had numerous casting and crew reports over the past year, followed by on-set photos from the end of last month, which suggested that Black Widow had begun filming in Norway.
The Black Widow prequel is rumoured to serve as an origin story for Natasha Romanoff (Johansson), back in her days as a KGB spy. [Spoilers ahead for Avengers: Endgame.] Add to that her death in Endgame, which all but confirmed that a Black Widow film couldn't move her story forward.
In addition to Johansson, the Black Widow movie cast includes O-T Fagbenle (The Handmaid's Tale), Florence Pugh (Lady Macbeth) as a rival spy, David Harbour (Stranger Things), Rachel Weisz (The Favourite), and Ray Winstone (The Departed). Cate Shortland (Lore) is directing Black Widow, off a script by Jac Schaeffer and Ned Benson.
Black Widow is expected to release in 2020.