Next year, Marvel fans will get the story of Natasha Romanoff, a.k.a. Black Widow, a.k.a. everyone’s favorite Soviet super spy, in the form of her very first solo film. It’s a movie that’s been a long time coming, which means that excitement is at an all-time high when it comes to thinking about what could be included in this exploration of a character who will finally get her time to shine.
Despite Black Widow being more of a supporting player in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the character has a deep and rich comic history dating back to the 1960s—which means that there’s a lot to consider when it comes to storytelling, especially when you factor in her MCU journey. So while we anxiously wait for the reveal of the first Black Widow trailer, here’s our list of five things that we hope we get to see in next year’s movie.
Recently, Scarlett Johansson spoke to Vanity Fair and mentioned that she didn’t want Black Widow to be an origin story—which means we probably won’t see a typical “hero” journey in the same vein of Thor, Iron Man, The Hulk, Captain America, or Ant-Man. That doesn’t mean we can’t hope to see more from her life before she joined the Avengers, however. As this is the first movie to focus solely on her character, it would make sense for the film to open some doors about where she came from and/or the people and places that played a role in shaping her into the person we met in Iron Man 2. Also, cast member O-T Fagbenle has an unconfirmed role as Mason but it’s been theorized he’s playing a SHIELD agent, which could lead to a history of how Natasha got to SHIELD in the first place.
We know that part of the movie will see Natasha visiting Budapest, where she’ll run into her old friend/sister, Yelena Belova. And if you’re a hardcore Marvel fan, you know what happened in Budapest—or rather, you don’t. Black Widow and Hawkeye have routinely referenced the city as a place of significance since Avengers. It’s clearly meant to be a personal and perhaps important memory or experience that took place prior to both of them joining up with SHIELD. But we’ve still yet to get any further context as to what exactly took place in Budapest. A solo movie is as good a place as any to drop some insight into a long-gestating mystery, and it’s something that could be casually sprinkled into the story without taking away from the main plot.
The Red Room/Widow Program
The only iteration of the Red Room that we’ve seen so far in the MCU is a quick scene in Avengers: Age of Ultron, where Scarlet Witch forces Black Widow to relive some of her most traumatic memories. But even non-comic readers know there’s more to the Red Room than ballet and assassin training. Marvel’s Agent Carter series showed us how young girls were raised within the Widow Program and from the concept art, it looks like we’ll be meeting a lot of different Widows in this movie. Natasha’s history and background is so closely tied to the Red Room that it’s impossible to think we won’t explore it. The question is, how much will we get to explore it, and will it be different from what we saw in Age of Ultron?
Name of the Rose
While there are tons of comic storylines the movie could pull from, might it be too much to hope that the movie could work in a little bit of Marjorie Liu and Daniel Acuna’s acclaimed Name of the Rose run? Hear us out: while there are definitely parts of the comic we can’t see making their way into the film (a.k.a. Natasha has a child), the main premise of the story is that Natasha is framed as a traitor to the rest of the Avengers and forced to go on the run while trying to prove her innocence. Since Black Widow takes place after Captain America: Civil War, it’s a storyline that definitely makes sense to adapt—if only in vague strokes—as at this point in the MCU, Tony (and Thaddeus Ross) consider Natasha to be a traitor for going against the Sokovia Accords.
One of the most exciting things about Black Widow is that similar to Iron Man, Captain America, and Thor, we’re going to hopefully see a lot of supporting players who have been important to Natasha’s story over the years. Yelena, Red Guardian, Taskmaster, and Iron Maiden are among those we already know who will be making an appearance, but is there a chance that we could we also see Ivan Petrovich? When Natasha visits Vormir in Avengers: Endgame, Red Skull greets her with “Natasha, daughter of Ivan.” She then tells a surprised Clint that she never knew her father’s name.
In the comics, Natasha was adopted by Ivan, who later became her mentor/father figure. Despite a clip shown at D23 where the Red Guardian is seen saying “family, together again” to Natasha and Yelena, we still don’t know how his character is going to fit in. Given all of this, it makes sense that we might see an appearance from Ivan, even if it’s just in a flashback. Besides, if it turns out that the movie decides to make Red Guardian Natasha’s real father, then maybe Ivan is her adopted father—which fits exactly with how he figures into Natasha’s life in the comics.
Featured Image: Marvel Studios