It was back in January that fans learned Marvel Studios had reportedly tapped Blacklist screenwriter Jac Shaeffer to pen a Black Widow solo film focusing on Scarlett Johansson’s titular Marvel Cinematic Universe character. Now, after three months of relative silence surrounding the project, new details have reportedly surfaced about the potential plot of the film, as well as when it's expected to take place within the MCU timeline.
According to Joseph Deckelmeir of That Hashtag Show, who cites an anonymous-but-trusted source, the Black Widow film "will find Natasha living in the United States 15 years after the fall of the Soviet Union." This, of course, would place the events of the film somewhere within the mid-2000s, prior to the events of both Iron Man (2008) and Black Widow's official MCU debut in Iron Man 2 (2010). Furthermore, Deckelmeir reports that "early discussions about the film involved Sebastian Stan's Winter Soldier," which would lend some credence to Stan's recent excitement over the possibility of reprising his role to appear alongside Johannson once again.
A representative from Walt Disney Studios denied the report when reached by CBR.
“They have a very nice history, in my opinion,” Stan said earlier this month when discussing the Black Widow/Winter Soldier dynamic. “It’s very intricate … The truth is, he actually taught her in the comic books. He was a teacher to her. It’s all set during a specific, interesting time. The Cold War. It’s all a very … spy, thriller-ish, noir-ish story. It would be very interesting to explore that on film. I would love if they do that. You know, I hope. Maybe they will.”
In addition to these possible story details, Deckelmeir also reports that Brad Winderbaum will be attached to the project as an executive producer. Winderbaum previously served in this same capacity in last year's Thor: Ragnarok. Of course, even if any/all these reports turn out to be true, at this relatively early stage in the game, things are still subject to change, so it should all be taken with a grain of salt.
As early as 2014, MCU mainstays such as Robert Downey Jr., and even Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige, have been vocal about their desire to see Scarlett Johansson's red-headed spy/assassin take center stage. In fact, the character has been at the top of most fans’ “solo-treatment wish list” for practically just as long.
Scarlett Johansson's Black Widow will make her next big-screen appearance in Joe and Anthony Russo's Avengers: Infinity War, which also stars Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, Chris Evans as Captain America, Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Mark Ruffalo as the Hulk, Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye, Anthony Mackie as the Falcon, Paul Rudd as Ant-Man, Elizabeth Olsen as Scarlet Witch, Tom Holland as Spider-Man, Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange, Chadwick Boseman as Black Panther, Chris Pratt as Star Lord, Zoe Saldana as Gamora, Dave Bautista as Drax, Bradley Cooper as Rocket, Vin Diesel as Groot, Tom Hiddleston as Loki, and Josh Brolin as Thanos. The film arrives April 27.