'Black Widow' cast, release date, plot and trailer for the MCU spy thriller

Everything you need to know about Natasha Romanoff's return.

At last, Marvel is giving fans what they want with a solo film starring Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff, also known as the elite spy and Avenger, “Black Widow.” She’s got red in her ledger, and she’s finally going to wipe it clean.

Back at San Diego Comic-Con 2019, Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige revealed the films and Disney+ shows that make up the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s “Phase Four,” including the official reveal of Black Widow. Set after the events of 2016’s Captain America: Civil War, the movie will follow Natasha complete unfinished business regarding her past, and the assassins who trained her, before reuniting with the Avengers to fight Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War (2018) and Avengers: Endgame (2019).

Below, you’ll find everything we know so far about Black Widow, from the film’s release date to casting information, to trailer uploads, and more.

'Black Widow' white suit trailer breakdown
'Black Widow'

When is theBlack Widow release date?

May 1, 2020.

It was confirmed at Comic-Con that Black Widow will be the first movie in Phase Four and also the first of two movies in 2020. The Eternals, an ensemble sci-fi film, hits theaters in November.

Where can I watch the trailer for Black Widow?

On December 3, under the cover of night in the western hemisphere, Marvel officially released the trailer for Black Widow. The two-minute teaser contained the first look at Florence Pugh as Yelena Belova, another spy trained in the Red Room; David Harbour as Red Guardian, a Russian copycat of Captain America; and the masked supervillain Taskmaster.

You can watch the trailer below.

Who is starring in the Black Widow cast?

Scarlett Johansson will return as Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow. The film will be Johansson’s seventh appearance in the role on the big screen, but it’s the first to feature her as the main star.

On April 3, Variety reported that David Harbour (Stranger Things) and Rachel Weisz (The Favourite) were both “in talks” to join the film as unnamed characters. They were later confirmed to play Red Guardian and Melina, respectively. Variety also named Florence Pugh to be “on board” the project. Her role is Yelena Belova, another spy who in the comics becomes Natasha’s successor as Black Widow.

Additionally, O-T Fagbenle (The Handmaid’s Tale) will play Mason. The identity of Taskmaster has yet to be revealed.

In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, Harbour barely commented on his role. “Yeah man, like, I want to do the movie,” he said. He added that he feared Marvel would “kick me out so fast” if he revealed anything. “It’s being directed by this woman Cate Shortland who is a phenomenal director. She directed a movie called Lore. She’s a phenomenal director, so what’s really exciting to me about it is it’s gonna be like a real deep, interesting film. And so, yeah, I’m just excited for it as a film as well as a superhero movie.”

Black Widow Taskmaster
Taskmaster in 'Black Widow'

Who is writing and directing Black Widow?

Cate Shortland, the Australian director of 2012’s Lore and 2017’s Berlin Syndrome, is directing Black Widow for Marvel Studios. The Hollywood Reporter broke the news of Shortland’s hiring back in July 2018.

Prior to Shortland, Marvel hired Captain Marvel co-writer Jac Schaeffer to pen the script. Schaeffer came to attention after her acclaimed sci-fi comedy, The Shower, about an alien invasion that takes place during a baby shower, was scooped up by Anne Hathaway in 2015, though it has yet to be produced.

In a feature interview with Inverse, Shaeffer commented on Black Widow, saying, “I’m not interested in adhering to comic canon that is discriminatory in any way or that violates my values system.” She added that while she didn’t grow up a fan of comic books, “there’s just so much opportunity to make big, positive statements… Especially something like Captain Marvel and Black Widow, to have these female-centered stories — I just can’t not be involved in that.”

In February 2019, Marvel hired Ned Benson to rewrite Schaeffer’s script. Collider reported Marvel was impressed by Benson through his work in his Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby films, titled Him, Her, and Them, which follows the story of a married couple (played by James McAvoy and Jessica Chastain) whose stories are seen from their own separate perspectives.

David Harbour plays the Red Guardian.
David Harbour plays the Red Guardian.

What is the plot of Black Widow?

Set immediately after 2016’s Captain America: Civil War, Black Widow follows a wanted Natasha (Johansson) on the run from the US government for helping a fugitive Captain America escape with Bucky. On her own and without the Avengers by her side, Natasha is compelled to revisit unfinished business from her past. She will come face-to-face with the Red Room, a mysterious organization that trained Black Widow and hundreds of other girls just like her.

That Hashtag Show first reported the film will feature cult favorite character Taskmaster as a villain. This was later confirmed true at Comic-Con.

Which Black Widow comics should I read?

Paul Cornell’s Black Widow: Deadly Origin and Marjorie Liu’s Black Widow: The Name of the Rose are wise “homework reads” if you want to get ahead of your friends on all things Natasha Romanoff. Mark Waid’s Black Widow run in 2016 is also an excellent spy book with a clean aesthetic.

Black Widow will be released on May 1, 2020.