As of today, it looks like Marvel's standalone Black Widow movie is officially a go, with director Cate Shortland being tapped to oversee the project.
The film, which has been on many fans' wishlists for quite a while, is set to see Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) in an action-adventure setting. Perhaps one of the most interesting components of this is the idea that the movie will be set before the first Avengers movie, possibly showcasing a new pocket of the MCU.
While Black Widow will clearly anchor the movie, that hasn't stopped Marvel fans from theorizing about what other existing Marvel Cinematic Universe characters could play a role. And now that the timeline of the film is a bit more clear, we thought we'd throw a few (non-Daredevil) names into the mix.
Anyone who's been following the MCU since Phase One has probably asked themselves - "What happened in Budapest?"
The throwaway exchange between Natasha and Clint Barton/Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) became a bit of a meme after the release of The Avengers, and has still left some fans wanting answers.
Regardless of whatever happened in Budapest - or if that would even play a role in the movie - it's clear that Black Widow and Hawkeye had an existing dynamic before Avengers, meaning Hawkeye could play any sort of role. Plus, it would (maybe) make up for Hawkeye's absence in Avengers: Infinity War.
On that note, Natasha being an established SHIELD agent within her solo film could easily allow a cameo from Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson).
Fury has certainly had a varied timeline with the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with a younger version of himself set to appear in next year's Captain Marvel. Considering how beloved Fury is as a character, it'd be pretty easy to see him serving some sort of mentor or managerial role.
Not only would it most likely make sense within the story, but it could provide some pretty interesting Avengers connections as well.
Sure, the MCU's television and film worlds are starting to feel more and more disconnected by the day. But putting Agents of SHIELD fan-favorite Bobbi Morse/Mockingbird (Adrianne Palicki) in Black Widow would make sense on a few different levels.
Bobbi has a pretty extended history with SHIELD, going to the organization's Academy of Operations and eventually becoming one of the organization's best recruits. Outside of that (and her marriage to Lance Hunter), not much is really known about Bobbi's early days, meaning that Black Widow could help fill in the pieces. To an extent, a blueprint of this can already be seen within the MCU, with fellow SHIELD star Clark Gregg reprising his role as Phil Coulson in Captain Marvel.
And since Bobbi's MCU tenure still feels pretty unfinished, thanks to the scrapping of Marvel's Most Wanted, a role in Black Widow would give the character her due.
Yes, the relationship between Natasha and Bruce Banner/Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) is pretty complicated. Yes, that dynamic has basically polarized fans. But it doesn't feel out of the question for Bruce to make some sort of cameo.
The pair first crossed paths onscreen in Avengers, when Natasha tried to recruit Bruce to join the team. But if you pay attention to the dialogue of that scene, it certainly sounds like Bruce has met Natasha before, as he is very quickly aware of what she and SHIELD are capable of.
With that in mind, it'd be pretty interesting to see the pair crossing paths at an earlier date. Even if Bruce doesn't transform into his giant green friend, it could further develop his MCU storyline in the process as well.
Assuming that Black Widow leans pretty heavily on the MCU's espionage elements, it almost feels like a missed opportunity to not have Bucky Barnes/Winter Solider (Sebastian Stan) play some sort of role.
Marvel fans basically learned about Bucky's role as the Winter Soldier through Natasha, who explained the assassin's history to Steve Rogers. As Natasha quickly showed, she had gone toe-to-toe with the Winter Soldier a few times, resulting in a bullet scarring her in the abdomen.
Who knows? Maybe we could see that altercation play out onscreen, or some other moment between the two mercenaries. Considering the long contract that Stan has within the MCU, it certainly could be likely.
On that same note, Ant-Man and the Wasp introduced another secret assassin into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, in the form of Ava Starr/Ghost (Hannah John-Kamen).
Without getting too spoilery here, let's just say that Ava has an established history with SHIELD, one that could totally place her in Natasha's orbit around that same time.
Having Ghost cameo or play some sort of supporting role in Black Widow would tap right into the MCU's current pool of talent, while giving the film even more fan-favorite female characters.
To an extent, the MCU also further expanded its history with Black Panther, filling in some of the timeline gaps of the '90s and early 2000s.
One character who plays an interesting role in this is Erik "Killmonger" Stevens (Michael B. Jordan), the antagonist of Black Panther. After his father died, Killmonger had a pretty storied history, going from MIT to the Navy Seals to a Joint Special Operations Command unit.
A line in Black Panther explains that Killmonger would drop off the grid to commit assassinations and take down governments, something that doesn't feel too far off from Natasha's MO at that same point in time. Even if they aren't really working for the same team, fans would surely be delighted to see some sort of passing cameo from Killmonger.10comments
What other Marvel characters would you like to see appear in Black Widow? Let us know what you think in the comments below.