There's a wild theory being passed around among Marvel fans which would infuriate those fans who wish for dead characters to stay dead but could be the ultimate long con to bring Black Widow back to life in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and it goes back to Captain America: The Winter Soldier. In the second Captain America movie, Black Widow was seen wearing the face of someone else via some technology as a means to sneak her way to Alexander Pierce. When she was ready, she removed a wig and the tech on her face to show her true identity, having previously looked and sounded like another woman.
Now, some are starting to think that Natasha Romanov as seen in Avengers: Endgame leaping from Vormir to her death might not have been Natasha Romanov, at all. This theory suggests that as the Black Widow world is built out in the Black Widow movie and more trained assassins are introduced, somewhere along the way someone took Natasha's identity. This would mean that this person assumed her role as Black Widow among the Avengers, including the fights with against Thanos' army in Wakanda and a trip out to Vormir with Hawkeye. To give the theory some more legs, it's also possible the face-off identity swap happened during the five year time jump in Avengers: Endgame. Really, it could've happened any time Black Widow wasn't in a movie, if it happened at all.
If this were somehow revealed in Black Widow, then Scarlett Johansson would be free to reprise her role as Natasha in a future movie for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, having survived the war against Thanos.
Of course, this would mean Vormir was fooled and someone Hawkeye did not actually know as well as he knew Natasha to the leap, and therefore he probably did not lose that which he loved.
It's a wild theory and it probably isn't going to happen. It would probably have Glenn-under-the-dumpster-on-The-Walking-Dead levels of backlash from fans (spoiler alert: that didn't go well for the AMC zombie show). Still, it's a fun idea to think about and the whole face swap thing might happen in a lesser regard for the Black Widow movie. There are plenty of ways this can be come a factor, and most all of them don't involve resurrecting Natasha by framing the story as though she had never died.
After all, there was a story in Marvel Comics which saw Natasha and Yelena have their faces swapped -- although that was against Yelena's will and had a different purpose.
Do you think face swapping will be a factor in Black Widow? Share your thoughts in the comment section or send them my way on Instagram.
Black Widow hits theaters on May 1, 2020.