Ray Winstone, best known for roles in The Departed and Beowulf, has joined Marvel's "Black Widow" standalone movie, Variety reports. Variety did not say who the actor will play, and since Marvel had no comment for their story, everything is speculation at this point. If he is indeed cast he will join David Harbour (Hellboy) and Florence Pugh (Midsommar) in the Scarlett Johansson vehicle. Details about the plot are spotty at this point, although it is widely assumed that it will tell her pre-Iron Man 2 origins, especially becuase her Avengers: Endgame storyline would be very difficult to follow up. Cate Shortland has signed on to direct from Jac Schaeffer's script, with Kevin Feige producing.
The events of Avengers: Endgame made some major changes to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Not only did it set up the idea of multiverses thanks to the thrilling but complicated time travel element, it also gave some characters very definitive fates -- especially Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow, who met her end in a heroic self-sacrifice. That fate has left many fans wondering on how the upcoming Black Widow solo movie will work out and while prequel is the most obvious path forward as it were, how going back to the past pushes Phase 4 has been a bit of a mystery. Now, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige is addressing a bit about how that works.
Speaking with io9 while promoting Spider-Man: Far From Home, Feige explained that there's a "method to the madness" and that telling the right story could open up a whole world of new information.
"There's a method to the madness," Feige said. "There's always a method and doing things in an unexpected way is something we find fun. There are ways to do prequels that are less informative or answer questions you didn't necessarily have, and then there are ways to do prequels where you learn all sorts of things you never knew before."
While Feige doesn't give anything away about Black Widow -- and indeed, the film has yet been officially announced -- there's no question that Widow's story has a lot of things that fans can learn. Over the years and films, fans have really only gotten bits and pieces of her story, but we do know of it makes her a major player, one whose impact really could have incredible reach in further stories in the MCU. It's that kind of ability to stand on its own that Feige suggests when he suggests Better Call Saul as an example of a prequel done right.
"I look at Better Call Saul as a wonderful example of a prequel that almost completely stands on its own apart from Breaking Bad because it informs you about so many things you didn't know about before," Feige explains. "So time will tell which way we've gone with a supposed Black Widow move."
Hopefully that "time" that will end up telling will be San Diego Comic-Con in just a few weeks. Deadline reported on Wednesday that Marvel Studios will be returning to Hall H at the event next month which would, if true, make it an excellent opportunity to give fans a peek at what's to come in Phase 4.
Avengers: Endgame is in theaters now while Spider-Man: Far From Home is set for release on July 2nd. Captain Marvel is now available digitally and on home media release wherever movies are sold.