Black Widow Movie Trailer Breakdown & Story Details | Screen Rant

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Marvel has finally released a first trailer for Black Widow – and here’s our breakdown! The Infinity Saga is over, and Marvel is preparing to launch Phase 4 of the MCU. First, they’re going back in order to go forward, releasing a Black Widow movie that’s set in between the events of Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War.
Fans have been clamoring for a dedicated Black Widow movie ever since Scarlett Johansson made her MCU debut as Natasha Romanoff in 2010’s Iron Man 2. But the timing of this film seems more than a little strange, given Black Widow was one of the Avengers who died in Avengers: Endgame, sacrificing herself in order to get the Soul Stone to the Avengers. Marvel has teased that Black Widow will explain just why Natasha had to die.
Related: Avengers: Endgame Deleted Scene Reveals Alternate Black Widow Death (& It’s Worse)
At last, Marvel has released the first Black Widow trailer. A lot of the shots were shown to audiences at San Diego Comic-Con, meaning the content is familiar and Marvel is simply firming up the discussion points. But there are still quite a few major takeaways. Here’s our guide to the Black Widow trailer.
Budapest is generally seen as one of the most important locations in Black Widow’s MCU lore. In The Avengers, Black Widow and Hawkeye shared some banter about how fighting the Chitauri reminded them of Budapest. In Avengers: Endgame, the two shared a mission to the planet Vormir, and Hawkeye quipped about how they were “a long way from Budapest.” That comment seems to imply Budapest was perhaps the place where the two first crossed paths, or else where they worked together for the first time. It’s possible there’ll be flashbacks that explain the Budapest references. Meanwhile, Black Widow will also introduce Florence Pugh as another Black Widow, and Marvel could easily be attempting to establish her as a mirror-image of Natasha Romanoff, another Black Widow who can be redeemed at Budapest – and who can give Natasha a legacy.
This is followed by a succession of shots from previous Marvel movies, presenting key moments in Black Widow’s MCU history. It’s all accompanied by haunting dialogue lifted straight from Avengers: Endgame, which carefully positions this as the culmination of Natasha Romanoff’s journey. Marvel want viewers to interpret this as the final adventure of the Black Widow, the narrative key to understanding her choices in Avengers: Endgame.
It further serves as a reminder that there’s a sense in which Black Widow was the most emotionally committed member of the Avengers. The rest of the Avengers saw saving the world as a job that needed doing, but Natasha saw it as an opportunity to clear up the red in her ledger, and she came to understand the Avengers as a new family. Only one key Avengers relationship is missing; the ill-appreciated and awkward romance with Bruce Banner in Avengers: Age of Ultron. Presumably Marvel don’t want to remind viewers of that.
The Black Widow trailer confirms that William Hurt is back as General Thunderbolt Ross, but in a surprising role; he’s clearly de-aged in this shot, which means he may have figured earlier in Black Widow’s life and crops up in a flashback. Ironically, Ross will be leading the hunt for Natasha Romanoff in the present day, as he’s the one in charge of enforcing the Sokovia Accords. Although Natasha initially signed up to the Sokovia Accords, she broke them when she disobeyed orders and allowed Captain America and the Winter Soldier to escape, and she’s now one of the world’s most wanted people.
Related: Black Widow’s Villain Can Connect With Falcon & Winter Soldier
The Black Widow trailer introduces Florence Pugh as Yelena Belova. Yelena was created by Devin Greyson and J.G. Jones back in 1999, and actually made her debut in an Inhumans comic, where she was a mysterious figure orchestrating an attack upon the Inhuman city of Attilan. It didn’t take long for Marvel to confirm that Yelena was Natasha’s successor in the Red Room program, and the two have clashed many times, with Natasha attempting to redeem the new Black Widow. It’s never been clear which of the two women is the better agent; apparently Yelena’s Red Room test scores were even higher than Natasha’s, but Natasha has a lot more experience to draw upon.
Black Widow’s introduction of Yelena Belova feels stylistically similar to the popular and critically acclaimed spy drama Killing Eve, in which Jodie Comer plays the ruthless assassin Villanelle. Natasha and Yelena soon engage in a brief fight, a perfect way of demonstrating that they’re perfectly matched. Their fighting styles are mirror-images of one another, confirming that they trained under the same masters and learned the same techniques.
Black Widow sees Natasha don a new costume, previously seen in concept art distributed at D23. It’s bulkier than Natasha Romanoff’s traditional look, and feels more like combat armor of some kind. The straps could have been attached to some kind of parachute, given there appears to be a plane crash of some kind in the background. Aspects of the Black Widow movie appear to be lifted from Paul Cornell’s Black Widow: Deadly Origin miniseries, which has traditionally served as the inspiration for Black Widow’s MCU backstory. If that’s the case, this may not be an ordinary plane crash; the miniseries opened with Natasha successfully capturing a stolen experimental aircraft.
The trailer also shows Black Widow wearing a white costume, again lifted from the Black Widow: Deadly Origin miniseries. There, it was designed by the Red Room program itself in order to help their operatives fight in a snowy environment, and it was perfect for blending in. The suit was important to Deadly Origin, but hasn’t received much exposure in the comics since, considering that Black Widow’s adventures in the snow are few and far between. Dialogue implies that Natasha is wearing it in order to infiltrate the Red Room training facility.
Related: Avengers: Endgame Had A Hidden Reference To Black Widow’s Origin
The Black Widow trailer gives viewers their first glimpse of Taskmaster. In the comics, Taskmaster is an assassin-for-hire who possesses the ability to mimic anything he sees. As a result, he’s absorbed the fighting styles of countless key Marvel heroes, ranging from Hawkeye to Shang-Chi, from Captain America to Daredevil. The MCU’s Taskmaster is a mystery right now, and people who are familiar with the comics will be more than a little bemused by the mask worn in Black Widow, which is very different to the comic book version. If Taskmaster possesses the same power of mimicry, then the fact he(?)’s using a bow and arrow may indicate he’s encountered Hawkeye in the past.
Viewers are finally given their first glimpse of the Red Guardian, who’s essentially the Russian Captain America. In the comics, Alexei Shostakov was a Russian astronaut and hero who agreed to become Russia’s answer to the Avengers. The MCU’s Red Guardian is played by David Harbour, and the Black Widow trailer teases that he was imprisoned for an unknown reason, and has been out of action for quite some time. It’s interesting to speculate whether or not this Red Guardian could be a super-soldier; while the Americans had no success recreating Abraham Erskine’s super-soldier serum, the USSR would likely have pursued it as well during the Cold War, and they may have actually created another super-soldier.
Red Guardian’s comment about “family” may be more than just a joke. As shown in Black Widow: Deadly Origin, in the comics Natasha Romanoff married Alexei Shostakov in a last-ditch attempt to escape her life of spycraft. Alexei faked his own death in order to begin training as Red Guardian, and Natasha surrendered to a fate that now seemed inevitable. It will be fascinating to see just what relationship Red Guardian has with Black Widow in the MCU.
The Black Widow trailer includes a first shot of Rachel Weisz’s mysterious character, Melina. In the comics, Melina Vostokoff became the clandestine super-spy Iron Maiden, and developed a bitter hatred of Natasha Romanoff because she was tired of living in her shadow. In the MCU, Weisz has confirmed that Melina is another Black Widow, who’s gone through Red Room training some five times. This subtly implies that the Black Widow movie isn’t just a swan song for Natasha Romanoff; it’s about the entire spy/assassin program. The dialogue includes another fat-shaming joke, which may well be a bad move on Marvel’s part, given the fat-shaming in Avengers: Endgame was met with mixed reception.
More: When Black Widow Takes Place In The MCU Timeline