Disney decided to drop the new Black Widow trailer in the middle of the night so we could all wake up to it this morning, and it’s our first full look at the film and its non-Johansson cast which includes Florence Pugh, Rachel Weisz and David Harbour as Natasha’s extended spy family.
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Of course this is all a bit…strange, given the fate of Black Widow in Avengers: Endgame. Namely, she’s uh, spoilers, dead.
It’s been well established at this point that this is a prequel, so sorry, no, Natasha is not getting resurrected by an Infinity Gem fragment or something, but when exactly is it taking place in the larger scheme of the MCU?
Black Widow takes place between the events of Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War. So this is pre-snap, and obviously, pre-her death. Civil War is when things got very heated among the superhero community and Widow originally was on the anti-Cap side of the conflict. She eventually flips and helps Steve escape, then goes into “exile” after the events of the film, and now we are seeing what she’s doing after that happens, before she returns for the events of Infinity War years later.
So this film is taking place during those lost years, though from the trailer, it certainly seems like we will be seeing flashbacks from times earlier in Natasha’s life as well back when she was a Russian-trained assassin that wasn’t doing anything particularly superheroic. As for whether this film will have any larger implications for the fate of the MCU, given its place in the timeline, that remains unclear, but again, it seems incredibly unlikely that Black Widow will return to the current timeline after her death in Endgame, even if this is a comic book story with a million ways out of that situation. After all, Gamora died exactly the same way as her, sacrificed for the Soul Stone, and now she’s going to be back for Guardians Vol. 3 as an alternate timeline version of herself. Same with Loki. Still, I highly doubt the same is in store for Black Widow.