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It’s been seven months since the release of Avengers: Endgame (and about two months since that whole Sony/Spider-Man fiasco), and fans have been salivating for more Marvel content. Fortunately, the Black Widow movie trailer was released on Tuesday, Dec. 3 (a holiday treat to us), and Redditors have been quick at work dissecting theories, clues and Easter eggs from the two-minute sneak peak.
The last we saw Black Widow (a.k.a. Scarlett Johansson’s Natasha Romanoff), she fell to her death in Vormir so the rest of the Avengers could retrieve the Soul Stone, defeat Thanos and save the universe. (No biggie.) If you saw Avengers: Endgame, you may be wondering how Black Widow is in her own movie out in May 2020. The easy answer is that the film is a prequel, and if you guessed that, you’re sort of correct. The movie, which also stars Stranger Things‘ David Harbour and Midsommar‘s Florence Pugh, takes place after the events of Captain America: Civil War (but before Endgame) as Black Widow/Natasha finds herself alone and is forced to confront her past. So not technically an origin story,
“The movie packs a big punch. If that slot is reserved for movies that pack a big punch, then we’re in a good, good space,” Johansson told The Hollywood Reporter about the film in September. According to THR, Johansson earns the same salary as a couple of her Avenger counterparts, Chris Evans (Captain America) and Chris Hemsworth (Thor) specifically. For the Black Widow movie, the actress will receive more than $15 million, which seems to be on par with what she and her costars made for the Avenger films. “Money is a taboo topic of conversation,” she said. “But I will say that, yes, I’m on an equal playing field with my male cohorts.”
Black Widow will be Marvel’s second female-led film after 2019’s Captain Marvel starring Brie Larson. The film will also Mark Johansson’s first time as an executive producer for a Marvel movie. “I feel like I’m in control of the destiny of this film, which gives me a lot more peace of mind,” she said.. “I know her better than anybody. What was her childhood like? What is her relationship to figures of authority? This character is gritty and multi-dimensional but has a lot of trauma and has led an unexamined life. In order to operate at this elite level, she has probably had to push away a lot of stuff.”
The Black Widow movie trailer seems to tease ust that. Ahead, check out the Black Widow theories the internet is obsessing about.
Rachel Weisz Plays Taskmaster
For a split second, the trailer showed the character Taskmaster, a Marvel antihero who can replicate human movement and fighting techniques (more on that later.) Weisz told Entertainment Weekly at San Diego Comic-Con in July that she’s playing Melina Vostokoff a.k.a. Iron Maiden, a master assassin who fought Black Widow. However, there are several Redditors who believe that the characters of Taskmaster and Iron Maiden will be merged for Black Widow and that Weisz will play the hybrid. The theory comes from Weisz’s coyness around her character’s storyline, as well as the secrecy around Taskmaster’s involvement in the movie. “My guess is both. I think they’ll be in cahoots, and Taskmaster will be killing Red Room graduates,” one Redditor wrote. Others guess that Weisz’s character will be the main villain in the film who created Taskmaster, who they predict will be played by O.T. Fagbenle whose Black Widow character has been a secret. “I think it may turn out to be David Harbour in a twist. He’s a retired Red Guardian who became Taskmaster. It’s definitely going to be someone who’s friendly with Natasha in the beginning,” a Redditor wrote.
Taskmaster Is Hawkeye
Another theory about Taskmaster’s identity! Several fans wonder if the character will be Hawkeye in disguise, given that the trailer’s scene shows Taskmaster wielding a bow and arrow. However, others believe that the scene was a simple Marvel bait and switch. “Taskmaster use a bow in the first trailer is either them trying to misdirect us into thinking that really is Hawkeye,” one Redditor wrote. Remember: Taskmaster’s ability is to replicate one’s movement and fighting techniques often through duking it out with them, so several fans propose that the character learned how use a bow and arrow from fighting with Hawkeye.
Black Widow Is an Origin Story for Florence Pugh’s Character
In Black Widow, Pugh plays Natasha’s sister-like figure Yelena Belova, a spy who later becomes Black Widow in the comics. The trailer showed Natasha and Yelena at each other’s throats (literally—with knives) before they eventually teamed up. Given Natasha’s status in the modern-day MCU (need us to remind you that she died?), many fans speculate that Black Widow is a vehicle to set up Pugh’s character to take her place.” Calling it, she’s the new ‘Black Widow’ some folks have been grooming since Natasha defected to the US and became a good guy and an Avenger,” one Redditor wrote.
The Film Includes Flashbacks to When Black Widow and Hawkeye Met
Aside from the scene where Taskmaster uses a bow and arrow, there are no signs of Hawkeye/Clint Barton in Black Widow. Given the character’s close (and often tumultuous) relationship with Natasha, fans wonder if he’ll be featured in the film at all. (There are doubts given how Natasha and Clint left off after Captain America: Civil War. Still, there are some who believe the character will be in the movie via flashbacks, something the trailer teased with scenes of Natasha when she was young. “This could be a flashback to when they first met. They meet, fight, have a change of heart, and Black Widow leaves something unfinished. Fast forward to the main events of this movie when BW returns to finish what she started. Roll credits,” one Redditor predicted.
Taskmaster Fought Captain America
There’s a blink-and-you-miss-it scene in the trailer which shows Taskmaster with a broken shield. Several fans believe that this is an indication that character fought (or at least paid close attention to) Captain America, which is how they were able to replicate the hero’s movement and weaponry. “Taskmasters entire power set revolves around him copying fighting styles insanely fast, which is why we see him with a circular shield, he must have been studying Cap,” one Redditor wrote.