Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige explains why Black Widow is set between the events of Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War.
Warning: Spoilers ahead for Black Widow
Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige explained why Black Widow is set between the events of Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War. Seven films and over a decade later, Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johannsson) finally has a solo film available in theaters and on Disney+. Being that Black Widow sacrifices herself for her surrogate family in Avengers: Endgame, this latest adventure is a midquel serving as a swan song for the character.
As the first major film to be released as part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Phase Four, Cate Shortland’s Black Widow takes audiences back in order to move forward. While the film opens with flashbacks to Natasha’s life in 1995, the majority of Black Widow takes place seven years before Endgame, following Natasha on the run for violating the Sokovia Accords. The fugitive life takes Natasha to Budapest where she reunites with her surrogate sister and fellow Red Room trainee, Yelena Belova (Florence Pugh). Together, they recruit the rest of their estranged family, including Melina Vostokoff (Rachel Weisz) and Red Guardian (David Harbour) to help take down Dreykov (Ray Winstone) and the Red Room.
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In an interview with EW, Kevin Feige talked about the decision to place Black Widow where it is on the MCU timeline. He said when they were developing the movie, they always knew it was gonna come out after Endgame. Therefore it was always envisioned as a spiritual epilogue to the Infinity Saga. Feige went on to talk about how Civil War inspired Black Widow. Read what he had to say below:
“There’s a very specific moment in Civil War where Natasha has a conversation with Tony Stark and then leaves frame, and then a very specific in Infinity War where she returns in Edinburgh with Sam Wilson and Steve Rogers,” said Feige. “Because Black Widow takes place post-Civil War and pre-Infinity War, the film sort of fills in that gap in a way that doesn’t just fill in what she literally did during that time, but fills in this other aspect to her life that was very important in her formation and ideas about family, and why she was very skeptical about family and why the Avengers became something that filled the ideal family for her.”
At the end of Black Widow, a blonde Natasha talks about how she has two families now. The ending also serves as a lead-in to Infinity War, with Natasha acquiring a jet as she gets ready to meet up with Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) and break her fellow Avengers out of Raft prison, thereby becoming the Secret Avengers. In Screen Rant’s Fall 2019 set visit, Johansson spoke on how she never wanted to do a Black Widow origin story because she didn’t want to go back that far. Post-Civil War finds Natasha in a precarious position that requires a lot of reflection. In The Avengers (2012), Natasha tells Loki “I’ve got red on my ledger, I’d like to wipe it out,” and Black Widow certainly offers its hero some closure in that regard.
Black Widow does its best to wrap up every loose end in Natasha Romanoff’s story, from touching on her and Clint Barton AKA Hawkeye’s infamous Budapest mission to passing the torch to a new Widow. Black Widow‘s post-credits scene is set after Natasha’s Endgame death and puts the grieving Yelena on a collision course with Hawkeye. Pugh is set to reprise her role as Yelena in Disney+’s series following Clint Barton and she will presumably become Natasha’s successor. Had Black Widow not taken place between Civil War and Endgame, the theme of family probably wouldn’t have resonated as much.
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- Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021)Release date: Sep 03, 2021
- Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021)Release date: Dec 17, 2021
- Thor: Love and Thunder (2022)Release date: May 06, 2022
- Black Panther: Wakanda Forever/Black Panther 2 (2022)Release date: Jul 08, 2022
- The Marvels/Captain Marvel 2 (2022)Release date: Nov 11, 2022
- Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023)Release date: Feb 17, 2023
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (2023)Release date: May 05, 2023
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