Ray Winstone is the latest actor reported to have joined the cast of Marvel Studios’ ‘Black Widow’, featuring Scarlett Johansson’s super spy-turned- supreme martyr, Natasha Romanoff. The cast already includes O-T Fagbenle (‘The Handmaid’s Tale’), David Harbour (‘Stranger Things’), Florence Pugh (‘Midsommar’), and Rachel Weisz (‘The Favourite’). Cate Shortland is directing, with a script by Jac Schaeffer. Johansson is not only starring but executive producing along with Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige.
Winstone is an acclaimed British actor whose career stretches back to the 1970s. American audiences may recognize him from ‘The Departed’, ‘Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull’, ‘Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief’, ‘Snow White and the Huntsman’, ‘Noah’, and most recently ‘King of Thieves’.
The plot to ‘Black Widow’ remains under wraps– technically, Marvel still hasn’t even announced that it’s happening, even though filming has begun– but it is believed to be an origin story, at least in part. Rumors have pegged either the Taskmaster or Red Guardian as the villain, but those are only rumors.
Discussing the prequel nature of this film, Feige recently said:
“There’s a method to the madness. 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.
“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. So time will tell which way we’ve gone with a supposed Black Widow movie.”
Notice he made a point of saying a “supposed” ‘Black Widow’ movie, meaning that he is still denying that this project is in the works.
Expect a little more clarity in a few weeks. Though it isn’t yet confirmed, Marvel Studios is expected to be present at San Diego Comic-Con International, to present at Hall H. By the point, ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ will have been released, and info about the future of the franchise should be more readily available.
Marvel has the date May 1, 2020, set aside, so it’s possible that ‘Black Widow’ will take that date.