Marvel Studios' theatrical release slate has been in flux for over a year now. Black Widow was originally set to kick off Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe in May 2020 prior to the pandemic. After three delays, the Scarlett Johansson-starring movie seems likely to stick to its current July 9, 2021 date, on which it will release in both theaters and on Disney+ Premiere Access.

Following supporting roles in seven MCU movies (plus a Captain Marvel cameo), Johansson will lead the way in her first solo film featuring the Russian assassin-turned-hero. She will be joined by an all-star cast including stars like Florence Pugh as Yelena Belova, David Harbour as the Red Guardian, and Rachel Weisz as Melina Vostokoff, among others. 

With just over three months until the release of the MCU’s 24th movie, the cast is largely set in stone, although not every actor involved in the production has been publicly revealed... 

BLACK WIDOW GAINS ANOTHER STAR

Olga Kurylenko Black Widow
Olga Kurylenko, Black Widow

Olga Kurylenko is set to appear in the Scarlett Johansson-starring Black Widow, The Direct has exclusively learned. Kurylenko's character in the film is being kept under wraps, but sources say that her role will be a limited one.

OLGA KURYLENKO IN THE MCU

Black Widow marks one of the biggest projects of Olga Kurylenko’s career, but it isn't her first experience with a blockbuster franchise. Kurylenko starred as a Bond girl in 2008’s Quantum of Solace, the 22nd movie in the James Bond series, before appearing alongside Tom Cruise in the 2013 action flick Oblivion

While it's unknown who exactly Kurylenko will be playing, her background lends itself quite well to a movie about Marvel’s Russian assassin and could offer hints to her MCU role.

Kurylenko was born in the Ukranian SSR, a former republic of the Soviet Union, and is fluent in Russian. Considering that Black Widow will be exploring Natasha Romanoff’s Russian background, it's possible that Kurylenko could be playing somebody key in Nat’s past.

One potential role for the 41-year-old actress is that of Red Widow. While the character has multiple iterations in Marvel Comics, Red Widow's Russian background is an important factor in her stories. Kurylenko’s real-life Russian descent could make her a seamless fit for this Marvel agent.

Black Widow and Red Widow
Marvel

It's also possible that Olga Kurylenko could be playing a character involved with Natasha Romanoff's upbringing in the Red Room. Fans already know that Ever Anderson is playing a young Natasha Romanoff in a flashback scene. Could Kurylenko act as a motherly figure to an orphaned Natasha during her traumatic formation into the Black Widow?

Given that Olga Kurylenko's role is a limited one, there's a slight chance that it could end up on the cutting room floor. Fans saw an instance of this with Katherine Langford's role as a grown-up Morgan Stark in an Avengers: Endgame, who didn't make the final cut due to her scene not fitting in well with movie's overall narrative.

Fans will be excited to find out what role Kurylenko takes and how she fits in with the film’s all-star cast in the months ahead. Black Widow is set to debut in theaters and on Disney+ Premiere Access on July 9, 2021.