The original start to Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Black Widow, will finally premiere both in theaters and on Disney+ via Premier Access on July 9, 2021. The film will follow Scarlett Johansson's titular hero and her Russian family as they take down the infamous Red Room, with the events of the movie being set in between Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War.
Though the film has been described by critics as containing Captain America: The Winter Soldier action and "one of the best casts in a Marvel film," some still might be wondering why a prequel movie was chosen to kick off the MCU's Phase 4 theatrical slate.
This isn't the first time that Marvel Studios has jumped around within the MCU timeline, though. 2019's Captain Marvel saw the exploration of the human-Kree hybrid in the mid-'90s while Captain America: The First Avenger brought the MCU all the way back to the '40s.
Now, Marvel Studios' head honcho has spoken on whether other MCU characters will also receive the prequel treatment in the future...
BLACK WIDOW LEADING THE MCU EXPLORATION CHARGE
During the virtual press conference for Marvel Studios' Black Widow on June 18, 2021, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige was asked if "this look to the past [could] apply to other MCU characters, or is this a particular case because Natasha's a particular character?"
Feige seemingly showed excitement for where the studio can take MCU characters in the future, stating that "the notion of exploring the past, present, and future of the MCU is certainly in the cards for all of our characters:"
"Well, certainly this film and this story is a particular case for Natasha, but the notion of exploring the past, present, and future of the MCU is certainly in the cards for all of our characters. This particular story, this particular cast, is very personal, very specific, to Natasha."
DEEP-DIVES INTO MCU CHARACTERS INCOMING
Considering the massive line-up Disney and Marvel Studios have in store for Disney+ alone, it's safe to say that projects focusing on either one or two characters are appealing to both the creators of these projects and audiences alike.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, viewers are still coming off of the heels of massive team-up movies such as Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. Now, the MCU is transitioning back to more solo-based stories as seen with WandaVision, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, and presently, Loki.
And, while there have been plenty of solo films for MCU characters in the past, Black Widow is in a unique position in that almost all of its cast, apart from Johansson, are MCU newcomers.
For instance, Florence Pugh, who will be portraying Yelena Belova in Black Widow, has been noted as an "instant MCU icon." This is on top of the fact that she is already reported to be appearing in Disney+'s Hawkeye later this year, meaning her newcomer status might be short-lived.
Nonetheless, it's clear that digging deep into the psyches, struggles, and stories of both old and new MCU characters is a hit across the board. While there are no films or series similar to Black Widow lined up yet, who's to say that Marvel Studios doesn't have some surprises up its sleeves?
Black Widow will debut on Disney+ via Premier Access and in theaters on July 9, 2021.