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The Marvel Cinematic Universe may finally end one day, but that day won't be anytime soon. Some of us are still recovering from the events of Avengers: Endgame and Spider-Man: Far From Home, but it's time to move forward into Marvel's next phase, and we can now begin to talk about that in a real way because we now have our first official look at the Black Widow movie.
The new trailer shows us a lot. We get introduced to a bunch of brand new characters played by an amazing cast. Florence Pugh, Rachel Weisz, and David Harbour all appear. However, the most interesting appearance in the trailer may be one character we've seen before, William Hurt's "Thunderbolt" Ross.
The appearance of Ross is not a massive surprise in and of itself, it had been previously reported that he would be part of the film, however the way we saw him in the one shot of the trailer, in the image above, shows us a much younger Ross than we've ever seen before, implying that the movie, or at least part of it, might take place much earlier than we were expecting.
While it's never been made clear exactly when in the timeline of the MCU Black Widow might take place, some rumors and reports had indicated it might be set around the events of Captain America: Civil War. Essentially, this movie is what Natasha got up to after the Avengers collapsed.
However, this "Thunderbolt" Ross is certainly a lot younger than he was in Captain America: Civil War. William Hurt has been digitally de-aged to appear younger than we've ever seen him in the MCU, this isn't even what he looked like in The Incredible Hulk, so it appears that at least some of the movie will take place prior to the events of Marvel's first films.
If you haven't had a chance to check out the trailer, check it out below.
The fact that the entire movie is a "flashback" from the point it takes place in our timeline, could simply mean that the movie might jump around in time more than we thought. Scarlett Johansson doesn't look any different than we're used to seeing her, so it's possible the bulk of the movie could be set in the aftermath of Civil War, but with a few flashbacks to earlier points, perhaps showing us Natasha's own origin story in a much deeper way than we got in Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Perhaps we will some de-aged Scarlett Johansson, but Marvel Studios is keeping that under wraps.
While the image of William Hurt we see may be from an earlier time, the voice of his that we here is a bit tougher to place. If the movie does take place in at least two time periods, it sounds like his conversation with Natasha is from the later one.
This also then raises the fact that Ross and Natasha had a previous relationship, possibly as antagonists, that we never knew about. If true, it puts their interactions in later films in a somewhat different light. It also this shows that, if nothing else, just because the world of the MCU has moved forward, it doesn't mean the past isn't rich with new stories to be told.
Black Widow hits theaters in May 2020.