Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The Craziest Black Widow Fan Theories

Due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, numerous highly anticipated movies have seen their premieres get pushed back to later dates. Black Widow, the Marvel Cinematic Universe's next entry, was one of those unlucky films, along with fellow superhero movies The New Mutants and Wonder Woman 1984. It was originally slotted to hit theaters in May 2020, but fans will now have to wait until early November to see the Avengers' resident super-spy grace the silver screen for presumably the final time.

Little details are currently known about Natasha Romanoff's long-overdue solo outing. When speaking to IGN, Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige remained stereotypically tight-lipped, but did confirm that the film takes place between the events of 2016's Captain America: Civil War and 2018's Avengers: Infinity War. He also teased that fans will view things that she does in Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame in a "new light" after audiences have seen it.

Such a cryptic message begs the question: what the heck is going to happen in Black Widow? Per usual, the MCU's loyal fans are champing at the bit for a whiff of the prequel's plot, posting wild theories and crazy predictions all over the internet. Some are off-the-wall bonkers, while others definitely hold water. Here are some of the craziest fan theories for the upcoming Black Widow. Spoilers for Avengers: Endgame (and potentially for Black Widow) follow.

The widow's veil

One of the many emotional punches in Avengers: Endgame was Natasha's sacrificial death in exchange for the Soul Stone on Vormir. According to the film's screenwriters, Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, deciding which Avenger to kill off was incredibly difficult. "We certainly thought long and hard about it... but it felt like it was the resolution of her arc, that if she could sacrifice herself for her new family and for half the universe, that was worth it to her."

However, some fans are speculating that it may not have been such a game-changing sacrifice after all. There's a fan theory circulating message boards positing that the character who died in Endgame wasn't actually Nat, but a different hero in disguise. Remember when Widow wore a high-tech Photostatic Veil to infiltrate the HYDRA council in Captain America: Winter Soldier? Could someone else have been secretly using the same tech in order to impersonate Nat after Thanos' snap?

The most likely answer is no. Such a deceitful twist would not only lessen the gravitas of Natasha's sacrifice in Endgame, but it would actually pose more questions than answers. If it wasn't Widow who died, then who was it, and where was she the whole time? Sure, there's always a chance that the Photostatic Veil makes another appearance in Black Widow, as it's a pretty handy tool for a super-spy on the run, but the odds of Nat dodging Endgame's time heist are slim to none.

The clone war

You know that classic Spider-Man meme that shows two identically dressed Spideys pointing at each other? Some fans believe that perhaps Marvel will draw inspiration from that image for Black Widow's solo adventure — by having the mysterious villain Taskmaster actually be a cloned version of Natasha herself.

Although it may seem a tad off the wall, the theory really isn't all that out of the realm of possibility. As THR notes, the Taskmaster featured in the Black Widow trailer seems to be around the same height as Scarlett Johansson, roughly 5′ 3″. Compared to the 6-foot O-T Fagbenle, who's widely believed to be the man behind Taskmaster's iron mask, ScarJo seems to be the better fit for the villain's appearance.

What's more is that Nat isn't exactly a stranger to clones in comic lore. After being killed by a secretly evil Captain America in Marvel's Secret Empire run, she was brought back to life as a clone, containing only some of her previous life's memories. Having Widow face off against an evil version of herself would certainly be a surprising twist, but it's not the wildest theory regarding the true identity of the skilled mimic.

Daddy issues

In Avengers: Endgame, Widow and Hawkeye travel to Vormir in order to acquire the Soul Stone. They are unexpectedly greeted by Captain America's longtime nemesis Red Skull, who refers to Widow as "Natasha, daughter of Ivan." Nat makes a comment about how she didn't know who her father was, but it seems more like a confirmation than a revelation. Maybe she meant that she didn't know who he was for most of her life, but she'd recently found out.

So when exactly did Natasha meet her father? Some fans are speculating that it will happen during the events of Black Widow, where the true identity of Taskmaster will be revealed to be Widow's biological father. In the comics, a soldier named Ivan Petrovich rescues Natasha as a baby during World War II, eventually taking her to the infamous Red Room to be trained as a spy. Perhaps in the MCU version, Petrovich, secretly Taskmaster, takes over the Red Room as punishment for allowing his daughter, Nat, to turn good and join the Avengers. If Marvel does choose to steal a page from Empire Strikes Back's playbook, it would certainly be a shocking twist that few could predict.

Bucky's back?

Throughout her existence in the MCU, Black Widow has had a complicated relationship with Bucky Barnes, a.k.a. the Winter Soldier. The two have been trading blows onscreen ever since they first squared off in 2014's Captain America: The Winter Soldier. They always seem to be at odds in the movies, but on the page, they actually have a very different relationship. If you can believe it, Bucky was even Natasha's trainer in the Red Room.

Given the source material, it isn't too far of a stretch to wonder if Bucky will play a role in Black Widow. The two actually share quite a few parallels in the MCU — both originally worked for the bad guys before having a change of heart. Heck, even the Russian heritage is prevalent in both character arcs, with Nat being Russian and Bucky being tortured by HYDRA for years in Siberia.

It's important to remember that Black Widow will allegedly be set between the events of Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War, so Barnes is probably still in a Wakandan cryogenic sleep. However, seeds have been planted about the pair's combative history ever since The Winter Soldier, when Nat told Cap that she had once crossed paths with Barnes in Iran. There's even a moment when the two are fighting in Civil War and she questions whether Barnes remembers her. Perhaps fans will finally get to see how Black Widow and Winter Soldier first met in a flashback or something.

Introducing Omega Red

Ever since Marvel Studios finally reacquired the X-Men in 2019, fans have been wondering when the first mutant will be officially introduced into the MCU, and who it could be. The hot new gossip around town is that Henry Cavill might be crossing enemy lines, hanging up his Superman cape in order to play Wolverine in Captain Marvel 2. While that would certainly be a juicy coup, is Marvel actually going to wait until 2022 to bring a marketable X-Men character into their universe?

It's entirely possible that a mutant will pop up a lot sooner than expected, maybe even in Black Widow. Given that the Red Room appears to be a major plot point in the story, there's one mutant in particular who could actually be an appropriate addition: Omega Red. The villainous character, once known as Arkady Gregorivich Rossovich, was a murderous Russian gangster before the USSR, trying yet again to create their own version of Captain America, turned him into a cyborg. He was even subjected to experimentation in the Red Room at one point.

Red makes sense in the MCU because several films have already implied that Russia wanted to replicate Captain America's super-soldier serum. In Civil War, for example, Bucky Barnes admits that he had been brainwashed to help train super-soldiers in Siberia. Perhaps David Harbour's Red Guardian won't be the only Captain America wannabe to debut in Black Widow.

The Russian Avengers

When it was announced that Alexi Shostakov, a.k.a. the Red Guardian, would indeed be suiting up alongside Black Widow in her upcoming movie, fans of the comics were extremely excited for a number of reasons. Yes, casting the character with Stranger Things alum David Harbour was certainly a talking point, but some fans were more excited about what it could mean given the character's affiliation in the comics.

Essentially, Red Guardian is the Soviet Union's version of Captain America, and, not unlike Captain Rogers had the Avengers to call his team, Shostakov also had a group of enhanced individuals on his side: the Winter Guard. In the comics, the Winter Guard is a super-team made up of all Russian characters, flaunting a lineup including the Crimson Dynamo; longtime Iron Man nemesis Darkstar, a Russian mutant; and Ursa Major, a literal talking, vodka-pounding grumpy bear. Bizarre? Sure, but they're kind of awesome on the page.

Given that Black Widow takes place in Russia, it's not too crazy to think that there could at least be a reference to the Winter Guard in the film at some point. Maybe Red Guardian will call in some help for the film's final battle, presenting a smooth way to introduce at least one character to the MCU. If he does, fingers crossed that it involves a bar scene with Ursa Major. Imagine seeing him interact with Rocket Raccoon at some point in the distant future.

Passing the torch

Black Widow has been a staple in the MCU ever since she first appeared in 2010's Iron Man 2. Thus, it's hard to fathom that her presence in the cinematic universe completely ends after her sacrificial death in Endgame. It's not really the Avengers without a Black Widow, right? So what does the future of the team look like without Nat?

Unless you've been living under a rock, you're probably familiar with Florence Pugh, who will be playing Nat's "sister," Yelena Belova, in Black Widow. Pugh earned an Oscar nomination for her work in Greta Gerwig's Little Women, and she also earned rave reviews after starring in 2019's terrifying horror classic Midsommar. She's currently an extremely hot name in Hollywood, which leads many to believe that Marvel didn't cast her for a one-and-done role.

Could Pugh's Belova become the MCU's new Black Widow? The idea isn't without merit, as the character certainly has a lot in common with Romanoff. Adding Pugh to a future Avengers roster would be a slam dunk for sure, so many fans are assuming that Yelena will indeed take up the Black Widow mantle for the future of the MCU. That is, of course, assuming she makes it out of Russia alive.

Yelena dies

Is it possible that Yelena actually dies during the course of Black Widow? After the studio released a special look trailer for the film, eagle-eyed fans caught a glimpse of what appears to be Pugh's butt-kicking spy about to dramatically jump off a ledge with explosions behind her. ComicBook.com's Brandon Davis noted the shot's eerie parallel to that of Natasha's sacrifice in Endgame.

If Belova does indeed sacrifice herself in order to somehow save her "family" in Black Widow, it would definitely put a new perspective on Nat's actions in Endgame. Perhaps this was why she seemed so calm and collected when she decided what had to be done on Vormir, knowing that, like her sister, she could also save her newfound family of Avengers by taking the leap. It appears that regardless of whether she lives or dies in Black Widow, Yelena Belova will likely leave an impact on the future of the MCU in some form.

Reuniting with Team Cap

During Civil War's major superhero clash at the Flughafen Leipzig-Halle airport, Natasha ends up defecting from Iron Man's team in order to allow Cap and Bucky to evade capture. Furious, Stark warns Nat that she needs to watch her back because now Secretary Ross is after her. She flees, and the next time she appears onscreen, she's alongside Captain America and Falcon, saving Vision and Scarlet Witch in Infinity War. This begs the question: how did Widow find and reunite with Team Cap?

Some fans believe that this moment will be explored in Black Widow, showing how Nat tracked down her former Avengers teammates after helping them escape in Civil War. Perhaps it could be in the post-credits scene, thus tying directly into Infinity War. Or maybe it happens earlier in the film, opening a potential door for a member of Team Cap to swoop in for the final battle and lend a helping hand. Regardless, getting to see the reunion of Nat and Steve is definitely something fans hope to see in Black Widow.

Crossbones was working for Taskmaster

For many fans, Captain America: Civil War is still one of the best movies in the entire MCU. It's truly amazing how directors the Russo brothers were able to seamlessly introduce new heroes like Spider-Man and Black Panther while also building upon preexisting characters. While the movie as a whole is wildly satisfying, there's still one question in particular that some people want answered: who was Crossbones working for?

If you recall, Civil War opens with Crossbones leading an attack on the Institute for Infectious Diseases in Lagos, trying to steal a biological weapon. He is thwarted by Captain America and the Avengers, but self-detonates before sharing who he was working for. The fact that someone out there was trying to steal a biological weapon is quickly forgotten while the world seemingly shifts its focus to the Avengers and the Sokovia Accords.

Perhaps this mysterious thread will be explored in Black Widow, revealing that Crossbones was actually working for or with Taskmaster. In one of the trailers, Nat is seen holding red vials, which is reminiscent of the ones Crossbones was after in Civil War. Could it be possible that Crossbones was trying to steal the biological weapon for Taskmaster and the Red Room? That would certainly give Romanoff cause to investigate, potentially leading into the events of Black Widow and directly tying it in with the rest of the MCU.

Seeds of the Thunderbolts

It wouldn't be a Marvel movie without alleged leaks about post-credits scenes. Black Widow is no exception, with BGR reporting some wild rumored "facts" about the upcoming film, including its post-credits scenes. One of them involves longtime MCU presence General Thunderbolt Ross.

According to the leaks, the post-credits scene will feature Yelena Belova and Taskmaster handing Ross an item that looks like a flash drive, claiming that they are just getting started. What could this mean for the future of the MCU?

Well, for starters, perhaps it could be Marvel's way of introducing the Thunderbolts to the big screen. In the comics, the Thunderbolts has been a team of not-so-good guys, including the likes of the Punisher, Elektra, and even Deadpool, who General Ross (acting as Red Hulk) assembles for controversial missions. Confirming that Taskmaster and Belova are working for Ross is actually a pretty solid way to introduce a team of baddies that could potentially oppose the Avengers in the MCU's Phase 4. It's even been rumored that the Thunderbolts will appear on Disney+'s Falcon and the Winter Soldier, adding Daniel Brühl's Zemo to their lineup. Could the dangerous team actually be the "Big Bad" in a post-Thanos universe?

In memoriam

Pulling in a record-shattering $2.79 billion at the worldwide box office, it's safe to say that people really liked Avengers: Endgame. However, one of the most common complaints about the movie is that it didn't provide enough justice for Natasha's sacrificial death. Tony Stark got a massive funeral to honor his final actions, whereas Widow got little more than a tearful comment.

Thus, it makes sense that some fans want to see a scene addressing this injustice in Black Widow. In fact, one of the alleged "leaked" post-credits scenes involves this very topic, with Hawkeye taking his family to visit Romanoff's grave. This would certainly pay tribute to Black Widow's heroic Endgame actions, and it makes sense given Barton's longtime friendship with Natasha. This could be Marvel's way of pouring a little liquor out for a fallen fan-favorite Avenger.