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The Fantastic Four Easter Egg We Never Saw In Black Widow

After some unexpected time away, Marvel Studios returned to the movies in full force in 2021. Though fans are still buzzing about the cameo-filled "Spider-Man: No Way Home" and the latest Disney+ addition, "Eternals," one would be remiss not to give the first big-screen Marvel Cinematic Universe entry of that year some love as well. The long overdue "Black Widow" debuted in July, over a decade since Scarlett Johansson's titular Russian operative entered the MCU via 2010's "Iron Man 2." In finally giving Natasha Romanoff a spotlight of her own, the film had a lot of ground to cover.

Set shortly after the events of "Captain America: Civil War," Nat's on the run from the United States government for helping the now-fugitive Captain America (Chris Evans). As a result, she's constantly on the move, which leads her back to the remnants of her old life as a Red Room assassin. She reunites with her old "family" — Yelena Belova (Florence Pugh), Red Guardian (David Harbour), and Melina Vostokoff (Rachel Weisz) — and they get to work taking down the villainous General Dreykov (Ray Winstone), who runs the Red Room and has forced numerous young women into chemical subjugation.

Amid this chaos, "Black Widow" nearly included a quick reference to the wider Marvel universe. More specifically, the movie almost contained a Fantastic Four Easter egg that likely would've sent fans into a frenzy.

Latveria nearly got a passing mention in Black Widow

In 2019, the Walt Disney Company made a major business move by acquiring one of its chief competitors, 20th Century Fox, for $71.3 billion. In doing so, Disney gained the film rights to several beloved Marvel Comics characters, thus making them fair game to join the MCU down the line. That meant that not only would the X-Men have a shot at joining the sprawling franchise, but the Fantastic Four could do the same. As it turns out, "Black Widow" almost set the stage for the latter group's arrival.

In an October 2021 interview with IGN, "Black Widow" screenwriter Eric Pearson talked about the behind-the-scenes experience of putting such an overdue MCU installment together. He discussed some of the Easter eggs he snuck into the script, in addition to revealing which ones didn't make the cut. "I might've had a reference to [Doctor Doom's home country] Latveria in there — I might have, but I don't think so," he said with a laugh, noting that he doesn't recall the idea lasting too long before they scrapped altogether.

Dr. Victor von Doom is arguably one of the most sinister villains to call the Marvel universe home. The ruler of Latveria, he's frequently at odds with the Fantastic Four and virtually any other hero who decides to stand in his way. To date, he has only appeared in live-action a handful of times, though none of these incarnations lasted long, nor did they capture the essence of the Marvel Comics mainstay. It stands to reason he, Latveria, and Marvel's First Family will join the MCU soon, but evidently, "Black Widow" wasn't the right place to tease their introduction.