In July 2019, Marvel announced their initial line up of films that would complete Phase 4, with films scheduled up to 2021. One of the big surprises was the confirmation of a Black Window solo film, scheduled for Spring 2020.
Following the events of Avengers Endgame, many fans would be confused regarding the relevance of a Black Widow story, which would begin a new saga for the franchise. After sacrificing herself on Vormir, many people would believe that Natasha Romanoff’s story arch was finished. The movie is believed to focus around the events preceding Captain America: Civil War and will become Marvel’s second movie with a leading female character.
A Black Widow film has been in development since 2004, however the project never progressed. Since making her first appearance in Iron Man 2, Scarlett Johansson has expressed her interest in a solo movie. Despite being arguably forgotten and deserving of a leading on-screen role in previous phases, we will explain why this film may still influence the MCU moving forward.
10. Thunderbolt Ross (& The Red Hulk?!)
Having made only a handful of appearances in the MCU so far (Incredible Hulk, Captain America: Civil War, Avengers Infinity War, Avengers Endgame), Thunderbolt Ross may seem like little more than a minor antagonist in the franchise. However, with his latest appearance in Endgame and set leaks for Black Widow, Marvel may be looking to use the United-States military officer in a more prominent role.
With the film set between Captain America: Civil War and Avengers Infinity War, Ross will likely be hunting down the ‘criminal’ Avengers following the prison break-out, which would include Black Widow. Despite being in the MCU roster for over ten years, this movie may be a great opportunity to flesh out Ross’ motives and ambitions for upcoming films.
This movie could prepare the character as a potential villain for The Falcon and the Winter Solider. In The Incredible Hulk, Ross lead the Bio-Tech Force Enhancement Project, which attempted to recreate the Super Solider Serum. Following the events of Endgame, a question asked by government agencies would likely be: “who is able to take over the mantle from Captain America and Iron Man?” With Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes also seem as criminals following the airport battle, Ross may turn his attention back to creating a new super solider.
The movie could also push the character towards another upcoming tv series, She-Hulk. In the comics, Ross had created a program that could rival the Incredible Hulk, which turned the general into Red Hulk. Since the Abomination as a villain was rather forgettable (as was the movie), this TV series looks to be a fantastic way to introduce some of Hulk’s most iconic villains, firstly with Red Hulk, a character William Hurt is said to be willing to portray.