Note: This article was originally published by Charles Murphy at That Hashtag Show on March 4, 2019.
Last month it was reported that the script for Marvel Studios Black Widow was being rewritten by Ned Benson. This rewrite was almost certainly responsible for the delay in production which saw the film’s start date get pushed all the way back to June. Should things stay on schedule, principal photography will conclude in October, freeing up stage space in London for Marvel Studios next film, The Eternals to move in.
While the magnitude of Benson’s rewrites are unclear, it does seem that he’s done a bit of character work, reworking some of the films leads and possibly removing others. In November of last year, we gave you the first look at 6 major roles the studio was looking to fill. While most of those roles still exist, it seems that there have been some changes to them, most notably the film’s villain, which could help us deduce his identity.
We originally reported that the studio was looking for an actor of any ethnicity in his 40s to play someone “exciting” to portray the film’s main antagonist. The recent rewrites have given us a little more clarity on this character, though to be honest, we still don’t have much to go on in any effort to figure out just who he is. The studio is now looking for either a Black British or African actor, 30-45, to portray a “tough, dangerous and mysterious” villain.
This new update certainly seems to eliminate Red Guardian and any other Russian villain from contention as they’d likely not have a British accent. It certainly still leaves someone like the Taskmaster in play, but at this point, it really could be anyone.
The film will still feature a second female lead, as we first reported in November, an older European male and female and the “bookish” male for which the studio is seeking a Paul Dano-type. As we originally reported in December, the studio had been meeting with talent for the second female lead (a “kick ass female Bond”), though at this time nobody has signed on for for the role.
With cameras set to roll in roughly 3 months, we should certainly start to see some movement with casting very soon, though you shouldn’t expect it to come through Marvel Studios. Kevin Feige has maintained that they will not officially discuss any of their upcoming films beyond Spider-Man: Far From Home until after that film has been released in theaters, so we could expect a very big presence by the studio at SDCC this year or, more likely, during D23.