Marvel's Black Widow movie could finally reveal what happened at Budapest. The Avengers movies subtly set up Black Widow's origin, revealing that Natasha Romanoff was taken as a child and trained in a Russian spy program known as the Red Room. She ultimately went rogue, and wound up on SHIELD's radar in a bad way.
One of the most mysterious events in Black Widow's life seems to have taken place at Budapest. In The Avengers, Black Widow and Hawkeye shared some banter about how fighting the Chitauri reminded them of Budapest. In Avengers: Endgame, the two shared a mission to the planet Vormir, and Hawkeye quipped about how they were "a long way from Budapest." That comment seems to imply Budapest was perhaps the place where the two first crossed paths, or else where they worked together for the first time.
It looks as though the upcoming Black Widow movie will finally reveal the truth. The film is currently in production, and Marvel Studios chose to share some footage as part of their SDCC Hall H panel. The clips opened with a title card reading "Budapest," which can only mean the origin story is going to be addressed; Marvel must've known how viewers would react to a mention of the Eastern European city.
The bulk of Black Widow is set sometime between Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War, which means Natasha Romanoff is a wanted woman. For all that's the case, it wouldn't be hard for Marvel to weave in a couple of flashbacks. Florence Pugh is believed to be playing the part of Yelena Belova, Natasha's successor in the Red Room program, who in the comics fancied herself as the next Black Widow. It's possible the film is inspired by the 1999 Black Widow miniseries, in which Natasha attempted to redeem Yelena and turn her into a hero.
That would neatly explain why the Black Widow movie has headed to Budapest. It would allow Marvel to establish narrative parallels between the two Black Widows; Natasha would be attempting to do for Yelena what Hawkeye had done for her. Flashbacks could be used to establish a sense of symmetry between Natasha and Yelena. Interestingly, in the comics Yelena Belova actually became a hero after Natasha was believed to have been killed; the MCU could potentially take the same approach, with Black Widow serving as Yelena's origin story and securing a legacy for Natasha Romanoff in the MCU.
- Black Widow (2020) release date: May 01, 2020
- Eternals (2020) release date: Nov 06, 2020
- Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021) release date: Feb 12, 2021
- Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2021) release date: May 07, 2021
- Thor: Love and Thunder (2021) release date: Nov 05, 2021