Stranger Things actor David Harbour has joined the cast of Marvel's Black Widow. Aside from Clint Barton, Scarlett Johansson's Natasha Romanoff is the only member of the Marvel Cinematic Universe's original Avengers team that hasn't gotten a solo adventure of their own yet. (Well, okay, technically Mark Ruffalo's Bruce Banner hasn't either.) Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige has talked about making a Black Widow movie many times over the years, but an actual film has yet to happen.
However, that's about to change, now that Phase 4 of the MCU is starting to come together. Johansson is set to reprise her role as the KGB spy-assassin turned S.H.I.E.L.D. agent in a Black Widow solo adventure, which is currently in pre-production. There's a lot that's unknown about the movie at the moment, including where it takes place in the MCU timeline and how - if at all - its story will be impacted by Phase 3's conclusion, Avengers: Endgame. Nevertheless, with a June production start date being targeted, the film's cast is beginning to come together now.
THR reports that Harbour has joined Johansson and Florence Pugh (Fighting with My Family) in the Black Widow cast. Meanwhile, in a separate write-up, Variety revealed that Oscar-winner Rachel Weisz has entered talks to play a role in the film. Details beyond that are being kept firmly under-wraps for the time being.
Harbour, for his part, has quickly gone from being a respected character actor to an in-demand star, thanks to his ongoing role as the loveably grouchy Chief Jim Hopper on Netflix's Stranger Things. The actor has played supporting roles in comic book movies past (namely, Suicide Squad), but will make the jump to leading man with his turn in this month's Hellboy movie reboot, ahead of Stranger Things 3's premiere in early July. Weisz, meanwhile, is coming off a fresh Oscar nomination for her performance in Yorgos Lanthimos' acclaimed Queen Ann memoir The Favourite. She's actually the latest Academy favorite to circle an upcoming role in the MCU, following on the heels of Angelina Jolie entering talks for The Eternals last week.
It's fitting that The Eternals and Black Widow are attracting the cream of the crop when it comes to actresses. Both films are being directed by celebrated female directors in the forms of Chloé Zhao (The Rider) and Cate Shortland (Lore), respectively, and have the potential to reach new heights of creative achievement for the MCU brand at large. They're also worlds apart in terms of genre; The Eternals is expected to be a cosmic soap opera, whereas Black Widow should play out more like an assassin thriller in the vein of the Jason Bourne movies. That'll be all the more important moving forward, as the MCU leaves the Infinity Saga behind for different pastures.
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 02, 2019