O-T Fagbenle has joined the cast of Marvel's Black Widow solo movie. This month's Avengers: Endgame will bring Phase 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe to a close and conclude what's been referred to as the Infinity Saga - an overarching storyline that goes all the way back to 2008's Iron Man. In an effort to avoid spoiling anything about Endgame ahead of time, Marvel Studios has been holding off on revealing concrete details about what it has planned for Phase 4. In fact, for the time being, Spider-Man: Far From Home is the only MCU film with a release date besides Endgame.
That said, one of the Phase 4 movies that's in active development at the moment is Black Widow, a solo adventure featuring Scarlett Johansson as the KGB spy/assassin-turned SHIELD agent and, ultimately, Avenger Natasha Romanoff aka. Black Widow. The film is currently in the midst of filling out its cast and has already recruited Florence Pugh (Fighting with My Family) and David Harbour (Stranger Things) to play leading roles. Now, it appears the film may've filled another key role.
According to Deadline, Fagbenle has reached a deal to play as an-yet undisclosed role in Black Widow. The film is slated to begin shooting in June, with Cate Shortland (Lore) directing from a screenplay that was written by Jac Schaeffer (The Hustle) and later revised by Ned Benson (The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby).
Like so much of Phase 4, there's a lot that's unclear about Black Widow at the moment. It's been rumored that the film takes place prior to the original Iron Man (a la last month's Captain Marvel), but it could just as easily be set after Endgame and explore Natasha's past via flashbacks. Similarly, it's possible that Fagbenle is playing the villainous character that André Holland reportedly auditioned for, but he could just as well be tackling a different role altogether, either heroic or antagonistic in nature. Either way, the actor is another worthy addition to the movie's cast, and comes from an impressive background that includes roles in acclaimed TV shows like HBO's Looking and, most recently, Hulu's The Handmaid's Tale, on top of his award-winning work on-stage at the Royal National Theatre.
With Endgame just a couple weeks away now, it might not be much longer before some official details on Black Widow (like its release date) are made available. The film's cast is shaping up nicely in the meantime, and may yet add Oscar-winner Rachel Weisz to its ranks - assuming the recent reports of her being in talks pan out. Again, we don't know a lot about Phase 4, but what we have learned is encouraging so far. And for the fans who've spent much of the past decade waiting for Marvel to finally give Natasha a solo vehicle of her own, that's undoubtedly welcome news.
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 02, 2019