Arachnophobes look away now, things are about to get eight-legged in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The wildly anticipated Spider-Man: Homecoming is getting off the ground with filming in Atlanta ahead of next year's expected release date, and Michael Keaton is now seemingly confirmed to be portraying the villainous Adrian Toomes/Vulture as Tom Holland returns to screens as the new Peter Parker.
We've known for a long time now that Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) is set to make a cameo appearance in Spider-Man: Homecoming — probably eyeballing Marisa Tomei's youthful May Parker — and even Chris Evans wants to get in on the action, taking Steve Rogers/Captain America out for another spin. New reports suggest that we might be getting yet another cameo from a mainline Avenger — but get your salt shakers ready, cause this is all highly speculative right now.
Black Widow To Join Spider-Man: Homecoming?
ComicBook.com report that they last week learned of a mysterious tip regarding the presence of Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow actress Scarlett Johansson in Atlanta, nearby the Spider-Man: Homecoming set. They were unable to confirm the validity of the reports at the time, but a mysterious tweet from the Atlanta Filming Twitter account seems to back up the claims of Johansson's presence in the area.
This is, of course, far from the realms of any type of official confirmation, or even a claim with any real meat to back it up. There's probably a ton of people named Scarlett hanging around the Atlanta area, right?
But what if the rumors are true? If so this wont be Nat and Peter's first rodeo together. Black Widow was of course an erstwhile member of Team Stark in Captain America: Civil War, fighting beside Spider-Man during the memorable Leipzig Airport Battle before her loyalty to her friend Steve Rogers got the best of her. But what would the sneaky spider be doing in Spider-Man's solo movie?
The events of Captain America: Civil War should still be pretty fresh in your mind, but in case you need a quick reminder: The movie left off with Captain America busting the captive Team Cap members out of the Raft, and left Tony a letter which appeared to at at the very least leave space open for the two to reconcile later down the line.
The last line in particular though seem to suggest that we might see a version of the Secret Avengers appearing in the MCU, as Steve promised that he and his team would be there to provide backup to Tony — now the defacto leader of the Avengers.
"So no matter what, I promise if you — if you need us. If you need me, I’ll be there."
The Secret Avengers were formed during the events of the comic Civil War and became an official (if secret) faction of the Avengers with their own comic book title post-Dark Reign and Siege, when Steve Rogers was back in charge and the Superhuman Registration Act (SHRA) repealed. But it's the Civil War part that we're interested in here.
The Civil War Fallout
In the Civil War of the comic books the Secret Avengers was the name for the extended Team Captain America, the resistance against the SHRA. After the war ended and Captain America got dead (*spoilers* he comes back, to no-one's surprise) several members of the Secret Avengers went underground, reclaiming the name "Avengers" from what they saw as a now-faux government team.
Ostensibly this is exactly what Team Cap have done in the MCU — we might as well just starting calling them the Secret Avengers right now.
We still don't know what happened to Black Widow after the conclusion of Civil War. The last we saw of Natasha Romanoff she was having a conversation with Tony Stark, as he tells her that the authorities will be coming for her due to her actions during the battle at Leipzig Airport. And then she vanishes, like a Black Widow spider up a drainpipe.
It's safe to assume that she'll probably hook up with Steve and the newly liberated Avengers at some point between Civil War and whenever she next re-appears, so could her presence in Spider-Man: Homecoming (if the rumors turn out to be true) mean that she's trying to recruit Peter Parker into the Secret Avengers?
Of course we know Spider-Man was Team Iron Man the first time around, both in the movie and the comic book. But he's already struck a chord with his hero Captain America, the big kid from Brooklyn, and as we all know by now, Spidey does defect to Team Cap during the events of the Civil War comic book after a bust up with Iron Man.
And of course Spider-Man doesn't even have to defect for Black Widow to show up in that capacity, she could just be sent by Captain America to scout out the new guy and figure out whether he should be added to the roster. If you're going to try to figure out someone's secrets, Black Widow is certainly the gal for the job.
For now though we'll just have to take all this speculation with a huge pinch of salt, until we hear more from a reliable source regarding Scarlett Johansson's appearance — or lack thereof — in Spider-Man: Homecoming. It would be pretty neat to see her showing up though, as in the meantime we'll continue bemoaning the lack of a Black Widow solo feature. C'mon Marvel, get on it.
What do you think Natasha could get up to in Spider-Man: Homecoming? Have your say in the comments below!