Marvel released a two-minute Black Widow trailer earlier this week that somehow doesn’t qualify as the film’s first trailer. That’s the kind of marketing stunt that allows the company to promote the film ahead of the massive Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker launch scheduled for December 20th. Obviously, Marvel fans have dissected the teaser clip in the days that followed its released, and some of them may have discovered a few revealing spoilers. If you’re the kind of moviegoer who wants to avoid spoilers at all costs, you should steer clear of what follows, even though these are the kind of spoilers that won’t ruin your Black Widow experience. Let’s not forget it’s too early for major spoilers. Not to mention that Marvel is known for altering trailers and promo clips to keep certain things hidden.
Black Widow isn’t exactly the kind of origin story that other MCU heroes got. We’ll get to see Natasha in her younger years as well as in the more recent past. But the bulk of the action should take place between Civil War and Infinity War. That means we’d be looking at what Nat did from the moment the Avengers split right until they reunited to face the new attack targeting the planet — that’s a timeline of 2016 to 2018 for much of the action.
But an eagle-eyed observer spotted a detail that suggests the movie might follow the hero even after the snap, and chronicle some of her adventures between Infinity War and Endgame:
The date '14 January 2021' can be spotted on an official document in the new #BlackWidow trailer! This date could indicate the time period that part of the movie is set during, or it may simply be a future date with little to no meaning… pic.twitter.com/fbwj4XhyHY
— MCU – The Direct (@MCU_Direct) December 5, 2019
At one point during the teaser trailer, Nat is looking at various pieces of ID and the paperwork under the stack of passports has an unusual date: “14 Jan 2021.” This can be an indication that we’re looking at Nat nearly three years after the snap. And for some reason, she might be looking to flee.
A more straightforward explanation is that, whatever that document is, it’ll expire on January 14th, 2021. If that’s the case, the scene may very well happen at any point between 2016 and 2018. Whatever the case, those five years between Infinity War and Endgame certainly give Marvel lots of space to maneuver when it comes to expanding the personal stories of certain characters.
The other family
What’s certain is that Black Widow should feature scenes tying it to Infinity War and Endgame, as the events in those two films completed Nat’s arc and gave the character the satisfying ending she deserves. What Thanos did gave Nat purpose and clarity, as the former KGB spy fully realized what the Avengers meant for her. They were the family she may have always wanted, a family that’s been taken from her. And that’s why she was quick to embrace the Time Heist idea and to sacrifice her life to help them win. She did whatever it took to win and broke our hearts in the process.
Scarlett Johansson revealed in an interview that Black Widow will bring us closure without specifying what that means. However, seeing Nat’s life outside of the Avengers will certainly help with that. Some fans noticed that Nat wore a particular type of uniform in Infinity War, as well as a new haircut, that are similar to what Yelena wears in the trailer:
— ManaByte (@ManaByte) December 3, 2019
This may be interpreted as an homage to a dead Yelena, who may have been snapped at the end of Infinity War. That would be a wrong interpretation, however. The snap occurs at the end of Infinity War, well after Nat’s appearance. So she would have shown up in with that outfit and hair combo well before Yelena’s presumed death.
On the other hand, Yelena might have died during the events of Black Widow, and her sister, Nat, might now dress like her to remember her. But that might not be plausible for a different reason. Yelena is rumored to replace Nat in the Avengers, which means she can’t die before Infinity War. She can be snapped out of existence, of course, but that would mean she’d be resurrected in Endgame.
The simpler reason why Nat is rocking the same appearance as Yelena is that it might be some type of uniform from the KGB days, worn by other Black Widows. And she either kept the uniform, or Black Widow ends right before Infinity War starts. This is just speculation though, since we have don’t yet know what happens in Black Widow.