Rumor Control: I’m running this as it comes from a very reliable source, however it should be stressed that is is just a rumor. I’m not saying this is in any way confirmed, but based on who I heard it from I trust it enough to at least put it out there. This also apparently isn’t the whole story of what Black Widow is about, but just one element it may deal with.
The decade of the Marvel Cinematic Universe in the 90s is really starting to be fleshed out. We saw T’Chaka active as Black Panther in 1992 earlier this year, and of course next year we’ll see Carol Danvers arrive on Earth in what seems to be the mid-1990s. If this rumor is true, in 2020 we’ll see what the end of the decade was like in the MCU.
According to the rumor, the Y2K bug on December 31, 1999 will play some part in the plot of Black Widow. In Captain America: The Winter Soldier, it was confirmed that Natasha Romanoff was born in 1984; so that would make her 16 at the time of Y2K. Based that age and on the flashbacks in Avengers: Age of Ultron, that would place her still under the control of the Red Room and likely not with S.H.I.E.L.D..
It’s not something really big, but it does give us a potential plot point that they can craft a pretty cool Black Widow movie around.
The idea of playing with Y2K in the MCU is an interesting one for sure. What if the bug really was going to be some apocalyptic disaster in the Marvel universe, but was stopped? What if the Y2K bug was some nefarious plan that Natasha was involved with, but destroying the world in that way was too much for her and that’s what turned her to the side of S.H.I.E.L.D.? Or the hysteria surrounding Y2K could just be used as a distraction for some other plot we’re not aware of yet. Like I said, it’s an interesting idea to set at least part of the plot around.
For some Marvel fans, a straight spy movie in the MCU may not have been enough to get them in theaters for the movie as Black Widow doesn’t have super powers. But tying the movie to an event that a lot of people are familiar with, while tossing a Marvel twist on it is actually a pretty cool idea. A lot of people remember Y2K and the hysteria around something that was really a dud, so showing that it would’ve been a disaster in the MCU if not for Black Widow or other heroes is a great hook for the plot…if this rumor is true.
How This Fits…
Previous rumors have said that we’d see Natasha in two time periods, one earlier when she was working with the Soviet Union and another in the mid-2000s before we saw her introduced in Iron Man 2. With Winter Soldier establishing her having been born in 1984, setting her “Red Room” story at the end of the 90s around Y2K makes a lot of sense due to her age at the time and it’s still a decade before we saw her work with S.H.I.E.L.D. and Tony Stark in the second Iron Man movie.
We saw a flashback to Natasha in the Red Room as part of Avengers: Age of Ultron, and they tried to make Scarlett look younger in that scene. Building off that and with the de-aging effects Marvel has been utilizing in Ant-Man, Civil War, and Captain Marvel; it’s entirely possible for them to age her down to look 16 if they indeed plan to use 1999 as one of the settings in the Black Widow movie.
The Question Everyone Has…
I know everyone really wants to know about Budapest, Bucky, and Clint and if any of that is in the movie. At this point, it’s not possible to say definitively if any of it is. If Hawkeye isn’t in it, but Winter Soldier is; then the Barton fans would be pissed off. Same thing if it were the other way around. I have heard some things from another rock-solid source about who may be showing up in the movie in addition to Nat, but I don’t want to say more until I’ve heard seen more concrete evidence in order to not get one side’s hopes up and to not disappoint the other. But it sounds like at least one of the two will show up in the movie, which one will need to wait for later.
So once again, this is just a rumor about one possible element of the Black Widow plot, but it’s something that does make a lot of sense and fits previous rumors about the movie. However as they haven’t even begun filming the movie yet, it’s obviously something that can change before production really picks up. We’ll just have to wait and see if the Y2K bug ends up being explored in the MCU when Black Widow releases in a couple of years.