'Black Widow': Ray Winstone's Character Has An 'Avengers' Connection

Marvel Studios' Black Widow has been delayed indefinitely due to the coronavirus, but that doesn't mean the passion has abated for fans who have been wanting a Natasha Romanoff solo film for years. Now a detail about one of the movie's supporting characters has made its way online, and it turns out that the Ray Winstone Black Widow character has a connection to Joss Whedon's groundbreaking 2012 team-up movie The Avengers.

Several sites are citing a Twitter account called Marvel Studios News, which is spreading the news about actor Ray Winstone's role in the movie. Apparently the upcoming issue of Empire Magazine, which has star Scarlett Johansson on the cover promoting Black Widow, features a revelation about the Departed actor's character in the new movie. We haven't seen the Empire Magazine story with our own eyes yet (it isn't online as of this writing), so take all this with a grain of salt for now. But assuming the story is true, Winstone will be playing a character named Dreykov. He's evidently the head of the Red Room, the Soviet brainwashing facility where Natasha Romanoff received her assassin training.

But that's not all. Natasha and Dreykov seem to have crossed paths before – at least, according to Loki during that interrogation scene in The Avengers. Listen closely:

When Black Widow tells Loki she wants to wipe out the red in her ledger, he responds, "Can you wipe out that much red? Dreykov's daughter...São Paolo...the hospital fire...Barton told me everything." She turns out to be playing Loki in order to extract information, but since Clint Barton (aka Hawkeye) was under mind control at the time, there's nothing here to suggest that character would give Loki bad intel about Natasha's past.

Which brings us back to Black Widow. This film takes place between the events of Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War, when Natasha returns to her roots and reconnects with her old family. If she was responsible for the death of the daughter of a high-ranking Soviet authority figure, you can bet that character will be harboring a serious grudge. I don't expect Winstone will have a huge role in the movie, but a combination of pathos and physicality will hopefully make him stand out a bit from other low-level Marvel movie villains, who are (let's face it) often pretty forgettable.

I wonder if Joss Whedon knew when he wrote that line about Dreykov's daughter that he was planting a seed for a payoff that would be explored in another movie eight years down the line. (Assuming Black Widow is released in 2020, that is.)