Ray Winstone, the rugged star of such classic crime films as The Departed and Sexy Beast, has signed on to join Scarlett Johansson in Marvel’s Black Widow movie, Collider has confirmed.
Oscar winner Rachel Weisz will co-star alongside David Harbour (Stranger Things), Florence Pugh (Midsommar) and O-T Fagbenle (The Handmaid’s Tale). Cate Shortland is in the midst of directing the film in London. Marvel boss Kevin Feige is producing the film, which was written by Jac Schaeffer.
Black Widow, aka Natasha Romanoff, made her first appearance in the MCU in 2010’s Iron Man 2, and fans have clamored for a standalone movie ever since. This one will be an international spy thriller… one that is currently cloaked in mystery. See, plot details, like Winstone’s role, are being kept under wraps. All we know is that the Black Widow movie will be a prequel, given the character’s fate in Avengers: Endgame.
Winstone is best known for playing Jack Nicholson‘s right-hand Mr. French in Martin Scorsese‘s The Departed, which won Best Picture, and counted this writer as a production assistant, albeit for just one day. He worked with Scorsese again on Hugo, and his other major credits include the first Narnia movie, the fourth Indiana Jones movie, and Darren Aronofsky‘s biblical epic Noah.
And yet, when I think of Ray Winstone, I always think of Jonathan Glazer‘s Sexy Beast first and foremost. Winstone’s admirable turn is overshadowed by Ben Kingsley‘s incredible, scenery-chewing performance, but it ranks as his most impressive work, though I also loved him as a young delinquent in Alan Clarke‘s 1979 cult classic Scum. He’ll soon be seen in Universal’s musical Cats, which hits theaters on Dec. 20. He’s represented by WME and Creative Artists Management, and Variety broke the news of his casting.