Throughout the MCU, there have been many instances when the mission of Budapest, one that Natasha and Hawkeye solved together, has been referenced. “You and I remember Budapest very differently.” Ever since Hawkeye uttered this response to Natasha Romanoff in The Avengers, in response to her comment that the Battle of New York is like “Budapest all over again”, MCU fans have been busy theorizing. What could have actually happened in Budapest? Is it significant enough to Natasha’s constantly teased shady past or was it just a fun fact? Well, Scarlett Johansson has confirmed that Black Widow will let fans “find out what really happened there.”
When Natasha Romanoff sacrificed herself in Avengers: Endgame, fans were left wondering whether the ambitious project of giving the beloved character its own standalone film i.e., Black Widow will explain the Budapest reference as made in The Avengers. There were many details that were left dangling by the time MCU Phase 4 ended and while many of them are still loose threads, a few have finally been answered, especially when it comes to the murky history of the badass MCU Avenger.
For starters, Black Widow will revisit the Budapest mission. It will hopefully explain exactly what happened that even Hydra loyalist Alexander Pierce evoked its name at the end of Captain America: The Winter Soldier to question Natasha, about to release SHIELD and HYDRA’s secrets, whether she was ready for “the world to see you as you truly are?” And Marvel’s recently released, Marvel’s Black Widow: The Official Movie Special Book does just that– decode some of the mysteries like Scarlett Johansson’s interview touching upon Budapest.
“We all agreed that we had to find out what happened in Budapest. That started out as this throwaway line which Joss Whedon threw into Marvel’s The Avengers as a funny moment between Hawkeye and Black Widow. That’s Clint and Natasha talking about their history, and you get a fun little Easter egg for fans to theorize about.”
Black Widow is set between Captain America: Civil War, right after Natasha is on the run after betraying Iron Man and the Sokovia Accords. The trailers and teasers about the film have already confirmed that Black Widow reunited with her spy “family” and went up against a mighty villain, known as the Taskmaster. Ever since The Avengers, the mystery of who is Dreykov and what Natasha did to his daughter after Loki taunted Natasha with the reference has been another question that needs to be answered and quite possibly, Black Widow will include it.
But the puzzle around what could possibly have happened in Budapest is what has been nagging MCU fans for a long time. And thankfully, Marvel bosses are all set to tick every box they left unchecked. In her interview in the book, Johansson confirms that Black Widow will explore what happened in Budapest to “understand the heaviness of Natasha’s burden.”
“We thought that if we don’t go back to Budapest and find out what really happened there, people will feel unsatisfied. I wondered what did happen there? We often talked about what is going on in Natasha’s head. I really think that Natasha is haunted by the fact that she has this past that she feels so guilty about. Unfinished business is that sense of guilt that follows her around, which all stems from what happened in Budapest. Black Widow is not about what happened in Budapest, but it’s a huge jumping-off point for us to understand the heaviness of Natasha’s burden.”
Black Widow finally disclosing the secret of Budapest will put to rest all the fan theories about what actually went down during the mission. The question that remains is how the story will be featured– will it be just a narration of what happened, a flashback with Hawkeye making an appearance alongside Natasha, and whether the new villain is directly related to their hushed past.