Marvel’s new Black Widow movie set up two potentially exciting follow-ups for the franchise. Sadly, it’s likely that neither will appear in the MCU.
Marvel’s Black Widow set up not one, but two follow-up films that could have been exciting entries in the MCU. Unfortunately though, neither will ever see the light of day. Marvel could use some of the film’s characters again, of course, but the best options for future MCU material from Black Widow are off the table for good because of the situation with the title character.
After multiple delays, Black Widow has finally released, giving Scarlett Johansson’s character her first (and only) solo adventure in the MCU. The movie has come at an odd time, considering that Black Widow’s MCU story ended in 2019 when she gave her life to get the Soul Stone in Avengers: Endgame. Though the character is confirmed dead and isn’t coming back, Marvel was able to find a way to make a movie centered on her work in the MCU. Diving into an event that took place before Avengers: Infinity War, Black Widow shed some light on the “family” Natasha had as a young girl and the experiences that shaped her into a Soviet superspy.
At last, Black Widow handed Natasha Romanoff the spotlight she has long deserved, while also proving that her character and her supporting cast have the potential to drive their own franchise in the same way that Iron Man, Captain America, and Thor have. The events of Black Widow set up two possible directions for sequels, and both could actually have been taken at some point. The sisterly bond between Natasha and Yelena (Florence Pugh) could have been central to a proper team-up movie involving the two Widows, as the two had an interesting dynamic that definitely felt like it was worth exploring more than just once.
The same goes for the relationships between the other members of Black Widow’s family. Red Guardian (David Harbour) and his humorous (and perhaps imaginary) rivalry with Captain America was one of the film’s highlights. His interactions with Black Widow and Yelena were particularly memorable for the emotional weight they carried. Since the family didn’t reconcile their problems until the end of the film, there’s still a lot left that could be done with these MCU characters together. In the style of FX’s The Americans show, Marvel could have reunited the four of them as a spy family and sent them on a new mission, but this time not on the orders of the Russian government.
The problem is that neither of these follow-ups is feasible. Infinity War kicked off shortly after the movie’s events, leaving no room for either Black Widow sequel idea to happen in the MCU’s timeline. Plus, Johansson has already made it clear that Black Widow’s story is finished and won’t be getting another chapter. It’s that Marvel is at least keeping Pugh’s Yelena around via Hawkeye, but no future adventures with Black Widow and her spy family is disappointing, as well as one more sign that Marvel really did wait too long to make Black Widow. If this story had come earlier, a Black Widow trilogy could have provided full and meaningful arcs for Natasha, Yelena, Melina (Rachel Weisz), and Red Guardian.
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- Eternals (2021)Release date: Nov 05, 2021
- Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021)Release date: Dec 17, 2021
- Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022)Release date: Mar 25, 2022
- Thor: Love and Thunder (2022)Release date: May 06, 2022
- Black Panther: Wakanda Forever/Black Panther 2 (2022)Release date: Jul 08, 2022
- The Marvels/Captain Marvel 2 (2022)Release date: Nov 11, 2022
- Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023)Release date: Feb 17, 2023
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (2023)Release date: May 05, 2023
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