Scarlett Johansson’s time in the MCU may be up, but Black Widow does set up the possibility of a sequel without her. Here’s everything we know.
Warning: This post contains spoilers for Black Widow.
Phase 4 of the MCU has seen both the start of Black Widow’s story and the end of it. The long-awaited release of Black Widow finally told the story of Scarlett Johansson’s Natasha Romanoff, set up the MCU’s next possible Black Widow in Yelena Belova (Florence Pugh), and opened up the possibility of a whole army of former Widows in the franchise’s future. And while the first Black Widow in the MCU died on Vormir in Endgame, it now looks like there may still be a future.
Asked by the RadioTimes whether she thought there could be a Black Widow 2, director Cate Shortland responded positively, but with the obvious caveat: “I think following a different character, yes. I think Scarlett is really happy that she’s leaving the party, you know, and she’s not the last to leave. She decided she wanted to go. And I don’t think she would want to come back at the moment.” Betting on the future of the MCU often leads to disappointment knowing how much Marvel Studios seem to enjoy throwing curveballs, but for them to finally give Natasha her movie and to then cut it off as a single release without expanding on her legacy, when Black Widow makes it possible, would be a huge misstep.
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While Scarlett Johansson’s time in the MCU appears to be over, the name of Black Widow can continue with not just one but several characters established in her belated stand-alone movie. But will a sequel happen and if so, what can fans of the MCU expect from it?
What Next For Black Widow?
While time travel and the introduction of variants in Loki could quite easily bring Scarlett Johansson back as Black Widow in the future, the actor herself appears not to be entirely enthusiastic about the idea of a return. Speaking to TotalFilm, she has said she prefers to bow out while “on top”:
“In every way, and certainly as an actor, it’s always better to leave a situation when you’re on top. And to feel good about something. It’s great. And I feel on top with this. I really do. I’m really proud of it. So we’ll see how everybody else sees it! But I will always love my experience of it.”
That doesn’t entirely close the door, but as with Tony Stark’s sacrifice, walking back Natasha’s poignant death would be a disservice to Endgame‘s story. Another prequel would work, but Black Widow seems to pass the torch to Florence Pugh’s Yelena, who will continue in the MCU as the new Black Widow.
Black Widow 2 Story: How The Plot Is Set Up
Black Widow’s ending does leave open the opportunity for the Black Widow story to be continued because the MCU now has several characters who at one time used that codename. In fact, the idea of Rachel Weisz’ Milena and David Harbour’s Alexei leading their own reformed pod of Widows in the name of justice is a compelling one, especially with Taskmaster thrown in. And of course, Yelena’s future in the MCU has already been set up with a role in Hawkeye and presumably also whatever project Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ mysterious Contessa is setting up with her new recruits.
Black Widow 2 Cast
If Cate Shortland gets her way with a direct sequel following different characters, then Scarlett Johansson will not return for Black Widow 2 – unless flashbacks were involved – though Florence Pugh presumably would. Ray Winstone’s Dreykov has been vanquished, so he probably won’t either – barring some twist to reveal he wasn’t really killed – but Taskmaster can return now she’s free of her father. There’s also the question of what happens to Rachel Weisz’ Milena and David Harbour’s Red Guardian, which could see them return, and a second appearance for O-T Fagbenle’s Mason would be very welcome.
Black Widow 2 Release Date
There is no information on when a potential Black Widow sequel could come out, but if Yelena Belova gets her own movie it’s likely to come in Phase 5 at the earliest. We will update this page as information becomes available.
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