Scarlett Johansson Isn’t Actually Done Playing Black Widow, MCU Fans Speculate

The conventional wisdom says that when Black Widow finally opens in November, that will be Scarlett Johansson‘s final turn as the character. She died in Avengers: Endgame, but she gets one last go-round with the prequel. 

Or is that what’s really going on? Fans have begun to speculate that Black Widow, as played by Johansson, will be back in defiance of the grim reaper. People expect that her movie will make a lot of money, as Marvel movies usually do, and Marvel/Disney won’t be anxious to leave money on the table. 

People are still recovering from Black Widow’s death

Scarlett Johansson on the red carpet
Scarlett Johansson | Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

Before Avengers: Endgame came out last year, fans expected some major characters were going to die, but Black Widow was not one of the top predictions. After all, fans knew she had her standalone movie coming in 2020 — and that movie had already been a long time coming — too long, if you ask many fans. 

So when Natasha sacrificed herself so Clint (Hawkeye) could get the Soul Stone, fans were shocked and even angry. This meant her movie would have to be a prequel, which may not have been an issue anyway, but fans thought her farewell got the short end of the stick, especially compared to the moving farewells Captain America and especially Iron Man got. 

Some people pointed out that the Avengers’ reaction to Natasha’s passing reflected the five stages of grief: Denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. Many fans are still stuck between anger and bargaining, trying to think of ways Johansson could continue with the role. 

What do fans say about Scarlett Johansson coming back?

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A topic-starter on Reddit asked: “Anyone else think there’s gonna a Black Widow trilogy with the next two sequels starring Florence Pugh?” 

One fan responded, “Boring answer, but I imagine it has a lot to do with the critical and commercial success of the movie when it is released. This whole phase seems like they’re throwing a lot of IP (intellectual property) out there so they can build around what people respond to.”

At the same time, fans thought the way forward didn’t necessarily preclude Johansson. One fan said, “I bet(Kevin)  Feige has something interesting up his sleeve that will give SJ/BW her due. I don’t think SJ is done with the role quite yet.” And a response to that was, “I’m in the same boat as you. I think the end of the movie will have some twist that keeps her around like the Hulk’s snap actually working.”

It’s a little hard to imagine how that could take place in a prequel, although Marvel might be able to get away with it in one of their famous end credits sequences. Johansson is coming off a banner year, having not only starred in the most successful movie of all time, but having gotten two Oscar nominations, for Jojo Rabbit and Marriage Story.

That could indicate she’s ready to move on, but even if she does, there may or may not be someone waiting in the wings. 

Is Florence Pugh the new Black Widow or not? 

Like Johansson, Florence Pugh had a banner year last year as well, having starred in three acclaimed movies: Fighting with My Family, Midsommar and Little Women.

Pugh was Oscar-nominated for Best Supporting Actress (for Little Women) alongside Johansson. So it would make for fun synergy if Pugh were to become the new Black Widow. Pugh plays Yelena, who is one of the Black Widows in the comics. 

Except Pugh herself has cast doubt on that, saying that the movie wasn’t really designed to be a passing of the torch. Screen Rant quoted her as saying: “No, I actually will say when we were making it, it wasn’t anything like that at all. And I am saying it very honestly, it certainly didn’t feel like a passing of the torch kind of film when we were making it.” 

Given all the potential with Pugh, it would seem like a missed opportunity for Marvel not to move forward with her in some way. As the fans said, it all depends on how well the movie does when it opens in November.

Fans have been waiting 10 years for a Black Widow movie, so maybe it won’t hurt too much to wait five more months to see what will happen with her particular part of the franchise.