Scarlett Johansson Would Have Been Happy to ‘Walk Away’ After ‘Avengers: Endgame’

We now know for certain that Marvel’s next movie will be the long-awaited Black Widow standalone movie, due out May 1, 2020. Fans have been clamoring for it since Scarlett Johansson first appeared as the character in Iron Man 2

Johansson is thrilled her moment in the MCU spotlight has finally arrived, but she said recently that she would have been happy to stop after Avengers: Endgame. And considering what happened to Black Widow in Endgame, one would think she would have to walk away.

However, this is Marvel we’re talking about here. Those rules don’t apply. Here’s how Johansson will move forward with Marvel, possibly by moving backward.

Johansson was prepared to stop after ‘Endgame’

Scarlett Johansson
Scarlett Johansson | Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney

Stop here if you’re one of the minuscule number of people who still hasn’t seen Endgame

Endgame seemingly closed the door on a lot of the Avengers. Iron Man died, Captain America retired, and Black Widow sacrificed herself so Hawkeye could retrieve the soul stone needed to defeat Thanos. While Steve Rogers and especially Tony Stark got big emotional sendoffs, Black Widow’s goodbye seemed almost cursory by comparison.

Johansson told Good Morning America, “I would’ve been happy to, you know, to end it at Endgame and walk away. I was proud of the work that we had all done together, and that the only reason to do this standalone would be to elevate the genre in some way. And so hopefully, we will have.” 

Black Widow grabbed fans attention immediately in 2002 when she helped Tony Stark wipe out bad guys with her martial arts moves. She was the MCU’s first female hero, and fans thought back them her character would make an ideal standalone movie, especially since female superheroes had not had their moment in the sun yet.

What took the ‘Black Widow’ movie so long?

While Marvel seemed to bide its time, the other superhero team, DC/Warner Bros. broke the glass ceiling first with Wonder Woman in 2017. Despite being arguably the most well-known superhero, her movie wasn’t a sure thing. DC had struggled with Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad. But Wonder Woman became a major success, grossing $821 million at the worldwide box office

The MCU followed suit a year later with Captain Marvel, and her movie was an even bigger hit, making more than $1 billion worldwide. That no doubt helped accelerate Black Widow’s movie, but  Johansson had her doubts. 

“There were lots of elements of the character that were worth exploring, but I didn’t know if I would be able to make a movie that I wanted to within Marvel,” Johansson said to The Hollywood Reporter. However, she traded ideas with Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige, and the movie finally came together. 

“‘He had a vision for this movie that I incorporated into my own and it seemed like something that was a story worth telling,” Johansson said. She also admitted she wouldn’t have been ready for a solo outing in the last decade, but with all the physical training she’s had, she feels more comfortable being front and center.  

Will ‘Black Widow’ be a prequel or sequel? 

The key question now is, will the movie tell the story of Black Widow’s early years, before the Avengers? Or will Marvel apply some Dr. Strange-type magic and resurrect the character? 

As usual, Marvel isn’t saying, although indications are they’re going the prequel route. 

You actually get to all the questions you may have had about this mysterious character and who she is,” Johansson said to GMA.  “Where she comes from, her makeup, who she knows, like, what makes her her? What are the secrets of the past that haunt her?”  

The movie costars David Harbour, Rachel Weisz, and Florence Pugh.