Another member of the original Avengers team is riding off into the sunset.
In a recent interview, Scarlett Johansson announced that she is “done” playing Marvel’s super-spy, Black Widow. While this isn’t the most shocking news — Johansson’s character died while saving half the universe in Avengers: Endgame — it also wasn’t a foregone conclusion that Johansson was definitely finished as Black Widow. She only made her debut headlining her own solo Black Widow film after her character died. (The Black Widow movie was a prequel.)
But Johansson told her Marvel co-star Gwyneth Paltrow that she’s moving on from her superhero role in an episode of The Goop Podcast. Johansson said…
I’m done … [the] chapter is over. I kind of did all that I had to do. Also, coming back and playing a character again and again like that, over a decade of time, is such a unique experience.
For her part, Paltrow was less certain that she had made her last Marvel appearance. “I didn’t die, she noted, “so they can always ask me.”
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Johnsson’s Marvel tenure did not end on the best of terms. Shortly after Marvel released Black Widow simultaneously in theaters and on Disney+, Johansson sued the company, claiming the decision to put the film on streaming cost her millions of dollars in salary. Johansson and Disney ultimately settled their dispute in September of 2021.
The only time Johansson was mentioned by Marvel after that came in November of 2021, when the studio’s president, Kevin Feige, alluded to her working on a “top secret Marvel Studios project … which he said has nothing to do with her Black Widow character, Natasha Romanoff.” It’s still not clear what that project is or was supposed to be, or whether it’s still happening. All told, Johansson appeared in nine Marvel movies: Iron Man 2, The Avengers, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War, Captain Marvel (in a cameo), Avengers: Endgame, and Black Widow.
Johansson officially joins fellow Avengers stars Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans in Marvel retirement; that leaves only Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, and Jeremy Renner still actively appearing as their Marvel heroes from that initial team lineup. Even without Johansson, the MCU still has a Black Widow, Florence Pugh is the franchise’s new MCU, playing Natasha’s sister Yelena.
The next Marvel Cinematic Universe movie, Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 3, is scheduled to open in theatefrs on May 5.
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