Kevin Feige has teased a “top secret” project with Scarlett Johansson planned for the MCU. Introduced all the way back in 2010 in Jon Favreau’s Iron Man 2, Johansson played Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow for the whole duration of Marvel’s Infinity Saga. But while the character’s arc ended after her death in Avengers: Endgame, Natasha Romanoff’s story was extended through this year’s prequel film Black Widow, directed by Cate Shortland.
The way Johansson capped off her arc in the MCU as Black Widow was quite controversial. While Avengers: Endgame was largely praised, the decision to kill Black Widow in Vormir in exchange for the Soul Stone drew some intense criticism from fans. In addition to that, the Black Widow standalone film was supposed to kick off Phase 4, but due to the coronavirus pandemic, it was delayed several times. The film’s hybrid release both in theaters and on Disney+ also led to Johansson filing a lawsuit against Disney for a loss of potential earnings. Many in the film industry, not to mention countless fans, weighed in on the issue, with many showing support for Johansson. Fortunately, both parties found a middle ground, and Johansson said that she was still open to continue working with Disney and Marvel Studios; something which has apparently already come to fruition.
Last night (November 18), Johansson became the 35th recipient of the American Cinematheque Award. Marvel boss Kevin Feige was one of the people who paid tribute to Johansson after her accolade, alongside her previous co-stars like Sam Rockwell, Chris Evans, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Downey Jr., and Jeremy Renner. As reported by Deadline, during his comments about the actress, Feige teased that the pair are teaming up again for a “top secret Marvel Studios project” that has nothing to do with Black Widow or the Natasha Romanoff character. Read his additional comments below:
“Scarlett has lent her talent and star power to the Marvel Cinematic Universe for over a decade. That she’s chosen to play a key part in it for so many years, I am extremely grateful for. Working with [her] has truly been one of the most memorable and rewarding collaborations of my career.”
Prior to the release of Black Widow, Feige already expressed his intent to continue working with Johansson. The Marvel head cited how involved she was in her own standalone film beyond playing the iconic Avenger. Aside from being a producer for Black Widow, Johansson was also the one who brought them Shortland to helm the project. At that point, the Disney+ release snafu had yet to occur, but now it seems that Johansson may have already been in talks with Marvel Studios regarding this mysterious new collaboration at the time. In any case, Feige reportedly sided with the actress during her lawsuit against the House of Mouse, and so her relationship with Marvel Studios doesn’t appear to have been affected by the controversy.
Since Feige has said the new endeavor doesn’t have any connection to the Black Widow character, many will be curious as to what the project might actually be about. There’s currently a big push in the MCU to put empowered female characters at the forefront of their storytelling, so it’s possible that Johansson may appear in a movie or TV series in a new role under that guise. Whatever the case may be, audiences shouldn’t expect this mysterious project to happen anytime soon. As it is, the MCU‘s slate is full up until 2023, and the franchise still has a string of films and shows on the docket. Still, it’s exciting to hear that Johansson will continue to be involved in the Marvel universe moving forward after making her mark as the only female original Avenger.