Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow

Sometimes, a character’s death scene is not the last time they get played on screen by an actor. Take, for example, Scarlett Johansson, whose Marvel heroine Black Widow sacrificed herself to stop Thanos in Avengers: Endgame, only to “return” to the screen in a prequel film/story, which is arriving on July 9. Black Widow takes place after Captain America: Civil War on the MCU timeline, but it might end up being Johansson’s final time in the role. With that in mind, when we spoke with Black Widow director Cate Shortland, we asked her if Johansson’s last day of filming on set was unusually emotional, and the director told us:

Yes, very emotional. The first A.D., Jamie, had also done, I think, six or seven films with her. He was crying. She was crying, and I was crying. I think we were all really emotional. She’s a trooper, too. She had been shooting for four and a half months, AND she had pneumonia. [laughs] She’s a great girl.

By the time we learned that Natasha Romanoff was going to die on Vormir in Avengers: Endgame, word had circulated that Marvel Studios was going to move forward on a solo Black Widow movie. So we felt the sting of the character’s death, but knew we’d see her again.

We can’t say the same thing now that Black Widow is upon us. This story takes place during a time when Natasha is on the run from General Ross (William Hurt), and has issues to settle back “home” in Russia. But will Marvel do this again? Will they stage another movie in the time frame where Natasha is still alive? Could there be a Disney+ series that follows former missions of Natasha’s, or is Black Widow the last time we are going to see this character on screen again?

This reality must have been on Scarlett Johansson’s mind as she wrapped her final scene on Cate Shortland’s movie, which explains all of the tears. And understandably so. Johansson is an original Avenger, and has held down this pivotal role in the MCU since getting introduced in Iron Man 2. She fought in all of the Avengers movies, went toe-to-toe with the top Marvel villains, and worked as the glue that held the sometimes-dysfunctional team together.

We’re not giving up on Natasha just yet. Marvel has so many irons in the fire regarding upcoming movies and television shows that there could be room for Nat to return, giving Scarlett Johansson another opportunity to explore the character’s nuances. Captain Marvel, for example, was set in the 1990s unexpectedly. And Eternals may span centuries, so who knows where future Marvel stories could take us.

Tickets currently are on sale for Black Widow in theaters, or you can reserve it on Disney+ under the Premier service. And keep an eye on our Upcoming Marvel Movies slate to keep track of what’s coming from the studio, soon.

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