Avengers: Endgame star Scarlett Johansson, who plays super-spy-turned superhero Black Widow, secretly slipped in a major spoiler weeks before the blockbuster reached theaters.
During an early April visit to Jimmy Kimmel Live alongside co-stars Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, and Paul Rudd, Johansson made an innocent enough quip we now know acts as a clandestine reference to the deaths of Iron Man and Black Widow.
“I feel like this is the last gathering of the Avengers on this show,” Kimmel said.
“Well, the future is very uncertain,” Downey replied. Leaning in, Johansson said, “Don’t lie to him, we’re never coming back,” before laughing and waving the comment off as a joke.
Endgame sees the defeated Avengers assemble once more to travel to the past as part of a “time heist” to steal the six Infinity Stones required to will the Vanished — the victims of Thanos’ (Josh Brolin) snap that erased half of all beings in the universe — back to life.
Widow sacrifices herself on the remote planet Vormir to unlock the Soul Stone, later housed alongside the Space, Mind, Time, Power, and Reality Stones in a Tony Stark-created Infinity Gauntlet to correct Thanos’ snap. The Stones are used again when Stark wields the Infinity Gauntlet, using the might of the assembled Stones to wipe out Thanos and his invading alien army at the cost of his own life.
In March 2018, Downey hinted at his Iron Man exit when he told Empire Magazine he was looking forward to “whatever resolution” was in the cards when his contract with Marvel Studios expired with the fourth Avengers.
Downey cited a word of advice from wife Susan Downey, saying, “You don’t know what or how you’re gonna end until it is.”
“That takes a lot of the edge off. She’s learned how to be like, ‘You won’t know until you’re there, so you’’e wasting your time on that equation. That’s not on the test,’” Downey said.
“I could project all kinds of stuff. I could get into the black dog. Whatever you want. Or I could stay, spiking it in the end zone until I have to be carried off. I’m looking forward to whatever resolution is in the cards.”
For Johansson, her time with Disney-owned Marvel Studios is not yet ended: the star will reprise the role in the Black Widow movie to be directed by Cate Shortland (Lore) and penned by Jac Schaeffer (The Hustle) and Ned Benson (The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby).1comments
In September, a reported synopsis pointed to Black Widow taking place in 2006, setting it ahead of Iron Man 2 (2010) and The Avengers (2012). The prequel will see the 34-year-old star portray a 22-year-old Natasha Romanoff.
Black Widow is suspected to open sometime in 2020. Avengers: Endgame is now playing.