Kevin Feige Does Not Rule Out Black Widow Return

Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige won't rule out the prospect of Scarlett Johansson's Black Widow returning to the Marvel Cinematic Universe somehow, someway, at some point. When asked whether or not Marvel Studios has any further contractual deals with Black Widow star Scarlett Johansson for future projects, Feige was (not surprisingly) coy; however, he did give the cheeky response that in the tradition of Marvel Comics, anything is possible when it comes to characters making surprise return appearances (from the dead or otherwise): "'Maybe there will be more down the road' — [is the answer] comics have taught us," Feige told THR. "Anything could be the answer to that question."

To be fair, few Marvel fans guessed that a Black Widow solo film would be the kickoff to Phase 4 of the MCU. Natasha Romanoff's character arc came to a crashing end (sorry!) in Avengers: Endgame, as Widow sacrificed herself in order to obtain the Soul Stone during the Avengers' Time Heist. And yet, Feige and co. pushed ahead with a Black Widow solo film after Endgame, confident in the fact that a Black Widow side-story would still have major stakes and big payoff for the future of the MCU. So far, early critical response and some big box office projections suggest that Feige was (once again) right in his bet.

So how could Scarlett Johansson's Black Widow continue in the MCU after this? As Feige himself indicates, the history of Marvel Comics has provided numerous ways. A Black Widow sequel could examine other parts of the heroine's personal history before dying; she could appear in any new MCU films (or series) that are set during her lifetime; or, given that the MCU is now full-tilt into alternate timelines and variant versions of key characters, Johansson getting to play an entirely different version of Natasha Romanoff is also in the cards.

Black Widow Spoilers Dead Alive Kevin Feige Scarlett Johansson Return

Kevin Feige has been careful to keep the door open for Scarlett Johansson to always pop back up in the MCU, throughout the Black Widow promotional run:

"Marvel is always about new beginnings and Scarlett Johansson is such an amazing partner for us," Feige told ET. "She was a producer on this film. She was the one that brought us our amazing director, Cate Shortland, and I am excited to continue working with her in any way possible if we're so lucky."

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Black Widow will be in theaters and Disney+ Premium Access on July 9th.