Black Widow might keep a low profile, but the actress who brings her to life in the Marvel Cinematic Universe just earned a major honor.
According to a new report from Forbes, Scarlett Johansson is currently the highest-paid female lead actress for the past year. Johansson is reportedly dethroning Emma Stone for the accolade, through earning $40.5 million in pretax earnings between June of 2017 and June of 2018. Other members of the list include Angelina Jolie, Jennifer Aniston, Jennifer Lawrence, Reese Witherspoon and Gal Gadot.
Of course, a large part of this is surely thanks to Johannson's role in Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers 4, seeing as the first film has been a global phenomenon since it debuted in May. While Black Widow didn't necessarily have the most screentime within Infinity War, it sounds like the reverse could be the case within Avengers 4.
"Some of the people, when you weigh up who you are seeing, seem to take a little bit of a back seat in this one." Infinity War co-writer Christopher Markus explained earlier this year. "When we did crack them, what we realized was they had far more potential in the movie coming next year, just in terms of how their character would be tested by the story."
"I'm not telling you what the story is. I will say there is less Steve Rogers and Natasha (Scarlett Johansson) than you might expect in this movie [Infinity War]." Markus continued. "Because they are such hard-bitten people, when a threat comes, they stand there and they take the threat. They don't crack. They don't whimper. They don't start talking about all their failed opportunities. So, there isn't that much to explore, especially when you don't have a lot of time. But there's a lot later."
Even then, fans can expect to see more of Johansson in the MCU beyond Avengers 4, as a Black Widow solo film is currently in development at Marvel Studios. The film will be directed by Cate Shortland and written by TiMER's Jac Schaeffer, and will reportedly be a prequel set before the events of the first Avengers movie. Scarlett Johansson is expected to reprise her role as Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow.
While it's unclear how the plot will evolve from there, it sounds like Johansson already had some ideas in mind.
"It's such a loaded question," Johansson said during a recent interview. "Yes, I would want to in the right context and for the film to fit where I'm at, where I am in my life. I mean I've played this character for a long time. It's been probably like 8 years or more, and so much has happened in my life, my life as a performer and happened in my life personally."
"I love playing this character." Johansson continued. "And I think there is definitely an opportunity to explore the Widow as a woman who has kind of come into her own and is making independent and active choices for herself probably for once in her life. You know she hasn't always had that possibility so if it fit that criteria then yes I would want to do it."
What do you think of Johansson being the highest-paid actress of this year? Let us know what you think in the comments below.
Avengers: Infinity War is now available on digital platforms, DVD, and Blu-ray. Ant-Man and the Wasp is in theaters now. Other upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe movies include Captain Marvel on March 8, 2019; the fourth Avengers movie on May 3, 2019; and Spider-Man: Far From Home on July 5, 2019.