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The Marvel Cinematic Universe film Black Widow premiered in July 2021. Black Widow stars Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow, Florence Pugh as Yelena Belova/Black Widow, David Harbour as Alexei Shostakov/Red Guardian, Rachel Weisz as Melina Vostokoff/Black Widow.
Narratively, Black Widow takes place after the events of the 2016 MCU film Captain America: Civil War. In a 2021 interview with Deadline, Black Widow director Cate Shortland teased the possibility of the movie having a sequel.
Cate Shortland thinks a ‘Black Widow’ sequel is possible
Johansson’s character Natasha died in the 2019 MCU film Avengers: Endgame. While it was released after Avengers: Endgame, the plot of Black Widow takes place before Natasha’s death.
A post-credits scene in the film shows Pugh’s character Yelena mourning Natasha’s death. Pugh reprised the role of Yelena in the Disney+ series Hawkeye.
Hawkeye takes place after the events of Avengers: Endgame, and Yelena’s character arc shows her coming to terms with Natasha’s death.
In a 2021 interview with Deadline, Shortland teased that a Black Widow sequel is possible.
“I think these girls have got a lot of a**** still to kick,” Shortland shared.
Would Scarlett Johansson be in a ‘Black Widow’ sequel?
In a separate interview with RadioTimes.com, Shortland admitted that the franchise would most likely have to move forward without Johansson if a sequel was ever made.
“I think following a different character, yes,” Shortland said.
She continued, “I think Scarlett is really happy that she’s leaving the party, you know, and she’s not the last to leave. She decided she wanted to go. And I don’t think she would want to come back at the moment.”
While speaking with RadioTimes.com, Shortland expressed her interest in returning to the MCU.
“I mean, all the beautiful fights and the spectacle, and I think just creating something really fun and joyous is pretty addictive,” the director shared. “So yeah, I would do it again. Yes.”
How Florence Pugh joined the MCU
Since Pugh appeared as Yelena in Black Widow, she has widely been considered Johansson’s unofficial replacement in the MCU.
Speaking with Deadline, Shortland shared how Pugh was cast as Yelena, saying:
“When I went into my first interview with Marvel, they asked me which actors I’d like to work with and I said, Florence. They asked me why, and I talked about her turn in Lady Macbeth and that putting someone so grounded and formidable against Scarlett is really exciting. But we did look at a lot of actresses and we always came back to her, and she’s just a great person. I think what’s going to happen is young people are going to relate to her because she embraces all her flaws. She embraces her messy humanity, and I think that’s such a great character in terms of being a messy human superhero.”
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