Black Widow, the first solo outing for Scarlett Johansson's Natasha Romanoff, has finally arrived. But the biggest question you probably have now is whether this will be Natasha's only solo outing. While the character sacrificed herself in Avengers: Endgame, that doesn't necessarily mean there's no way for her to pop up again in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Another, more likely, possibility is that Florence Pugh's Yelena Belova will take on the Black Widow mantle in potential future films, continuing Natasha's legacy herself.
We've rounded up what we know about a potential sequel to Black Widow, and looked at what the sequel, if it happens, could be about. Scroll on to find out what might be next for Black Widow in the MCU.
Is Black Widow 2 happening?
Nothing official has been announced just yet, and by all accounts Black Widow appears to be a standalone. The Black Widow post-credits scene sets Yelena up to go after Hawkeye, which makes sense, as her next appearance in the MCU will be in the archer's Disney Plus series. So, it seems no follow-up to Black Widow is necessary.
What could Black Widow 2 be about?
However, the movie did leave a major door open for potential follow-ups, though. The freed Widows, Taskmaster, Red Guardian, Melina, and Yelena all head off together at the end of the movie, with the mission of rescuing the other Black Widows across the globe after Dreykov revealed to Natasha the extent of the Red Room's influence.
If there was a sequel, it would likely pick up this plot thread. Melina was tasked with replicating the anti-mind control formula, so she'd probably be involved, and we can't imagine Red Guardian or Taskmaster would be left out, either. If Johansson doesn't return to the MCU, then Pugh's Yelena seems the most likely candidate to lead the movies going forward.
What has been said about Black Widow 2?
When our sister publication Total Film asked Johansson about passing the mantle on to Pugh, she replied: "I definitely felt that way from the very beginning." She added of Yelena: "She stands completely on her own. She's strong and different. She's so different to Natasha."
As for whether we'll see Yelena again, Pugh answered: "If you get asked to be in a Marvel film, and it was so thrilling and fun and exciting to be in, then of course, your head goes: 'Oh my God. If this is what it's like, then what else is next?'" According to her, it all depends on Yelena's popularity. "If that happens and I am lucky enough that people appreciate my character, that's an exciting road to go on. I would be silly to not be excited by it. I think that being part of the Marvel club is a great honor. But we'll just see if people like Yelena first."
Director Cate Shortland told RadioTimes.com (opens in new tab) that she thinks a continuation "following a different character" is possible. "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," she added. But she wouldn't say anything about plans for Yelena: "My focus was on Black Widow, and what the characters are doing within our story. So I wasn't focused on Florence outside of that."
A potential follow-up could be helmed by Shortland again, too. "I mean, all the beautiful fights and the spectacle, and I think just creating something really fun and joyous is pretty addictive," the director said of whether she would return. "So yeah, I would do it again. Yes."
On Johansson's part, she's stood firm on not returning to Natasha. "I really am happy with the work I accomplished in my last decade-plus at Marvel. I feel like I'm going out on a high note with a movie I'm incredibly proud of," she told Variety (opens in new tab). "I feel like my work with Natasha is complete, if that is such a thing. I've explored many facets of her person, and feel that her choice to sacrifice her life for her best friends was one that she made actively and with resolve."
So, there you have it. A follow-up is possible… but not with Natasha. While that's sad news, it's a plus that we might be seeing Yelena again, who seems poised to become a fan favorite. She just has some business to settle with Hawkeye first…
Black Widow is in theaters and is streaming on Disney Plus Premier Access now. If you're all caught up, check out how to watch Marvel movies in order for a catch-up movie marathon, and find the best Disney Plus prices and deals.