Recently, there have been reports that Disney was considering bringing the original Avengers back for a movie to help prop up the ailing Marvel franchise. Now, Kevin Feige has shot down the rumors of any discussions regarding bringing back all of the original gang. It seems one will be returning, though: Yahoo! reports Feige has confirmed that Scarlett Johansson will still be part of an unnamed future Marvel production first announced back in 2021.
Kevin Feige Confirms Scarlett Johansson Will Return To The MCU
These details from Feige came straight from the red carpet premiere of The Marvels, the new MCU film that sends both Captain Marvel and Ms. Marvel on a fantastic cosmic adventure along with Monica Rambeau and fan-favorite character Nick Fury.
There, he confirmed that Scarlett Johansson would be working with the studio on a future Marvel project, and he also clarified that (contrary to previous reports) there have been no discussions about bringing back all of the original Avengers. He specifically name-checked Robert Downey Jr., noting that while “he’s a part of the family,” Marvel would “have to see” about bringing him back.
Robert Downey Jr.’s Return Remains Uncertain
Presumably, the main reason that Feige would be interested in bringing Scarlett Johansson rather than Robert Downey Jr. back for a future Marvel project is that the Iron Man actor would require more money than the studio is comfortable spending. After the success of the first Iron Man, Downey, Jr. negotiated a sweetheart deal with Marvel that allowed him to receive money from the backend of his films.
Due to this, The Hollywood Reporter estimates that he would have earned a minimum of $75 million from Avengers: Infinity War alone, and we assume Marvel is wary of how much they would have to pay the legendary actor to return.
Johansson Might Not Be Back As Black Widow
Comparatively, it is far cheaper to bring Scarlett Johansson back to the Marvel fold, especially since her solo Black Widow movie was far less successful (both in terms of box office and cultural impact) than the first Iron Man movie. Interestingly, though, Johansson returning to the MCU doesn’t mean we’re going to see more of her black-clad badass. Even though the comics these movies draw from constantly bring characters back from death, it sounds like Johansson herself is done bringing Black Widow to life.
The Actress Has Said She Is Done With That Character On Multiple Occasions
As Fatherly reports, Scarlett Johansson previously said “I have no plans to return as Natasha,” and she clarified this further to fellow MCU star Gwyneth Paltrow on her Goop podcast, saying “I’m done” and “Chapter is over.”
She was previously announced as a producer for an unnamed Marvel film after her lawsuit against Disney was settled, and while Kevin Feige didn’t clarify this on the red carpet, Johansson will be a producer on the project he mentioned. We also know the project has nothing to do with Black Widow, so it’s anyone’s guess what project she will be working on.
Could Scarlett Johansson’s Return Save The MCU?
It’s obviously a bit early to tell, but Scarlett Johansson returning to Marvel as a producer could be the best thing to happen to the MCU in a good, long while. Recent films and television shows (especially Quantumania and Secret Invasion) have tried and failed to recapture the adventurous spirit of the original Avengers movies. If Marvel is ever going to succeed in recapturing the old magic, who better to help than someone who has been a major part of the MCU since Iron Man 2?