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Exclusive – Black Widow director says there could be a sequel, just not with Scarlett Johansson

Cate Shortland says it’s the end of the road for Natasha Romanoff, but that doesn’t mean the world of Black Widow has to end.

Black Widow
Published: Wednesday, 30th June 2021 at 1:19 pm

With the release of any Marvel superhero movie, the inevitable questions about sequels and follow-ups inevitably come too – but in the case of the long-awaited Black Widow, things are a little more complicated.

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You see, Black Widow’s titular character is already dead in the world of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with Scarlett Johansson’s Natasha Romanoff killed in Avengers: Endgame before returning to star in this new prequel.

Functionally, we already know how Natasha’s story ends – so surely that scuppers any Black Widow follow-ups?

Well, not necessarily – because when we caught up with the film’s director Cate Shortland she suggested that the franchise could continue without Johansson, possibly picking up the story with a different character.

“I think following a different character, yes,” Shortland told RadioTimes.com when asked if another film or follow-up was 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.”

Certainly, Shortland herself seemed keen to return to the Marvel sandbox, especially given how long her movie was kept in limbo by the coronavirus pandemic.

“I mean, all the beautiful fights and the spectacle, and I think just creating something really fun and joyous is pretty addictive,” she told us. “So yeah, I would do it again. Yes.

“I feel really happy about it. Usually I feel dread when I have something coming out, but this time, I feel really happy. I think because it was such a group effort.”

So if such a spin-off sequel were to happen, who could it follow? The obvious choice would be Florence Pugh’s younger assassin Yelena, who’s already rumoured to be starring in other Marvel projects (specifically, she was spotted on the set of Disney Plus original Hawkeye) and has the same Widow training as her older “sister” – but Shortland wouldn’t be drawn on future plans for the character.

Black Widow

“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,” she said.

However, she did admit there was one Black Widow character she wanted to see more of – David Harbour’s Alexi, aka Russian super-soldier Red Guardian and Natasha’s “father figure” in her younger years.

“I don't have a crystal ball,” Shortland said when asked about any returning characters.

“Though I think Alexi has so much charisma and is so funny… and he has declared he wants a battle with Captain America.

“But I think he would poo his pants,” she laughed. “So I don't know if I want to watch that. We'll put him in a diaper.”

Read our Black Widow review now to find out what we thought of the movie.

Black Widow is in UK cinemas on Wednesday 7th July, and on Disney Plus Premier Access on Friday 9th July. You can sign up to Disney+ for £7.99 a month or £79.90 a year now.

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