Reviews are already out for Black Widow, and the biggest takeaway from most critics seems to be the enjoyability of the new characters, like Florence Pugh's Yelena Belova and David Harbour's Alexei Shostakov. It also helps that Black Widow is on track to win big at the box office, even during this ongoing pandemic, ensuring a future for these new characters.
While this may be Johansson's last MCU appearance, that doesn't mean that this movie doesn't open the doors for an ongoing new franchise for Marvel Studios.
Black Widow director Cate Shortland teasing a possible sequel, but “following a different character," which presuambly would be Pugh's Yelena. Pugh has been positioned as the new Black Widow by the studio for future appearances.
NEW CHARACTERS FOR THE MCU
In a new featurette for Black Widow, actress Scarlett Johansson and Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige talk about the upcoming film.
Feige opens the video by saying, "We've been waiting to tell the story of Natasha Romanoff for years" and that "It was one of the great post-Infinity Saga opportunities."
This was followed by Johansson saying that Black Widow is "a product of all these films that we've done." Feige went further and said that the film would be "sowing seeds" for new characters:
"You will look at the past again in a new light, and we are sowing the seeds of new characters into the future of the MCU."
Feige goes on to say that since the audience already knows "a lot about the characters," then they can subvert any "presumptions" about them:
"You know a lot about the characters already, so there are presumptions that you bring to it. And we like to subvert those."
Finally, Feige is "excited for people to go to theaters" to finally see Black Widow:
"We're excited for people to go to theaters to see and experience this movie in its place in the pantheon of the MCU."
The full featurette can be watched below:
MORE FOR YELENA BELOVA AND OTHERS?
Fans already know that Florence Pugh's Yelena Belova will be returning in Jeremy Renner's Hawkeye series, as exclusively reported by TheDirect.com. That said, there's still no telling where other characters might appear in the future, as Feige implied in the featurette.
David Harbour has said there were "a lot of fun ideas" and "all kinds of speculations" between him and Black Widow director Cate Shortland regarding the whereabouts of his character, Red Guardian, during Avengers: Endgame. Additionally, it's been heavily rumored that Julia Louis-Dreyfus' Valentina Allegra de Fontaine, who debuted in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, would return in future projects, including Black Widow.
Black Widow hits theaters and Disney+ Premier Access this Friday, July 9.