Scarlett Johansson: I’m done with Black Widow

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How the Black Widow End-Credits Scene Sets Up Marvel’s Next Hero and Villain

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This post contains spoilers for Black Widow, WandaVision and Falcon and the Winter Soldier

Black Widow is a prequel film set before Avengers: Endgame and doesn’t do much to advance the plot of the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe. It’s more a character study of Natasha Romanoff, an original Avenger who has been waiting for her own solo film for far too long.

But it also serves as an origin story for a new character: Natasha’s little sister Yelena, played by Florence Pugh. Even before the movie was released it was clear that Yelena would become a major player in the Marvel movies. Pugh shot to superstardom in 2019 with Midsommar and Little Women, and Marvel scooped her up. Presumably, they plan to center future shows and films around her character.

It’s no surprise then that Yelena features heavily in Black Widow’s end-credits scene. Here’s everything that you need to know about that villainous woman she meets, played by Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and when both Louis-Dreyfus and Pugh are likely to pop up in the MCU again. (Don’t worry, you won’t have to wait long.)

What happens in the Black Widow end-credits scene?

Still from the film Black Widow. DisneyPlus

Most of Black Widow is set in 2016 shortly after the events of Captain America: Civil War when Natasha is on the run from the U.S. government. We find out that between the events of Civil War and Thanos’ invasion of Earth in Avengers: Infinity War, Natasha reconnected with Yelena. Together they returned to the Red Room, where they were both trained to be spies, in order to free a group of female assassins who were being mind-controlled by an evil Russian spymaster there.

In the movie, Natasha and Yelena discuss the many traumas they themselves suffered in the Red Room, including forced hysterectomies. They discuss their future plans, and Yelena mentions that while she cannot have children and doesn’t particularly want them, she would like to adopt a dog.

Fast-forward to the end-credits scene, which is set in 2023 after the events of Endgame. Yelena visits Natasha’s grave in Ohio. For those who have forgotten, Natasha died midway through Avengers: Endgame during her quest to Vormir with Clint Barton (a.k.a. Hawkeye, played by Jeremy Renner). There, the two Avengers were told one of them would have to sacrifice their life in order to attain the Infinity Stone that resided on that planet. Whoever remained would bring the Infinity Stone back to the Avengers and use it to defeat Thanos. Both Natasha and Clint valiantly try to make the ultimate sacrifice while saving the other, but it’s Natasha who finally falls to her death.

A woman played by Julia Louis-Dreyfus, named Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine (Val for short), shows up. We can assume from their conversation that Yelena already works for Val as an assassin: Yelena tells Val not to bother her on her vacation time, and Val explains that she has Yelena’s next “target” lined up.

“Maybe you’d like a shot at the man responsible for your sister’s death,” Val says, and shows Yelena a picture of Clint. The photo sets the stage for Disney+’s next Marvel TV series, Hawkeye.

Read More: Black Widow Began as a Sexist Stereotype. Scarlett Johansson Is Reclaiming Her Story

Will Florence Pugh appear in Hawkeye?

Florence Pugh in Black Widow Marvel Studios

Yelena has set her sights on Hawkeye, and Disney has indeed confirmed that Pugh is set to appear in the Disney+ series slated for late 2021.

But taking Clint down will likely be a tougher proposition than Yelena’s expecting. Marvel has not yet released many details on Hawkeye, but we do know it centers on Clint teaching his new apprentice Kate Bishop the ropes—err, arrows. Hailee Steinfeld of True Grit and Edge of Seventeen fame is set to play Kate.

It’s unclear if Hawkeye has another villain in store for us or whether Yelena will fill that role. Nonetheless, if Yelena turns into an anti-hero who is trying to kill one of the Avengers, Kate will no doubt stand in her way. That means that we will probably get to see a face-off between Steinfeld and Pugh, two of the most compelling young actors in Hollywood right now.

Where have we seen Julia Louis-Dreyfus in the MCU before?

(L-R) Julia Louis Dreyfus, Gabrielle Byndloss and Wyatt Russell in Falcon and the Winter Soldier Chuck Zlotnick—Marvel Studios

This isn’t Louis-Dreyfus’ first foray into the MCU. Though the character of Val was originally supposed to appear for the first time in Black Widow, pandemic-induced delays meant that she appeared in Disney+’s The Falcon and the Winter Soldier before Black Widow premiered in theaters.

We don’t learn much more about Val in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier than we do in Black Widow. She’s a mysterious figure who recruits morally ambiguous super-powered people to do her bidding. In The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, she asks John Walker to work for her. Walker (played by Wyatt Russell) was initially named Captain America after Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) gave up the mantle. In a monomaniacal bid to live up to Steve’s legacy, Walker took supersoldier serum, but the potion only seemed to aggravate his rage. He then killed an innocent man and was stripped of his title by the U.S. government.

At the end of the show, Walker tries to redeem himself by helping the new Captain America, Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) catch the bad guys, but he also commits some questionable acts that suggest he is neither pure evil nor pure good—just a figure of chaos.

Even before he murdered an innocent man, Walker was just generally a jerk. So it’s extremely disconcerting that Yelena seems to be in bed with Walker’s employer. Yelena is presented as a heroic character in Black Widow. This new career choice feels more sinister.

That said, Avengers (or potential future Avengers) love nothing more than avenging the death of a loved one. It’s right in the title. So who can blame Yelena for going after the man she thinks precipitated her sister’s demise?

Is Black Widow definitely dead?

Still from the film Black Widow. DisneyPlus

I mean, “definitely” is a strong word. Let’s say she’s probably dead.

Look, this is the MCU we’re talking about here. Characters are resurrected all the time, thanks to trickery, magic or parallel timeline shenanigans. Nick Fury faked his death in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Vision died twice in Avengers: Infinity War only to return as a corporeal manifestation of Wanda’s imagination in WandaVision. Heck, Loki has “died” three times and always comes back. Even when Thanos killed him “permanently” in Infinity War a variant of Loki from a different timeline found his way onto his own TV show, Loki.

And Marvel is increasingly embracing the multiverse: Characters from Loki are playing hide-and-seek with each other across dozens of different timelines; the next Tom Holland Spider-Man movie will bring back villains from the Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield Spider-Man movies, suggesting that those Spidey movies exist in alternate timelines and Holland’s Peter Parker is going to travel through the multiverse; and the next Doctor Strange movie is titled Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Any character from any Marvel property ever has a chance to return to the big screen.

So while Scarlett Johansson is currently telling every member of the press that she’s done with Marvel Studios—just as Chris Evans and Robert Downey Jr. did before her—there’s always a chance that some version of Black Widow or Captain America or Iron Man could find their way into a future Marvel film.

What’s next for the MCU?

Simu Liu in Shang-Chi Marvel Studios

A Young Avengers TV show or film looks increasingly likely. Kate and Yelena are also two prime candidates for a Young Avengers team. Several of the new Marvel shows and movies are introducing a cohort of young heroes who, at various times in the comic books, have joined forces to create their own crimefighting squad.

Disney+ will debut Ms. Marvel and Iron Heart, two series centered on young women superheroes. Other Young Avengers candidates have already appeared in recent Disney+ TV series, like Elijah Bradely in Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Cassie Long in Ant-Man and Wanda’s children in WandaVision. Plus, a character named America Chavez is set to debut in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.

Meanwhile, the MCU is set to debut several new heroes in its upcoming films. Fans will meet reluctant superhero Shang-Chi in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings and godlike beings in Eternals. Old favorites will return too. Spider-Man, Thor, Doctor Strange, the Guardians of the Galaxy, Ant-Man and the Wasp and Captain Marvel are all getting new movies. And a Black Panther sequel titled Wakanda Forever that will focus on the many characters who made up the ensemble of that first film is also beginning production.

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Write to Eliana Dockterman at eliana.dockterman@time.com.

Black Widow Disney Plus - Release Date, Time, Cost, How To Watch & Timeline

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For a long time, Black Widow fans have been waiting to see her take the center stage in a solo movie. Despite multiple delays, we will finally get to watch the movie in less than two weeks!

The upcoming Marvel movie titled Black Widow is an action-packed spy thriller that tells us the story of Natasha Romanoff aka Black Widow. Here, we shall get to see more about her past as a spy before she became an Avenger.

Since the upcoming Marvel movie is slated to release on Disney Plus, you might have several questions about it. So, keep reading to know more.

MORE: Is Black Widow in the Loki TV Show?

Launch | Marvel Studios’ Black Widow BridTV 3106 Launch | Marvel Studios’ Black Widow 817392 817392 center 26546

The iconic Marvel Avenger and super-spy movie, Black Widow, was originally scheduled for release in May 2020. But due to the pandemic, the release dates were pushed back three times.

Here is the confirmed release schedule.

The movie has a Disney Plus release date of July 9, 2021

Like most Disney Plus releases, Black Widow will be available at the following times:

12 AM PT

2 AM CT

3 AM ET

7 AM UTC

8 AM BST

9 AM CEST

12:30 PM IST

Tonight! Be the first to experience Marvel Studios' #BlackWidow! Tickets and pre-orders available now. https://t.co/cWeQKLS0qL pic.twitter.com/H2C8VG9oJH — Black Widow (@theblackwidow) July 8, 2021

Will Black Widow be on Disney Plus?

Yes, Marvel’s Black Widow will be released on Disney Plus on July 9, 2021, via Premier Access.

Disney Plus Premier Access

For the unacquainted, Disney Plus Premier Access is a one-time purchase option for Disney Plus subscribers. It allows users to pay an extra $29.99 fee to get early streaming access to a movie. Once you purchase it for a certain movie, you can continue to stream or download the Premier Access movie for as long as you remain a subscriber.

How much will it cost to watch Black Widow on Disney Plus?

If you want to watch Black Widow on Disney Plus as soon as it releases, you can do so via the Premier Access option (explained above). But it will cost you an additional $29.99 along with an active Disney Plus subscription.

🎶 Who’s that tweet about? 🎶 Marvel Studios' #BlackWidow stars Scarlett Johansson, @Florence_Pugh and @DavidKHarbour look at your tweets and guess which ones are about their co-stars. Experience the movie this Friday! Tickets and pre-orders available now. https://t.co/cWeQKM9BPl pic.twitter.com/GH5QAtnqV7 — Black Widow (@theblackwidow) July 6, 2021

When will Black Widow be free on Disney Plus?

If you don’t want to pay extra for Premier Access and prefer watching the movie on your regular Disney Plus subscription, you will have to wait a little longer.

Black Widow will be available on Disney Plus on free after few months of release, that is, on October 6, 2021.

This information came from a Reddit user, who spotted a promotional image for the movie which had the (free) Disney Plus release date on it. This means the movie will be available to stream at no extra cost, roughly after three months.

When Does Black Widow Take Place in the MCU?

According to an interview with IGN, Black Widow is set somewhere between the events Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War.

Due to the timeline, it’s expected there’s going to be a few cameos from characters who may or may not still be around in the MCU.