'Avengers: Endgame' Spoilers: How the Ending Affects Black Widow's Movie

What's next for Natasha Romanov?

It was going to happen: Avengers: Endgame wasn’t going to bring back all your dusted faves in the Marvel Cinematic Universe without a cost. Thus, the stakes have never been higher, as it’s now the longtime franchise veterans like Captain America, Thor, and Iron Man who must now risk losing their lives once again.

And one of them does.

Major spoilers for Avengers: Endgame ahead.

Apologies to Marvel fans who have loved her the past nine years. But the first to die in Endgame is Black Widow. In a moment that broke the people sitting next to me into tears, Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) sacrifices herself on Vormir after she and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) learn the cost for obtaining the Soul Stone. Remember: “Soul for a soul.”

But with Black Widow gone (and completely absent from the final battle against Thanos), how does Avengers: Endgame affect the all-but-confirmed Black Widow solo film? As it turns out, it might not change anything in the slightest.

As previously reported, the film, with director Cate Shortland, is rumored to be another period piece in the MCU just a little after Black Widow’s first appearance in the franchise (in 2010’s Iron Man 2).

As The Hollywood Reporter wrote in July 2018, Black Widow will take place “before the events of the first Avengers movie.” While there is yet to be official word from Marvel, it’s reasonably safe to believe the reporting is true now that we’ve seen Avengers: Endgame.

So that’s the deal, friends: Black Widow will not see the future of the MCU, but she still gets her own, highly in-demand solo film in Black Widow.

Read our spoiler-free review of Avengers: Endgame right here.

After nine years, Johansson has likely reached the end of her contract with Marvel, which she’s naturally unwilling to get into the weeds of in public. She told Collider in a 2015 interview that her contract was “kind of mutating” to “fit the demand” from fans.

She said: “My contract has changed; myself and Marvel didn’t really know how the fans were gonna react to Black Widow the first time and how she was gonna be … They couldn’t anticipate how they would want to use her or if they would want to use her. I mean we invest in that character, but the audience had a great reaction to the character, which has been so awesome.”

Black Widow is expected to be the third period piece in the Marvel film series, after Captain America: The First Avenger (set during World War II) and Captain Marvel, which mostly took place in 1995. The Marvel TV series Peggy Carter, which aired for two seasons on ABC, was also a period production set immediately after The First Avenger.

Avengers: Endgame is in theaters on April 26.

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