Black Widow Disney+

What could the Marvel Cinematic Universe look like after Avengers: Endgame? That’s a question we’re still asking even two years and several movie and TV show releases after the epochal Marvel movie hit theaters, but it’s one that Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige is still feeling out as we forge ahead into Phase 4. On the TV side, Marvel is using the chance to explore the traumas of characters like Wanda Maximoff or Bucky Barnes, and on the film side, with the upcoming Black Widow, the studio is looking back — expanding on the time periods in which we didn’t see the character. In fact, Feige said that he’s open to the idea of exploring other Marvel characters with prequel movies similar to Black Widow.

In a press conference for Black Widow, Feige confirmed that other Marvel characters could potentially get the Black Widow treatment — meaning a prequel or inbetween-quel film, even if those characters had departed the MCU. Feige said:

“Certainly this film and this story is a particular case for for Natasha. But the notion of exploring the past, present, and future of the MCU is certainly in the cards for all of our characters. This particular story of this particular cast is very personal, very specific to Natasha.”

Black Widow takes place between the events of Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War, and goes even further back, touching on Natasha Romanoff’s (Scarlett Johansson) past and her upbringing in the Red Room, which turned her into a cold-blooded assassin before she defected and joined S.H.I.E.L.D. Although a prequel is the only kind of story that Black Widow could’ve been, considering (spoiler alert!) Natasha’s death in Avengers: Endgame.

What This Could Mean for the MCU

But Feige’s statement opens all kinds of doors for potential Marvel films. A Marvel solo film wouldn’t have to be a typical sequel or follow-up, it could take be a prequel or explore a whole other unknown time period in a character’s life. It might even mean that characters who departed the MCU, like Natasha Romanoff, aren’t off the table. Now those rumors about Chris Evans coming back are getting interesting again…

Of course, Feige suggested that this kind of approach would only happen if the story is creatively compelling enough to justify a movie, like with Black Widow. For Black Widow, “We very specifically knew there was a large period of her life that we didn’t know about, not just her childhood, but this period of time between Civil War and Infinity War,” Feige said. “And that period, we felt was was a right to creatively focus on to be able to discover more about our past more about our present. And… give a hint at the at the legacy in the future.”

Black Widow arrives in theaters and on Disney+ Premier Access starting on July 9, 2021.

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