Fans Shocked at Disney Resurrecting ‘Black Widow’ for Sequel: Report

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Black Widow in her traditional three-point pose

Credit: Marvel Studios

Black Widow might just be coming back.

Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow staring forward
Credit: Marvel Studios

Related: New Information Comes To Light Regarding ‘Thunderbolts’ Replacement

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), owned by The Walt Disney Company, is currently progressing through its Phase Five, which is part of the Multiverse Saga. At the 2022 San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC), Marvel President Kevin Feige outlined the future direction of the MCU. Phase Five is set to conclude with the release of Thunderbolts*, a feature film inspired by the Marvel Comics series, drawing a parallel to DC’s Suicide Squad franchise.

Tony Stark with Black Widow using his hand blaster in Iron Man 2
Credit: Marvel Studios

After Tony Stark/Iron Man’s heroic sacrifice to defeat Thanos (Josh Brolin) and Chris Evans’ exit from his role as Steve Rogers/Captain America, which involved passing on the Captain America mantle, a significant opportunity has emerged for prominent superhero teams like the Fantastic Four and X-Men to take on more influential roles.

Marvel’s planned contrast to these traditionally heroic figures is their own team of antiheroes and villains, known as the Thunderbolts.

scarlett johansson as natasha romanoff (left) and florence pugh as yelena belova (right) black widow on bike
Credit: Marvel Studios

Related: Disney Wants to Rehire Marvel Leaders for Upcoming ‘Spider-Man 4’: Report

Marvel Studios’ Black Widow 2?

Just like how Captain America: Civil War (2016) was a Captain America movie, Marvel and Hollywood insider Alex Perez (of Cosmic Circus) is reporting that Thunderbolts* will be more like a Black Widow sequel, or Black Widow 2. Replying to fans on Twitter, Perez left a semi-cryptic (though still fairly telling) tease:

It’s probably been said before, but Thunderbolts* is really just a Black Widow sequel the same way Civil War was a Captain America sequel. Take that as you will.

Naturally, Marvel fans had a lot to say about this, with several fans commenting on the fact that the original plan for Thunderbolts* would be to deliberately distance the story from Black Widow — the film controversially released by Disney to stream on Disney+ (Disney Plus), and the subject of a legal dispute between The Walt Disney Company and Black Widow/Natasha Romanoff actress Scarlett Johansson.

The intent to use Thunderbolts to follow up Black Widow now seems to have been thrown out the window by Marvel and Disney, as users on X/Twitter are recognizing:

@GaloyanSipan: I thought they hired other writers after Pearson to avoid making it a Black Widow sequel in the first place

@betssssss12: Wow so they brought in all those writers to try and steer away from being that just for it to end up being a BW sequel 😭

@Gold_Star1986: i swear they fired the og writer because he was making it too much of a black widow sequal, no….?

Other fans noticed that this report likely means that the focus of Thunderbolts* might center around Florence Pugh’s relatively new Yelena Belova, Natasha Romanoff’s Red Room “sister”, introduced in the original Black Widow film:

@SajeelG1234: So like main focus is probably around yelena and everyone else is just there to fight and stuff

Even more seem worried about the state of the original Captain America/Steve Rogers’ best friend (and fellow super-soldier with a vibranium arm), Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan) — fully expecting him to get sidelined in accordance to previous reports:

Damien Garza: They are gonna waste Bucky aren’t they💔

Currently, Thunderbolts* is tentatively scheduled for release on May 2, 2025.

Right now, it seems like the MCU’s new Captain America, Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie), is allegedly not included in the Thunderbolts* movie.

This decision was reportedly made to allow the character to be the focus in Captain America: Brave New World (formerly Captain America: New World Order), which will also not feature Bucky Barnes. It’s evident that Marvel is rethinking their hero dynamics and giving new heroes the opportunity to become audience favorites, distinct from the older, more established Avengers members.

Considering that Ayo Edebiri and Steven Yeun (previously slated to play Sentry) have reportedly dropped out of the project, along with the absence of Harrison Ford’s Thunderbolt Ross/Thaddeus Ross and Daniel Brühl’s Baron Zemo/Helmut Zemo, it seems that the Thunderbolts* MCU outing is encountering several casting and production challenges — on top of this seemingly new direction.

As of now, the Thunderbolts film reportedly stars Yelena Belova (Florence Pugh), Val AKA Valentina Allegra de Fontaine (Julia Louis-Dreyfus), Sentry Robert Reynolds (No confirmed actor yet), Ghost/Taskmaster/Ava Starr (Hannah John-Kamen), US Agent/John Walker (Wyatt Russell), Winter Soldier/Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan), Red Guardian/Alexei Shostakov (David Harbour)

What do you think about these reported Thunderbolts* changes? Are you still excited for the movie? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

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