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Following her short legal spat with Disney over the hybrid release of Black Widow this past summer, actress Scarlett Johansson is once again partnering with Marvel Studios for a fresh foray into the world of comic books.
"We are already working with Scarlett on another non-Black Widow related top-secret Marvel Studios project with her as a producer," Marvel Cinematic Universe architect Kevin Feige announced during the American Cinematheque Award ceremony Thursday night (via Entertainment Weekly).
Given the current trajectory of the MCU, the film or TV series could focus on literally any character in any corner of the wider multiverse. As EW notes, Marvel Studios has five untitled releases spread across 2023 and 2024 (it could be one of those or none of them). The obvious guess is some sort of spinoff for Florence Pugh's Yelena Belova (returning in Hawkeye), but Feige poked a big hole in that hypothesis when he said the mystery title won't have any connection to Black Widow.
"Scarlett is one of the most talented, versatile, and beloved actors of our time," added the studio president. "It has truly been a pleasure to work with someone of her caliber, from the epic training sessions preparing for the hallway fight in Iron Man 2 to the around-the-world press tour for Avengers: Endgame to partnering with you as a producer on Black Widow. Working with you, Scarlett, has truly been one of the most memorable and rewarding collaborations of my career."
Directed by Cate Shortland (Berlin Syndrome), Black Widow opened in theaters and on Disney+ Premier Access in early July. By the end of its run on the big screen, the film had made close to $400 million at the global box office. Johansson executive-produced the film, the first Marvel actor to take on a producer role behind-the-scenes.
"From our very first few meetings, it was clear she had a vision for this movie, how to tell this story," Feige added, praising the actress's "deep level of character connections" and desire to "to make Black Widow an ensemble."
Jon Favreau — who introduced Natasha Romanoff into the MCU with Iron Man 2 — was also present at the ceremony and extolled Johansson's professionalism that makes her such a joy to work with. “Everybody who works with Scarlett wants to work with Scarlett,” the director said (via Deadline). “She’s dedicated, and she always lets passion dictate what she does next.”
Johansson is also working with the Mouse House as producer on a film adaptation of the Tower of Terror theme park attraction (inspired by Rod Serling's The Twilight Zone). Toy Story 4 director Josh Cooley is currently penning the screenplay.