Scarlett Johansson appears to have zero plan on returning to her iconic MCU of Black Widow, but that doesn’t mean her time with Disney is over.
The extremely popular Sing (2016) star has been tight-lipped regarding a potential return to Marvel Studios as Natalia Alianovna Romanova; however, after lawsuits filed by Johansson, which claimed Marvel committed a breach of contract for her 2021 film Black Widow, most have concluded that her days with the Avengers are all but finished.
Famously, the actress has portrayed Natasha Romanoff within the Marvel Cinematic Universe since her debut in Iron Man 2 (2010) alongside Robert Downey Jr. From humble beginnings, the Soviet spy turned superhero became a founding member of “Earth’s Mightiest Heroes” who would go on to ultimately defeat Thanos and bring back half of the world’s population after “the snap” in Avengers: End Game (2019).
Life after the MCU
Since her removal from the MCU, Scarlett Johansson has been quiet in Hollywood. Despite a marriage to famous SNL personality Colin Jost, her name hasn’t garnered much attention in the headlines.
Colin Jost, who hosts the extremely popular SNL segment “Weekend Update” alongside Michael Che married the superstar in October of 2020, right before The Prestige (2006) actress filed her infamous suit against Marvel, noting that Disney would reduce Johansson’s financial stake in Black Widow after it helped headline Bob Iger’s 2019 Disney+ streaming launch.
Johansson’s $20 million salary for the film ultimately was cut from box office sales, with the film now exceeding $125 million on the streaming service alone.
Besides a nasty lawsuit that involved Disney CEO Bob Iger and Marvel President Kevin Feige and a marriage to Saturday Night Live funnyman Colin Jost, Johansson’s presence has ultimately been missed in Hollywood.
Scarlett Johansson Takes a Break After Marvel
Despite appearing in multiple MCU titles over her career, the Jungle Book (2016) actress has only been involved in a few projects since her last days with the Avengers.
Johansson returned to Universal Pictures’ popular Sing franchise in 2021, revoicing the character Ash alongside other Hollywood names like Reese Witherspoon, Matthew McConaughey, and Nick Offerman. As well the actress also played the lead in the German comedy-drama Astroid City in 2023.
Despite a slowing work schedule and an alleged falling out with Marvel, Scarlett Johansson has been a leading voice in recent SAG-AFTRA strikes, telling Variety Magazine that the strikes would “forever change how revenue is determined” and suggesting that the strike, which recently concluded, “needed to happen for a long time.”
Scarlett Johansson is a Disney Adult
Despite the potential for bad blood following a lawsuit with Disney-owned Marvel, Johansson, who remains close with other MCU names like Chris Evans (Steve Rogers/ Captain America) and Christ Hemsworth (Thor), has made it loud and clear that she remains a big kid at heart.
In a recent interview with Variety, reported by CNN, the We Bought a Zoo (2011) actress expressed her full-fledged devotion to Disney, citing that as a child, she and her family were annual passholders at Disney World and shared a deep love for the parks.
The American actress, who actually spent some years living in Florida, provided details about her love for Disney animation, quoting classic films like Aladdin (1992) and The Little Mermaid (1989) as catalysts for her love of all things Disney!
It’s likely due to this love that as the SAG-AFTRA strikes end, Johansson continues working on Disney’s next project, themed after another one of its world-class theme attractions.
Disney Rides Make Great Films
Long before Scarlett Johansson became an Avenger helping to develop two of the top five all-time highest grossing films in Avengers: Infinity War (2018) and Avengers: End Game (2019), the Horse Whisperer (1998) actress was riding popular Disney attractions like Pirates of the Caribbean and Haunted Mansion.
Disney, who has struggled lately at the box office, is a master storyteller. Their ability to take a seemingly simple boat ride or track system and turn it into a deep, complex, and exciting story is a big reason why Disney World and Disneyland are two of the most sought-after tourist destinations in the world. Simply put, it’s what makes Disney more than a typical theme park.
For this reason, the leap from theme park ride to film has always made sense, and in some cases, such as Johnny Depp and Captain Jack Sparrow, it’s made hundreds of millions of dollars.
Where Does Black Widow Fit in MCU?
Of course, they can’t all be a winner like Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003). Disney has seen its share of failures when it comes to taking theme park ride stories and adapting them for the big screen. Tomorrowland (2015), featuring George Clooney, and the original attempt at The Haunted Mansion (2003) with Eddie Murphy were utter failures.
It would seem that for Disney theme park-based films to be successful, they deserve a generational talent, and someone like Scarlett Johansson, who has worked with famous names like Woody Allen, Wes Anderson, Matt Damon, and Tom Hanks, could be that person!
Johnasson has a ton of film credits to her name; despite being quoted as “hating” Woody Allen, her 2006 role in Scoop is a great example of how diverse she can be. The actress has appeared across several spans of the genre in titles like Ghost World (2001), Marriage Story (2019), and Match Point (2005), all point to a well-spoken, diverse actress who lights up the screen.
She even won a Tony Award in 2010 for Best Featured Actress in a Play after her Broadway debut performance in A View from the Bridge. Not only is she an accomplished onscreen presence, she can sing!
Disney’s next attempt at a theme-park-based film, much like 2023’s new rendition of The Haunted Mansion, will serve as an effort to redeem itself, and it’s up to Johansson to make it all work this time around.
As the strikes have ended, Scarlett has begun finalizing the script for Disney’s Tower of Terror film, reimagining the original Steven Guttenberg and Kirsten Dunst film from 1997. Working with Toy Story 4 (2019) co-writer and director Josh Cooley to make it happen, Tower of Terror will find itself in a separate pair of familiar MCU hands as director Taika Waititi, most famous for Marvel Projects like Thor: Ragnarok (2017) and Thor: Love and Thunder (2022), will take the reigns.
What We Know
There are a few details surrounding the new Tower of Terror film. As the new attempt at making the popular Hollywood Studios attraction is still in its pre-production stage due to the writer’s strike, work is only now getting underway to bring the script to Waititi for filming.
However, in a recent appearance on Today, Johnasson expressed her joy and excitement about rekindling the New York based project.
“Now that the writers’ strike is over, we can finally dive back into polishing up this script. It’s a massive, huge undertaking,” Johansson said, adding she’s “a huge Disney fan.”
We do know that Disney’s original attempt at making a Tower of Terror film, even though it was made for television, was an abysmal miss by Disney. Although many fans of the ride hold the movie in high regard, ultimately, it was a failure.
No release date has been provided for the upcoming Tower of Terror film.