The problem with any big name actor being either killed off or written out of a major role in a blockbuster franchise is that it doesn’t do anything whatsoever to stem the tide of speculation surrounding a potential return. For instance, Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans have repeatedly been linked with suiting up for a comeback in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, despite both stars gracefully bowing out in Avengers: Endgame less than two years ago and each pouring cold water on the rumors in the interim.
Meanwhile, by the time Black Widow finally hits theaters in July, not only will it arrive fourteen months behind schedule, but it’ll be a decade since Scarlett Johansson first floated the possibility of a solo movie to Kevin Feige. And while Natasha Romanoff bit the dust over the course of the Infinity Saga’s concluding double header, she’s nonetheless found herself constantly rumored to come back in no time at all.
In fact, insider Daniel Richtman reports that the actress is getting a big pay raise to return to the franchise, but doesn’t outline where or when this is supposed to happen, or even how much money we’re talking about. The MCU made Johansson one of the highest-paid female talents in Hollywood, though, with Black Widow marking the third consecutive film she’s pocketed an upfront salary of $15 million for plus the additional profits earned on the back end, so it’s not like she was ever working for pennies.
Of course, this isn’t the first time Richtman has linked Scarlett Johansson with a return, and it more than likely won’t be the last, but as always, we won’t know for sure what her plans are until either the actress, Feige or Marvel Studios outline any future projects that involve her Black Widow.