No one quite knows — aside from Marvel Studios and perhaps the Russo brothers — what is happening in the Marvel universe after Avengers: Endgame. As far as we know, half of the universe has been destroyed, including many of our heroes (for some reason, all of the new ones). Marvel Studios has already promised that Endgame will be even more brutal than its predecessor, Avengers: Infinity War.
Even so, Marvel has already released a whole list of upcoming movies for the next few years, some of which involve heroes who were zapped by Thanos at the end of Infinity War.
One upcoming film is the Black Widow movie, which will star Scarlett Johansson. According to Comic Book, the film centered around the former assassin and S.H.I.E.L.D. agent will be the first in the Marvel cinematic universe with a rating higher than PG-13.
The project already has a lead actress, a director in the form of Cate Shortland, and a screenwriter in the form of Jac Schaeffer. With the project coming together now, it seems like Marvel is breaking away from its previous films with this one, turning it into their first R-rated movie.
The rumors come from a gossip site, which means it has hardly been confirmed by the studio itself.
— Comicbook.com (@ComicBook) January 27, 2019
Crazy Days & Nights writes that “if the experiment goes horribly wrong they have a woman to blame for it which is what this studio wanted.”
Although a little blunt, the Hollywood gossip site has previously made such correct predictions in the past.
Given Black Widow’s history as a Russian assassin, it doesn’t seem too far-fetched to believe that the film could be given an R-rating for extreme and graphic violence. There are whispers that the film will be set in the past, more as an origin story for Natasha than as a post-apocalyptic story set after Avengers: Endgame.
It also seems likely that the incredible success of a film like Deadpool and its second installment has bolstered the decision by the studio to finally put out an R-rated film of their own. Whether they will keep it under the banner of Marvel Studios or put it under a spin-off banner instead is still not clear.
We don’t yet know if Natasha will survive the next Avengers movie, but we do know that Johansson’s contract with the studio is up. She has not commented on whether she has plans to sign a new one.