Warning: This post contains major spoilers for Avengers: Endgame.
We’ve learned not to trust certain Marvel Cinematic Universe actors with hefty secrets. Nearly a full year before Avengers: Infinity War came out, Mark Ruffalo spilled the beans that “everybody dies” in the end, much to costar Don Cheadle’s chagrin. And don’t even get us started on the so-charming-that-you-can’t-even-be-mad-at-him Tom Holland. But nobody would have expected Scarlett Johansson to fall into the same category.
And yet, despite so convincingly breathing life into superspy Natasha Romanoff, it seems like Johansson isn’t above occasionally letting a spoiler slip. Weeks before the release of Avengers: Endgame, Johansson and her costars Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, and Paul Rudd brought the Marvel hype to an episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live!
At the beginning of the interview, host Jimmy Kimmel toyed with the idea that he could be experiencing the very last time the Avengers assemble on his talk show to promote one of their movies. (The implication being that not all the Avengers would be making it out of Endgame alive.)
Downey was coy, telling Kimmel, “ The future is very uncertain,” keeping things vague in proper pre-movie fashion. After a beat, however, Johansson nudged Downey and said with a laugh, “Don’t lie to him. We’re not ever coming back.” (The back-and-forth transpires early on in the above video, with Kimmel ruminating on the end of an era shortly before the 1:30 mark.)
Though this played at the time more than anything else as a gentle ribbing of Kimmel, in retrospect it does seem like Johansson was having fun with the secret that she and Downey shared: that both their characters, Natasha and Tony Stark, would be biting the dust in Avengers: Endgame. (Fear not, Black Widow diehards— she’ll be back in some form.)
Thankfully, nobody seems to have caught on. Even when dropping big clues, Black Widow is more stealthy than her giant green and web-slinging colleagues.