In speaking with Screenrant, Johansson confirms that she will not be appearing in Iron Man 3 despite figuring heavily into Iron Man 2 and The Avengers. It looks like S.H.I.E.L.D. might be sitting this one out entirely, a well-deserved vacation after The Avengers.
Black Widow figured prominently in Iron Man 2 as her character was introduced to watch over Tony Stark and assess his readiness to join the Avengers initiative. Johansson trained extensively for the role and put that training to use when infiltrating Justin Hammer and Whiplash's control center in the film's final act.
Girl power will be well represented in Iron Man 3 by Jessica Chastain who is reportedly in final negotiations to join the flick as an equal part sexy and brainy scientist. She sounds like just the type of character needed to help keep Stark's ego in check when Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow ) isn't around.
Also unofficially on board Iron Man 3 are Guy Pearce as a geneticist developing the Extremis technology that will figure heavily into the plot, and Ben Kingsley as the main villain.
As for Scarlett Johansson, she has openly talked about wanting to appear in either a S.H.I.E.L.D.-centric film or in Black Widow's own solo tale. She's even pitched the latter to Marvel brass in hopes of building some enthusiasm and support for the idea. I'd personally rather see her and S.H.I.E.L.D. tackle a mission without superpowers intervention.
Iron Man 3 will blast off on May 3, 2013, almost exactly one year after The Avengers takes aim at box office records.