Earlier this week, a new poll revealed that the MCU character fans most want to see in a standalone film is — unsurprisingly, still — Black Widow. Phase 3 is set to conclude in 2019 with Avengers: Infinity War (which will soon undergo a title change), and the only film Kevin Feige has confirmed for Phase 4 so far is Guardians of the Galaxy 3 (which may or may not be directed by James Gunn). And although he doesn’t 100-percent-confirm it here, Feige presents a Black Widow solo movie as a very real possibility for Phase 4.

In a Q&A with Deadline today, Feige seemed more optimistic about a Black Widow film than ever before. When asked about the potential for MCU characters who have only appeared in team-ups to star in a standalone project, Feige said:

We’ve announced the next nine movies, ten counting Civil War, through the end of 2019. Where we go beyond that are ongoing discussions that we’ll focus on in the next few years because we have a lot to do before then. Of the characters that you’ve just mentioned I would say certainly the one creatively and emotionally that we are most committing to doing is Black Widow.

We think she’s an amazing character. We think Scarlett Johansson’s portrayal of her is amazing. She’s a lead Avenger and has amazing stories in her own right to tell that we think would be fun to turn into a standalone franchise.

It’s crazy that Scarlett Johansson’s Avenger hasn’t had her own solo outing yet, given the character’s immense popularity among Marvel fans and the actress’ proven bankability. Feige has previously said that he’s had discussions with Johansson about the possibility of a Black Widow solo film, and just this past week, the Russo brothers told Collider that it would be a “no-brainer” — but basically it comes down to finding the right spot on the schedule.

That’s a notion reiterated by Feige, and it certainly makes sense; not only do they have to find the right time on the calendar, but they have to work with Johansson’s schedule and ensure that whatever standalone story they tell still connects to the larger MCU narrative. While the Russos are game, it’s unclear what they’ll be doing after the Infinity War two-parter — and it seems unlikely that they’d stay married to Marvel for another 10 years.

Still, although a Black Widow film is not quite guaranteed, this is definitely closer to happening than it was even a week ago.

More From KLAW-FM