Black Widow director, Cate Shortland, confirms Marvel discussed including major MCU cameos in Scarlett Johansson’s long-awaited solo movie.
Warning: This post contains Black Widow spoilers.
Marvel Studios considered including major cameos in Black Widow of other Marvel Cinematic Universe heroes like Iron Man. Scarlett Johansson’s solo Black Widow movie is finally out in theaters and on Disney+ after multiple delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. MCU fans around the world can now see the movie and experience a new chapter in Natasha Romanoff’s story set during Captain America: Civil War. The 24th MCU movie might be set in the past, but it is connected to the main MCU story and sets up the future in major ways.
One part of Black Widow that might leave viewers surprised is the lack of any major MCU heroes appearing. This became common practice for Marvel Studios in Phase 3 with Hulk in Thor: Ragnarok, Nick Fury in Spider-Man: Far From Home and Captain Marvel, and most of the Avengers in Civil War. Rumors swirled during Black Widow‘s development that it would at least include a cameo from Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man. However, as viewers of the movie can attest, Tony Stark is not in Black Widow, and neither is any other established MCU hero.
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The absence of Iron Man or another familiar Avenger was at one point on the table for Black Widow, though. Director Cate Shortland spoke to GamesRadar about the movie, and the outlet asked her about those rumors of a Robert Downey Jr. cameo. She confirmed that she, Marvel Studios, and the film’s creative team discussed many different characters appearing. That idea, though, was then questioned by Kevin Feige, who suggested Black Widow doesn’t need any other Avengers. Read what Shortland said below:
Initially, there was discussions about everything, about all of the different characters. What we decided was, and I think Kevin was really great, he said, ‘She doesn’t need the boys.’ We didn’t want it to feel like she needs the support. We want her to stand alone. And she does.
When the rumors of Iron Man having a cameo in Black Widow originally surfaced, fans expected that this would happen with cut or familiar footage from Captain America: Civil War so Downey wouldn’t have to film anything new after Avengers: Endgame. This could’ve made sense given Black Widow‘s placement in the MCU timeline. The movie also could’ve featured organic cameos by Captain America at the very end or even Hawkeye during the Budapest mission flashbacks. Young versions of Nick Fury and Phil Coulson even could’ve appeared at the very beginning. Jeremy Renner’s voice is heard briefly during flashbacks, but Thunderbolt Ross is the only supporting cast member who has been in the MCU before – other than Valentina’s appearance in Black Widow‘s post-credits.
As fun as it could’ve been to see some other familiar faces in Black Widow, the reasoning to keep them out makes perfect sense. Black Widow fans waited over a decade to see this movie and one where Natasha Romanoff is in the spotlight. Other MCU characters could’ve worked in Black Widow and even driven more interest to the movie if they were marketed, but they undoubtedly would’ve been distractions too. Instead, Marvel Studios kept the focus on Natasha’s story in what is expected to be Scarlett Johansson’s final MCU appearance.
- Black Widow (2021)Release date: Jul 09, 2021
- Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021)Release date: Sep 03, 2021
- Eternals (2021)Release date: Nov 05, 2021
- Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021)Release date: Dec 17, 2021
- Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022)Release date: Mar 25, 2022
- Thor: Love and Thunder (2022)Release date: May 06, 2022
- Black Panther: Wakanda Forever/Black Panther 2 (2022)Release date: Jul 08, 2022
- The Marvels/Captain Marvel 2 (2022)Release date: Nov 11, 2022
- Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023)Release date: Feb 17, 2023
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (2023)Release date: May 05, 2023
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