BLACK WIDOW Director Reveals Whether There Was Any Truth To Those Rumors About An Iron Man Cameo

BLACK WIDOW Director Reveals Whether There Was Any Truth To Those Rumors About An Iron Man Cameo

Black Widow director Cate Shortland has revealed whether those rumours about Robert Downey Jr. showing up as Tony Stark/Iron Man were accurate, all while explaining why it ultimately didn't happen...

Near the end of Captain America: Civil War, Tony Stark warned Natasha Romanoff that General Ross would be coming after her when she decided to help Captain America and Bucky evade capture. 

In Black Widow [Minor Spoiler Warning], the hero is already on the run and manages to evade Ross with relative ease. As a result, the long-rumoured Iron Man cameo never happens, which is a surprise when it was widely rumoured that the character would appear (with it later suggested that unused footage from Civil War would be featured in the solo adventure). 

So, was Tony ever set to factor into the first Phase 4 movie? 

"Initially, there was discussions about everything, about all of the different characters," Black Widow director Cate Shortland tells Total Film. "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."

While it's certainly possible that Marvel Studios considered opening the movie with an Iron Man cameo, it seems the decision was made fairly early on not to rely on "bigger" names from the wider MCU.

Black Widow is now playing in theaters and on Disney+'s Premier Access service, and the response from fans has so far been extremely positive. We're expecting box office numbers later today or tomorrow, but it is looking likely that the first Phase 4 movie is going to vastly exceed expectations. 


Click on the "Next" button below for our breakdown
of what did and didn't work in Black Widow!

Did Work: A Story Worth Telling

83948342134w

"What's the point of a Black Widow movie?" That's a question fans have been asking for a while now, especially after Natasha Romanoff's story came to an end in Avengers: Endgame. It's no secret that this movie is set between the events of Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War, and rest assured this proves to be a story that's worth telling.

There's little here that really explains what the MCU looked like in the wake of the Sokovia Accords being enforced, but that means you'll find a lot more than just a series of cameos and Easter Eggs. 

This hard-hitting story about family fleshes out Natasha's past, while also laying the groundwork for this shared world's future. Did we need this to explore this corner of the MCU? Some will argue that the answer is "no," but you'd be mad to think that after watching because this movie is a blast.
 

Didn't Work: No Budapest (Or Winter Soldier)

83948342134w2

Without spoiling anything too major here, there is a flashback to the mission that saw Natasha join S.H.I.E.L.D. (you'll even hear a familiar voice), but we don't get to see Hawkeye and Black Widow fighting side-by-side in Budapest. In some ways, that would be completely unnecessary as the movie tells us more than enough about what led to them teaming up. 

As a result, showing it really would have been superfluous to the larger story being told, with a flashback doing little to add to the overall narrative. However, there are ways the movie could have been structured to allow for that, and it's easy to imagine a lot of fans being disappointed. 

It's also a shame that the teased history between Natasha and The Winter Soldier we first heard about in Captain America: Civil War isn't addressed in any way, which is a pity when you have to believe him showing up in the Red Room or taking down Red Guardian before he was imprisoned would have been a cool way to tie a lot of lingering plot threads together. 
 

Did Work: Blockbuster Action

83948342134w21

Black Widow doesn't have superpowers, but that doesn't mean Marvel Studios doesn't pull out all the stops for this action-packed solo movie. Yes, things do get a little explodey in the final act, but that was to be expected, and the visuals are nothing short of incredible throughout. 

Whether it's Natasha's battles with Taskmaster, her and Yelena going on the run through Budapest, or an incredible prison break sequence (that includes an avalanche), this movie never disappoints.

So, rest assured that while this first Phase 4 movie doesn't feature a character like Thor or Doctor Strange, it never shies away from making this one of Marvel's most action-packed titles. That alone promises to make this a must-watch on the biggest screen you can find.
 

Did Work: Family Dynamic

83948342134w212

You've probably heard a lot about Black Widow being a movie about family, and that's 100% the case. The bizarre dynamic shared by Alexei, Melina, Natasha, and Yelena takes up a decent chunk of the movie, with the dinner scene above an undeniable highlight (albeit a fairly brief one).

It's how things play out throughout the rest of the movie that really resonates, though, including a flashback to Natasha and Yelena's childhood, and the way those two women bond after finding each other again. We can believe that they're "sisters," and the chemistry Scarlett Johansson and Florence Pugh share is phenomenal.

However, it's Red Guardian's relationship with his "daughters" that becomes perhaps the most touching part of this blockbuster. When we do catch up with these characters again, Marvel Studios has ensured we'll fully buy into them mourning for Natasha, despite the fact that their history with her has only been explored in one movie. 
 

Didn't Work: An Abrupt Ending

83948342134w2123

Again, we're not going to drop anything too huge here, but if there's one part of Black Widow that will almost certainly leave you feeling disappointed, it's the way things so rapidly conclude. 

After the final battle, it feels a lot like Marvel Studios suddenly remembered they had to get Natasha in the right place to explain how she ended up fighting alongside the Secret Avengers in Infinity War. As a result, that leaves a noteworthy plot hole, a big unanswered question, and a sense of confusion. It's almost as if there's a scene missing or there were once plans for a different ending. 

Perhaps this will all be addressed down the line, with the reveal that Natasha was replaced off screen by a Skrull imposter. We're not banking on it, though, and this is the only sloppy part of an otherwise excellent movie.
 

Did Work: "T-800" Taskmaster

83948342134w21233

The Taskmaster costume certainly isn't the best design Marvel Studios' talented team of concept artists has come up with, but we're pleased to report that it looks a lot better in motion. 

From the character's very first appearance on screen, it's clear he's a force to be reckoned with, and a legit threat to even someone like Natasha (who has fought aliens, robots, and even her fellow Avengers at this point). We'd have liked to see him pull a few more moves from well-known heroes and villains from his arsenal, but there's hopefully room for that down the line. 

Regardless, this version of Taskmaster is an absolute beast, and comparisons to the T-800 in Terminator are definitely appropriate. It feels like the surface of this villain has barely been scratched in Black Widow, so fingers crossed we don't have another Ghost on our hands here. 
 

Did Work: Taskmaster's Secret Identity

83948342134w212332

Don't panic, we're not about to spill the beans on who is really beneath that hood! A few of us have seen the movie here at CBM already, and none of us experienced this reveal in the exact same way.

Someone telegraphed it from the start, another writer was taken completely by surprise, while the third figured it out as the movie progressed (by a process of elimination). Whatever happens with you, rest assured that this big Black Widow reveal is almost certainly going to leave a lasting impact.

It could have gone badly wrong, but it proves to be a clever twist and one Marvel Studios handled well. We'd definitely have appreciated spending a little more time with the unmasked Taskmaster, but it seems like that's a story for another day...well, as we mentioned before, we certainly hope so, anyway!
 

Did Work: Everything About Red Guardian

83948342134w2123324

After the disappointment that was Hellboy, David Harbour has fully redeemed himself as Black Widow's Red Guardian. Despite occasionally falling into the role of "comic relief," there are more than enough emotional beats to help Alexei become a three-dimensional character we're now keen to see much more of in the MCU.

He may be out of shape, but Red Guardian also just so happens to be a legit badass, and whether it's a prequel exploring his glory days as a superhero for the Soviet Union or a follow-up to this movie, we'd love to see where he can go from here. 

It's also worth mentioning Rachel Weisz's Melina here, because while we don't want to get into too many specifics (due to spoilers), we think you'll love what she brings to the table. Fierce and quirky in equal measures, she another character with future storytelling potential. 
 

Didn't Work: An Unnecessary Ally

83948342134w21233243

O. T. Fagbenle is a talented actor, but in Black Widow...well, he doesn't really add much to this movie. As Rick Mason, he's a character who has a shared history with Natasha, and their playful banter is by no means a chore to sit through; it just doesn't make much of a difference to anything! 

He's basically just there as a plot device to provide the hero with the weapons she needs, and there are definitely ways Mason could have been completely cut. If so, he honestly wouldn't have been missed.

Wasting Fagbenle is on Marvel Studios, and while not everyone needs to have an alter-ego or be set up to appear in a future project, there are probably better supporting players who could have been plucked from the comic books. Sure, there are ways Mason could return down the line, but it's hard to imagine anyone crying out for that the way they have with other characters. 
 

Did Work: The MCU's New Black Widow

83948342134w212332434

Black Widow definitely doesn't end with Yelena Belova picking up Natasha's mantle and running off to join The Avengers, but it certainly feels like the plan is for her to take on that role in the MCU.

In a lot of ways, it seems Phase 4 is all about passing mantles (just look at what's happened with Captain America, not to mention what we know about plans for Thor and Hawkeye). Having Yelena pick up where Natasha left off just makes sense and gives the MCU another badass female character for people to root for who doesn't boast the same powers as Captain Marvel or Sersi.

This is a character with a lot of potential, especially as she's clearly going to be a very different Black Widow to her predecessor. At times, this feels more like Yelena's movie than Natasha's, but not in a bad way, and you'll be left very excited about where this badass superspy is going next...
 

DISCLAIMER: Comic Book Movie is protected under the DMCA (Digital Millenium Copyright Act) and... [MORE]
Related Headlines
BLACK WIDOW Exclusive Interview With Visual Effects Supervisor Matthew Giampa

BLACK WIDOW Exclusive Interview With Visual Effects Supervisor Matthew Giampa

To celebrate the 4K and Blu-ray release of Marvel Studios' Black Widow, we recently caught up with visual effects supervisor Matthew Giampa from Scanline VFX to talk about his work on the film!
BLACK WIDOW Director Cate Shortland On The One Scene Kevin Feige Fought To Keep In The Movie

BLACK WIDOW Director Cate Shortland On The One Scene Kevin Feige Fought To Keep In The Movie

Quite a few important scenes ended up being cut from Black Widow, and if it wasn't for Kevin Feige, it sounds like one of the best sequences would have joined them! Find out more after the jump...
BLACK WIDOW Deleted Scene Makes Sense Of That Ending And Seemingly Teases The Thunderbolts

BLACK WIDOW Deleted Scene Makes Sense Of That Ending And Seemingly Teases The Thunderbolts

A deleted scene from Black Widow has found its way online which finally makes sense of that apparent plot hole and may even tease General "Thunderbolt" Ross' plans to assemble a team of his own in the MCU.
BLACK WIDOW Will Be Available To All Disney+ Subscribers (For Free!) Starting This Wednesday, October 6

BLACK WIDOW Will Be Available To All Disney+ Subscribers (For Free!) Starting This Wednesday, October 6

Disney+ has announced today that Marvel Studios' Black Widow will start streaming for free starting this Wednesday, and the news is accompanied by a cool new poster and TV spot. Check them out here...
SHANG-CHI's Success May Have Given Scarlett Johansson Leverage In BLACK WIDOW Lawsuit

SHANG-CHI's Success May Have Given Scarlett Johansson Leverage In BLACK WIDOW Lawsuit

We recently learned that Disney and Scarlett Johansson agreed to settle their lawsuit, and it's now come to light that the success of Shang-Chi may have given the Black Widow star the leverage she needed.
Latest Headlines
5 Characters Marvel Television And Netflix Got Right (And 5 They Totally Screwed Up)

5 Characters Marvel Television And Netflix Got Right (And 5 They Totally Screwed Up)

Over the years, Marvel Television introduced lots of great comic book characters on Netflix, and with that era of storytelling officially at an end, we're looking back at who they got right...and wrong!
SPIDER-MAN: NO WAY HOME Stills Show Doctor Ock In Pursuit Of Spidey; Jon Watts Teases Spider-Man: Endgame

SPIDER-MAN: NO WAY HOME Stills Show Doctor Ock In Pursuit Of Spidey; Jon Watts Teases "Spider-Man: Endgame"

Some new stills from Spider-Man: No Way Home have been released teasing the battle between Spidey and Doctor Octopus, while Jon Watts, Kevin Feige, and Tom Holland tease the epic scale of the threequel...
Sony Dates A Pair Of Mystery Marvel Movies For 2023 - VENOM 3 Confirmed?

Sony Dates A Pair Of Mystery Marvel Movies For 2023 - VENOM 3 Confirmed?

To cap off a busy week, Sony has dated a pair of untitled Marvel movies for 2023, and while both remain a relative mystery for now, it seems more probable than not that one of them will be Venom 3!
STAR WARS: Hayden Christensen To Return As Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader For AHSOKA

STAR WARS: Hayden Christensen To Return As Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader For AHSOKA

Some big news for Star Wars fans here, as Hayden Christensen is set to reprise the role of Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader for the upcoming Disney+ Ahsoka series alongside Rosario Dawson...
Ryan Gosling To Play Ken Opposite Margot Robbie's BARBIE In Warner Bros.' Live-Action Movie

Ryan Gosling To Play Ken Opposite Margot Robbie's BARBIE In Warner Bros.' Live-Action Movie

Warner Bros.' live-action Barbie movie, which will star Margot Robbie (The Suicide Squad) as the iconic Mattel doll, has found its Ken in the form of Ryan Gosling (Blade Runner 2049).
ART AND SOUL OF DUNE Takes Us Behind-The-Scenes Of Denis Villeneuve's Sci-Fi Adaptation

ART AND SOUL OF DUNE Takes Us Behind-The-Scenes Of Denis Villeneuve's Sci-Fi Adaptation

Dune has now arrived in U.S. theaters, and new official companion book The Art and Soul of Dune by Executive Producer Tanya LaPointe takes fans behind-the-scenes of the much anticipated film!
DUNE Off To A Promising Start At Domestic Box Office With $5.1M From Thursday Night Preview Screenings

DUNE Off To A Promising Start At Domestic Box Office With $5.1M From Thursday Night Preview Screenings

While the movie's opening weekend haul is obviously TBD, Denis Villeneuve's Dune is off to a strong start at the domestic box office after taking in over $5 million from Thursday preview screenings.
ETERNALS TV Spot Compares Ikaris To Superman; Preview Of Ramin Djawadi's Soundtrack Also Revealed

ETERNALS TV Spot Compares Ikaris To Superman; Preview Of Ramin Djawadi's Soundtrack Also Revealed

Marvel Studios has released a new TV spot for Eternals featuring a longer version of that Superman nod, while we also have a 30-second preview of Ramin Djawadi's (Game of Thrones) incredible score...