Girl power, indeed.
Black Widow made its delayed and highly anticipated debut last Friday (July 9), and while it was first reported by Deadline in September 2019 that Robert Downey Jr. would make a cameo as Tony Stark/Iron Man, the finished product opted against major MCU superheroes stealing the spotlight from Natasha Romanoff's (Scarlett Johnasson) final farewell.
"Initially, there was discussions about everything, about all of the different characters," Black Widow director Cate Shortland told GamesRadar+ and Total Film. "What we decided was, and I think [Marvel Studios President] Kevin [Feige] 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."
The numbers speak for themselves:
In terms of opening weekends (domestic) for MCU solo films, #BlackWidow opens bigger than:— Erik Davis (@ErikDavis) July 11, 2021
- Both Ant-Man films
- The Incredible Hulk
- The first Thor movie
- The first Captain America movie pic.twitter.com/cS7kAmL5BW
Black Widow is a prequel that follows Natasha "in her quests between" Captain America: Civil War (2016) and Avengers: Infinity War (2018). Florence Pugh, David Harbour and Rachel Weisz rounded out the cast.
Johansson confirmed in this new Fatherly interview published last Thursday (July 8) that she is ready to leave Natasha behind.
"I have no plans to return as Natasha," the 36-year-old Oscar nominee said. "I feel really satisfied with this film. It feels like a great way to go out for this chapter of my Marvel identity. I would love to be able to continue to collaborate with Marvel in other ways because I think there’s just an incredible wealth of stories there. Re-imagining this genre is something that I find very interesting. I think there’s a lot of opportunities to tell these stories in different ways than audiences have come to expect."
That shouldn't totally come as a surprise considering Black Widow/Natasha died in 2019's Avengers: Endgame.