Since the Marvel Cinematic Universe exploded into the juggernaut it is today, fans have been wondering how things could have gone had other actors been cast in the roles of the world’s biggest superheroes. There were plenty of “almosts” when it comes to MCU castings, including Scarlett Johansson being passed on for the role of Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow. It was always known that Emily Blunt was in consideration for the part of the Russian assassin, but Johansson recently confirmed the Mary Poppins Returns actress had the role, and she was left in the dust.
Johansson remembered the casting dilemma that happened almost a decade ago when she recently caught up with Vanity Fair.
“I was visiting my husband at the time at work,” Johansson recounted. “I remember being in a random hotel somewhere. And I got that call and I was so, so disappointed. And then that was it. You know, life went on. I mean, I’ve certainly had enough experience of rejection.”
At the time, Johansson may not have realized the severity of losing out on the role that would have netted her tens of millions of dollars and absolute superstardom. Thankfully for the Marriage Story actress, Blunt had to drop out of the film, giving Johansson a second opportunity to play Natasha.
Iron Man 2 director Jon Favreau made the call to Johnasson about her getting the role after the Blunt debacle, and things went rather smoothly.
“I’m not one to hold a grudge or anything,” the 35-year-old remembered of being passed on. “I was super excited about it. And I met with Jon again, and we had a funny conversation about how he had not cast me. But I was excited. I was so stoked.”
The rest is history as Johansson went on to play Black Widow in seven MCU films, which will bump to eight when the heroine’s solo flick debuts in March. Filming for Black Widow wrapped last month, and the actress has noted that the film is about self-forgiveness and puts Natasha on a path to self-discovery. The movie is rumored to take place in the two-year gap between Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War.
In addition to Blunt almost portraying Natasha Romanoff, some other MCU almosts include Olivia Wilde as Gamora, Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Scott Lang/Ant-Man, Glenn Howerton as Peter Quill/Star-Lord, John Krasinski as Steve Rogers/Captain America, and Tom Cruise as Tony Stark/Iron Man.