Tony Stark Was in an Early Black Widow Draft, Here’s Why Robert Downey Jr. Didn’t Cameo
After a long wait, Marvel’s long overdue Black Widow is finally out in theaters and streaming on Disney+. But some fans were left disappointed when Tony Stark didn’t show up in the film. Stemming from unconfirmed reports, the Tony Stark cameo rumor had been circulating on the web since 2019. There had been a lot of talk about the rumor lately, but ultimately, it turned out to be false and Black Widow features only one Avenger. Although, Tony Stark is mentioned in passing. In an interview with ComicBook.com’s Phase Zero podcast, Black Widow writer Eric Pearson revealed that an early version of the script did include a Tony Stark appearance. Here is what Pearson said.
“I feel bad for the person who asked me this the other day because I said, ‘there was never any discussion,’ but I do remember now that one version of the script prior to me literally had written into it ‘The end moment of Civil War with Tony and Natasha,’ but it was old footage. It would have been ‘Hey audience, remember where we are, we’re going to key off of this moment of her.’ So it wouldn’t have been Robert Downey Jr. at least to the best of my knowledge, that was the only time that I saw Tony Stark’s name in was just a flag planted reminder of ‘Hey we’re right at the end of Civil War.'”
Black Widow changed multiple writers over the course of production, and only in a very early draft of the script did Tony Stark appear. Even then, it would not have actually featured Downey Jr. reprising his role and filming new scenes. It would have most likely been a deleted scene from Captain America: Civil War or perhaps a Downey Jr. stand-in talking to Natasha. (Like the superman cameo in Shazam). Marvel must have scrapped it to save the fans from disappointment. Recently, director Cate Shortland also talked about the absence of any other major Marvel characters (mainly Hawkeye) in Black Widow.
“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.”
Black Widow did reveal more about Clint Barton and Natasha’s Budapest mission, but it turned out to be an overly dark moment not as epic as previously thought of. But those who’ve seen the film would know that it does set up a Yelena Belova vs Clint Barton showdown. Hawkeye will return in the eponymously titled Disney+ show later this year.
Black Widow stars Scarlett Johansson as the titular spy in her last MCU appearance alongside a scene-stealing Florence Pugh as her sister Yelena. Also starring are Rachel Weisz, David Harbour, and O.T. Fagbenle. The film has received mostly positive reviews, praising the action sequences and the family drama.
So far, most of the criticism has been aimed at the weak antagonists. While Black Widow is far from the teary-eyed farewell that everyone was expecting for fan-favorite Natasha Romanoff, it is still an emotional and satisfying movie. The film also sets up Yelena as the future Black Widow. Florence Pugh is set to return in Hawkeye. This news comes to us from Winter is Coming.