Scarlett Johansson Reveals How Long Ago It Really Was When She And Kevin Feige Concocted Idea For Black Widow Film

Scarlett Johansson in Black Widow movie

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Normally when a superhero is leading their first movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, said movie also marks the first time we’re meeting that character, but there have been some exceptions to that rule. Captain America: Civil War introduced Black Panther and Spider-Man before they embarked on solo adventures, and the Black Widow movie is arriving 11 years after we met Scarlett Johansson’s Natasha Romanoff in Iron Man 2. As it turns out, it’s been close to that same amount of time that Scarlett Johansson and Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige first discussed Black Widow getting the cinematic spotlight to herself.

After originally being set to come out in May 2020, Black Widow is finally on track to play in theaters and on Disney+ (for an addition $29.99). Naturally, that means the movie’s talent is making the press rounds, and here’s what Scarlett Johansson had to say to ET when asked what she remembered about getting the call the day Kevin Feige and the other Marvel Studios bigwigs finally decided to move forward with Black Widow:

The one day. I was waiting on the phone for about 10 years just waiting for Kevin Feige. Just hold music for 10 years. I have a memory -- because we were all drinking a lot of red wine, this maybe is a real memory or a red wine memory, I'm not sure, but I think Kevin Feige remembers it too -- we were celebrating the press tour of the first Avengers movie, so kind of a while ago. We were all having a good old time and Feige and I sat across from each other at a table and he broached it and we started just talking about what it could be [and] the possibility of a standalone. And that was, I don't know, eight years ago or something like that and that would have been a very different movie than the one that we're making now.

It’s easy enough to imagine a reality where Marvel Studios greenlit Black Widow in the early 2010s, resulting in it being part of the Phase Two slate. And yes, this would have been quite a different story from what we’re getting with the actual Black Widow movie, as it either would have been set post-Avengers or perhaps explored Natasha Romanoff’s pre-Iron Man 2 life more in-depth. I’ll leave it up to your imagination on how that would have changed the flow of the MCU as a whole, but evidently Scarlett Johansson and Kevin Feige’s conversation during the press tour for The Avengers wasn’t enough to properly move that creative ball forward right away.

Instead, Black Widow went on to be a supporting player in the latter two Captain America movies and continued to be a key member of the Avengers lineup. Ultimately Natasha Romanoff’s MCU journey would conclude in Avengers: Endgame when she sacrificed herself so Clint Barton could obtain the Soul Stone, but Black Widow will wind the clock back to follow her between the events of Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War. For her part, Scarlett Johansson is happy it took so long to get Black Widow made, as now they were able to make the movie simply because they wanted to, rather than cram it in as a piece in the Infinity Saga puzzle.

Black Widow opens in theaters and premieres on Disney+’s Premier Access tier (you can sign up for the streaming service with this link) on July 9. And as always, keep checking back with CinemaBlend for the latest updates concerning upcoming Marvel movies.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore, Adam is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He started working for the site back in late 2014 writing exclusively comic book movie and TV-related articles, and along with branching out into other genres, he also made the jump to editing. Along with his writing and editing duties, as well as interviewing creative talent from time to time, he also oversees the assignment of movie-related features. He graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Journalism, and he’s been sourced numerous times on Wikipedia. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.