Despite widespread rumors to the contrary, Black Widow was noticeably free of Avengers cameos as the film stood strong on its promise of delivering a truly standalone story featuring Scarlett Johansson‘s Natasha Romanov. Well, as standalone as you can get in the Marvel Cinematic Universe considering the movie takes place between the events of Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War. That’s a delicate needle to thread, but director Cate Shortland pulled it off as she weaved a tight family drama into the backdrop of the MCU.
In a new interview, Shortland praises Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige for making the call to not burden Black Widow with MCU cameos, which were in the mix. Notably, there were online reports of Robert Downey Jr. making an appearance, and more fittingly, Jeremy Renner‘s Hawkeye was also rumored to show up in a flashback that would explore the infamous Budapest mission that was referenced in the first Avengers film. Ultimately, neither cameo happened, and Shortland explains why the movie was stronger for it. Via Total Film:
“Initially, there was discussions about everything, about all of the different characters,” she tells GamesRadar+ and 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.”
To Feige and Shortland’s credit, Black Widow flew into theaters and immediately knocked out F9 to become the highest-grossing movie since the pandemic started. It also brought an impressive haul on Disney+ with Premier Access, which could have a big impact on hybrid release strategies and theatrical windows moving forward.
(Via Total Film)