Black Widow screenwriter Eric Pearson has revealed that Tony Stark (AKA Iron Man, played by Robert Downey Jr) originally had a cameo in one version of the movie's script.
"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," Pearson said in an interview with ComicBook.com's Phase Zero podcast.
"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.'"
In our own interview with Cate Shortland, the director said she wanted Black Widow to stand on her own two feet.
"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."
Black Widow is the first Marvel Phase 4 movie (although Disney Plus TV shows like WandaVision and Loki have kicked off proceedings on the small screen). Set after the events of Captain America: Civil War, the movie sees Scarlett Johansson take one final turn as Natasha Romanoff (AKA Black Widow) – the character, along with Tony Stark, met a fateful end in Avengers: Endgame, so this is likely to be the last time we see her on the big screen.
Pearson was unsure how the rumors of the cameo started, adding: "I don't know where it came from unless somebody got a very old version with this kind of scene, which wasn't even a new scene. I don't know, I don't know where it came from."
Natasha's solo movie has certainly been a long time coming, with fans keen to see her take center stage for more than a decade now. Black Widow will see her taking on life as a fugitive and reconnecting with figures from her past as a KGB agent. Directed by Cate Shortland, the movie also stars Florence Pugh, Rachel Weisz, David Harbour, and O-T Fagbenle.
Black Widow is currently showing in theaters and on Disney Plus Premier Access. If you've already seen it, get ready for the rest of the upcoming MCU movies and TV shows with our guide to the Marvel timeline.