Scarlett Johansson reflects on originally being turned down for Iron Man 2

Scarlett Johansson in Iron Man 2
(Image credit: Disney/Marvel)

Scarlett Johansson has reflected on originally losing out on the role of Natasha Romanoff in the MCU. The Black Widow star was not the first choice to play the character in Iron Man 2, but ultimately portrayed the super spy for over 10 years. 

"I got turned down for two roles – the first was Iron Man 2 and then the other one was Alfonso Cuarón's Gravity,'" Johansson told Variety. "I had wanted that role so much. It was sort of the straw that broke the camel's back. I felt really frustrated and hopeless. Like, 'Am I doing the right job?' The work I was being offered felt deeply unfulfilling. I think I was offered every Marilyn Monroe script ever. I was like, 'Is this the end of the road creatively?'"

Emily Blunt was cast as Black Widow in Iron Man 2, but contractual obligations meant she had to drop out to film Gulliver's Travels instead. Johansson took over, and the rest is history. 

"That movie wasn't going to move the needle forward in terms of how my character was written, but there was potential for what it could be – a potential for growth in subsequent films," Johansson added. 

In the same interview, the actor also reflected on her Disney lawsuit. Johansson sued the studio following the simultaneous theatrical and Disney Plus Premier Access release of Black Widow. 

"I was sad and disappointed. But mostly sad," she commented. "It was such a surreal moment because we were all isolated and just sort of emerging a little bit. I was also really heavily pregnant, too, which in a weird way was amazing timing. Suddenly, your entire attention is drawn to this miracle of life. So, I had the most wonderful distraction in the world and soon after had a beautiful baby."

Next up for Johansson is Wes Anderson's Asteroid City, which is getting a wide release this June 23. In the meantime, check out our guide to all the upcoming major movie release dates for everything else 2023 has in store. 

Molly Edwards
Entertainment Writer

I'm an Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering all things film and TV for the site's Total Film and SFX sections. I previously worked on the Disney magazines team at Immediate Media, and also wrote on the CBeebies, MEGA!, and Star Wars Galaxy titles after graduating with a BA in English.