Scarlett Johansson and Gwyneth Paltrow discussed being done with Marvel.
Scarlett Johansson recently appeared on Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop Podcast, where the two reminisced on their Marvel experiences and both expressed that those days are likely behind them. Variety reports that the pair, who met during the production of Iron Man 2, discussed how much they enjoyed having one another on set, despite rumors of a feud between the stars. To the contrary, they gravitated toward one another on the male-dominated production, with Johansson remarking that Paltrow could have been “awful” but instead was very kind to her.
Before Scarlett Johansson and Gwyneth Paltrow were attached to Marvel, neither actor had been in a production of such a large scale. Of the two, Johansson has gone on to do much more heavy action as Black Widow, even leading her own film centered on the character. It’s a far cry from where most viewers encountered her, in smaller films like the seriocomic Sofia Coppola film Lost in Translation, in which she shared the screen with Bill Murray.
Scarlett Johansson had a larger starring role than Gwyneth Paltrow in the Marvel films, as her character was one of the Avengers and became famous for her defensive acrobatics. But Paltrow’s improvisational banter and clear connection with Robert Downey Jr. in Iron Man was a highlight of Marvel Studios’ breakout success and helped ground that film in the humanity of its characters. Paltrow’s Pepper Potts later went on to gain temporary superpowers in Iron Man 3 before finally putting on the Rescue armor in Avengers: Endgame but says she’s “too old” for such exploits at this point, according to Variety.
Whether Scarlett Johansson and Gwyneth Paltrow are indeed too old for their Marvel roles is an open question, though, with stars like Sylvester Stallone reprising action-oriented roles well into their seventies. All the same, Johansson says she is “done” and that the Marvel “Chapter is over” for her. Paltrow, for her part, is similarly dismissive of her future with the studio.
Scarlett Johansson, though, isn’t counting Gwyneth Paltrow out of Marvel forever, noting that her character did not die and, therefore could be brought back at any time (not that death always keeps characters from returning in comic book and sci-fi movies). She went on in the interview to joke that Paltrow would be brought back as Pepper Potts repeatedly, saying, “100% that’s happening” and that the studio would never let Paltrow go. Whether she’s right or not, Star Trek: Picard has shown us that actors returning to re-inhabit beloved roles is possible well beyond any imagined age limit these days.
Scarlett Johansson and Gwyneth Paltrow have earned the right to take a permanent break from Marvel should they choose to do so, and it sounds likely that they will. Stranger things have happened, of course, and in today’s production environment, we’re not willing to bet against one or both of them at least making a cameo in the future, character deaths or not. As Marvel Studios seeks a way out of its present downward spiral, execs will need to keep their options open, and bringing back characters from the films that started it all would certainly be a viable way to go, but these two sound content to leave their super suits behind.