Scarlett Johansson Replaced Joss Whedon’s Shocking First Choice For Avengers

By Apeksha Bagchi | 3 weeks ago

scarlett johansson joss whedon

Marvel Studios has always been lauded for its perfect choices in picking the right actors for its classic characters. To date, whether it was Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark a.k.a. Iron Man, Dave Bautista’s casting as Drax, or Scarlett Johansson as the Black Widow, Marvel has always chosen actors who appear to be born just to play their respective roles in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But while the chosen actors were rarely the first choice to play their parts, a recent shocking update has revealed that Scarlett Johansson almost didn’t make the cut for 2012’s The Avengers. Apparently, Joss Whedon planned to present a different actress and a completely different superhero as the first female Avenger in the MCU. 

As diehard MCU fans already know, while Scarlett Johansson’s Natasha Romanoff a.k.a. Black Widow debuted with Iron Man 2, her status went from being a mere agent of S.H.I.E.L.D to being an Avenger with the 2012 film. But according to Senior Vice President of Marvel Studios Jeremy Latcham’s recent admission in the newly released book The Story of Marvel Studios: The Making of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (Via The Direct), this was not always the plan with Scarlett Johansson. Initially, when Joss Whedon was working on the film, his first choice was to make the Wasp the first female Avenger and have actress Zooey Deschanel play the Marvel character. “It was all about The Wasp. He wanted to cast Zooey Deschanel. [Wasp] was the funniest character in the whole movie, and well-written,” Latcham revealed.

For those who are still lamenting the demise of Natasha in Avengers Endgame, it seems impossible to even consider that she almost didn’t make it to the over-arching storyline. But at the time, Whedon was finding it hard to factor her character arc into the biggest MCU crossover till then. Thankfully, not only did Scarlett Johansson end up joining the Avengers but we also got Evangeline Lily as the perfect Wasp in 2018’s Ant-Man. 

And seems like Scarlett Johansson will be continuing her decade-long association with Disney. A few months ago, the Marvel star had filed a lawsuit against the House of Mouse after it went ahead and released Black Widow simultaneously in the theatres and on Disney+. This reportedly went against the contract the company had signed with the actress and cost her millions of dollars in revenue. But recently, after a lengthy and rather ugly legal battle, Johnasson and Disney have resolved their issues without taking the matter to their first court hearing, originally scheduled to take place in March 2022. 

In their respective statements (via Deadline), both Scarlett Johansson and Disney have spoken rather positively about each other, contrary to the bitter barbs the two have been exchanging before the matter was settled. Johansson has assured that she intends to continue her “creative relationship” with Disney in the future. Additionally, Alan Bergman, Chairman, Disney Studios Content, has expressed his happiness over finally resolving the legal technicalities regarding Black Widow. He also effectively quashed recent rumors of Disney outing Scarlett Johansson from the upcoming Tower of Terror project and assured that the production house is looking forward to collaborating with the actress on several upcoming projects.