Black Widow writer Eric Pearson recently claimed that a Tony Stark cameo was cut from an earlier version of the film’s script, while the film’s director Cate Shortland revealed that an executive decision was made to ensure no male Avengers would show up in the movie.
Speaking with ComicBook.com’s podcast Phase Zero, Pearson was asked about the Tony Stark rumors that had been circulating before the film’s release and if there was any validity to them.
— Phase Zero – MCU (@PhaseZeroCB) July 14, 2021
Pearson answered, “I feel bad for the person who asked me 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 of like I’m not the one who has to watch my…”
He continued, “But it was old footage. It would have been hey audience remember where we are. We are going to key off this moment of her. So it wouldn’t have been Robert Downey… at least to the best of my knowledge. That’s the only time I ever saw Tony Stark’s name in, was just kind of a flag planted reminder that hey we’re right at the end of Civil War.”
Pearson then recalled, “I remember when those rumors came out. I was in London, in our war room office and I just looked around and I was like, ‘Are we…? Am I supposed to be…? I have the script right here, Tony Stark’s not in it.’ And everyone was like, ‘No. Did you see anything? No, we didn’t.’
“I don’t know where it came from unless somebody got a very old version where this kind of scene, which wasn’t even a new scene. I don’t know. I don’t know where it came from,” he stated.
Pearson went on to reveal that he wrote a Captain Marvel screenplay that is “100% different” than the version that came out.
While Pearson confirmed there was indeed a Tony Stark cameo using Civil War footage in an earlier script, Black Widow director Cate Shortland revealed in an interview with Total Film that Kevin Feige made the executive decision to ensure no male Avengers were showcased in the film.
Shortland explained, “Initially, there was discussions about everything, about all of the different characters. 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.”
However, at the end of the day, Black Widow doesn’t stand alone at all. They introduced Red Guardian, Yelena Belova, and Melina Vostokoff to help her out.
If this sounds familiar, it should because it’s a very similar response to what Kevin Feige gave for why Doctor Strange was not included in WandaVision.
Feige explained they actually had a deal in place to have Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange show up, but then went on to tell why they ended up cutting him out.
He said, “I haven’t talked about this before, but we had a deal with Benedict [Cumberbatch] to pop up at the end of WandaVision, or somewhere in WandaVision.”
He continued, “Because we knew we wanted to connect them [Wanda’s next appearance is in the second Dr. Strange movie, next year’s Dr. Strange in the Multiverse of Madness], and wouldn’t it be great. But as we worked on the show, and on the movie, we realized there was no reason to really do that.”
As for why he was cut he told Rolling Stone, “Some people might say, ‘Oh, it would’ve been so cool to see Doctor Strange.’ But it would have taken away from Wanda.”
“We didn’t want the end of the show to be commoditized to go to the next movie – here’s the white guy, ‘Let me show you how power works,'” he concluded.
Feige’s explanation for Doctor Strange especially the part about commoditizing the show for the next film is a load of crap given he clearly pitched the Disney+ shows as interconnected to the MCU.
At Brazil CCXP 2019, Feige stated, “After Endgame, thinking, ‘What can we do next?’ Disney+ is going to give us this opportunity to tell even deeper stories with characters you already know and love…in a new type of cinematic way that we haven’t done before. We’ve already started shooting two of them and they’re very, very special.”
He added, “And it all, for the first time, will interlink. So, the MCU will be on your TV screen at home on Disney+ and interconnect with the movies and go back and forth. It’s exciting to expand the MCU into even bigger and better heights.”
On top of this, the ending of Loki also shows just how full of crap Feige’s explanation is, as they revealed Kang the Conqueror at the end of Loki seemingly hinting at the next major Big Bad in the Marvel Cinematic Universe similar to how they teased Thanos at the end of The Avengers.
What do you make of Pearson’s reveal that there was a Tony Stark cameo planned using Civil War footage? What about Shortland’s reveal that Feige wanted to ensure there were no male Avengers showing up in the film?