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Scarlett Johansson Nearly Lost Her $400,000 Payday in Robert Downey Jr’s Iron Man Because of Emily Blunt

Scarlett Johansson has turned herself into a fan favorite ever since her first appearance as Black Widow in the Avengers franchise. Headlining with the likes of Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, Chris Evans as Captain America, Mark Ruffalo as Hulk, Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye, and Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow shined in her own right in the 2012 Avengers. The movie also featured Samuel L. Jackson and Tom Hiddleston as Nick Fury and Thor’s brother, Loki, respectively.

Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow
Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow

All of these artists together contributed to making Avengers the most successful Marvel franchise ever, with Avengers: Endgame surpassing all others with its astronomical success. Due to its $2.8 billion success, the actors also received their highest paycheck from the movie. However, it should be mentioned that fans nearly lost Johansson’s Natasha Romanoff and Johansson her Marvel paycheck because of Emily Blunt way back in 2010.

Scarlett Johansson’s Marvel career

Fans saw Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff, aka, the Black Widow first in Iron Man 2, alongside Robert Downey Jr earning her $400,000 for the role. Her appearance in Avengers reportedly earned her somewhere in the low seven figures similar to her co-stars. Her salary soared in Avengers: Age of Ultron, even with the movie’s mixed reviews, with the number being $20 million. The peak of her pay grade certainly came with Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame, where she got $15 million upfront for her role.

Scarlett Johansson in Iron Man 2
Scarlett Johansson in Iron Man 2

However, after the movie’s tremendous success, and bonuses being counted the number is reported to be around $35 million. Unfortunately for fans, with the Black Widow’s sacrificial death in the Endgame, and the consequent 2021 Black Widow movie, Scarlett Johansson’s Marvel career is at an end. Although she is among those who bid the first goodbyes from the original cast, it should be said that she left with lots of good memories and a hefty sum in her bank account for her impactful career.

Scarlett Johansson almost lost Black Widow to Emily Blunt

What many fans don’t know is that Johansson almost didn’t appear as Natasha Romanoff. In her first appearance in the 2010 Iron Man 2 movie, Natasha Romanoff was almost played by Emily Blunt. According to reports, Marvel’s first choice for Black Widow was none other than Emily Blunt. However, due to her contractual obligations with 20th Century Fox to appear in the Gulliver’s Travels movie, she had to pass up this opportunity of a lifetime.

Scarlett Johansson in Avengers: Endgame
Scarlett Johansson in Avengers: Endgame

In an interview with Howard Stern, the actress elaborated on why she had to make a decision that turned out to be nothing short of a lifetime regret for her. She said in the interview,

“I was contracted to do Gulliver’s Travels. I didn’t want to do Gulliver’s Travels. It was a bit of a heartbreaker for me. I take such pride in the decisions that I make, and they mean so much to me, the films that I do.”

Well, it is hard to say who could be the better Black Widow, as both of them are immensely talented, Scarlett Johansson’s Natasha Romanoff will always remain one of the most beloved Avengers of all time.

Due to the foundational work from all the original Avengers, the franchise is going to continue its journey with Avengers: The Kang Dynasty and Avengers: Secret Wars, both supposedly arriving in 2025 and 2026 respectively. Although with a lot of the original cast leaving, it will be interesting to see the direction Marvel takes in their next phase.

Avengers: The Kang Dynasty is expected to hit the theaters on May 2nd, 2025, while Avengers: Secret Wars is set to release on May 1st, 2026.


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