Black Widow Writer Explains Abandoned Tony Stark Cameo

Iron Man Tony Stark

There was a lot of talk leading up to Black Widow that Robert Downey Jr. was poised to make a cameo appearance as Tony Stark, firmly placing Scarlett Johansson’s solo outing in the time period between Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War. Obviously, that never happened, but it did come close to making the final cut.

The contractual ramifications would be interesting, when Marvel Studios probably don’t need the actor’s express approval to use old footage in a new project, but given how beneficial both parties were for each other over the course of a decade, you’d expect Kevin Feige to at least reach out and gain Downey Jr.’s blessing.

Instead, there was nothing to worry about at all, with no sign of the former Iron Man anywhere to be found in Black Widow. The movie itself was relatively light on recognizable guest stars, which ultimately benefited a prequel that was tasked largely with filling in the gaps in Natasha’s backstory and introducing several new faces, many of whom could have major roles to play in the future.

In a new interview, Black Widow writer Eric Pearson addressed the lack of a genius billionaire playboy philanthropist, and confirmed it would have been recycled footage from Civil War as opposed to shooting brand new scenes with RDJ.

“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, ‘I’m not the one who needs to watch their back’. But it was old footage. It would’ve been, ‘Hey audience, remember where we are, we’re 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 saw Tony Stark’s name in it, and it was just kind of a flag-planted reminder, like, ‘Hey we’re right at the end of Civil War‘. I remember when those rumors came out, I was in London in our war room office, and I just looked around and was like, ‘Are we? Am I supposed to be? I have the script right here and Tony Stark is not in it’. I don’t know where it came from unless someone got a very old version where this kind of scene, which wasn’t even a new scene. I don’t know where it came from.”

The shadow of the Avengers looms over Black Widow as it is, with countless references made to Natasha’s time as part of the roster and its various members who possess abilities that far outweigh her own, so there was really no need for Tony Stark to show up in person, even if fans would have gone wild at seeing him on the big screen again.