James Gunn recently highlighted the importance of giving your all in an audition, which could ultimately lead to more opportunities further down the line if you make enough of an impression. It’s an approach the Marvel Cinematic Universe has adopted, with several notable stars being cast in one of the franchise’s movies after originally reading for another part.
Most famously, Tom Hiddleston was gunning for the role of Thor before Kenneth Branagh realized he’d be the perfect Loki, while Chadwick Boseman’s first encounter with the studio saw him test for Guardians of the Galaxy‘s Drax. Scarlett Johansson may have spent over a decade as the MCU’s Black Widow, but she originally had another pair of characters in mind.
In new book The Story of Marvel Studios: The Making Of The Marvel Cinematic Universe via ScreenRant, the actress admits that before settling on Natasha Romanoff, she’d researched Wasp and Blonde Phantom.
“I brought up some of the characters that I had researched that I thought could have some space in the universe.”
Joss Whedon wanted Zooey Deschanel as Wasp in Avengers: Age of Ultron before Evangeline Lilly landed the part in Ant-Man, but Blonde Phantom hasn’t been seen in the MCU as of yet. There are similarities between Louise Grant Mason and Agent Romanoff, though, with the former a secretary who moonlights as a costumed crimefighter, not too dissimilar from Johansson’s introduction in Iron Man 2.