Scarlett Johansson worried Marvel fans wouldn’t like her as Black Widow

Scarlett Johansson was worried Marvel fans wouldn’t like her interpretation of fictional superhero Black Widow.The 35-year-old actress made her debut as former Russian super spy Natasha Romanoff in Iron Man 2 back in 2010, but she was concerned that sh…

Scarlett Johansson was worried Marvel fans wouldn’t like her interpretation of fictional superhero Black Widow.

The 35-year-old actress made her debut as former Russian super spy Natasha Romanoff in Iron Man 2 back in 2010, but she was concerned that she didn’t fit the bill.

“When we did (Iron Man 2), I didn’t know if the audience would like my interpretation of the character,” she told Parade magazine, before noting that she wasn’t even the first choice to play the superhero.

After a “wonderful” meeting with Jon Favreau, who helmed Iron Man 2, the part went to Emily Blunt.

“I was really excited to work with him, so I said, ‘If this doesn’t work out, I’m an actor for hire, so call me anytime,'” Scarlett recalled, and after Emily had to bow out due to scheduling reasons, the role was hers.

“The best call you can receive is after you are rejected for something and then you get it. You appreciate it more. I’ve basically made a career out of being second choice,” she laughed.

And it was while filming one particular scene in The Avengers back in 2012, alongside Chris Evans as Captain America, Chris Hemsworth’s Thor, Mark Ruffalo as Hulk, Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye, and Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man, that she realised she was part of something really special.

“It’s the iconic hero shot,” she said of the scene which sees the six original Avengers ready for battle in New York. “We were all thinking, ‘This is crazy!’ because these worlds were coming together. We’re still processing how much of an impact these movies have had.”

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Anthony Russo: ‘Iron Man’s comeback has to be worth it’

Anthony Russo has insisted that bringing Iron Man back into the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) would only be worth it if the storytelling was good enough to justify his comeback.The beloved comic book character, played by Robert Downey Jr. since 2008,…

Anthony Russo has insisted that bringing Iron Man back into the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) would only be worth it if the storytelling was good enough to justify his comeback.

The beloved comic book character, played by Robert Downey Jr. since 2008, was killed off at the end of last year’s blockbuster Avengers: Endgame, which was directed by Anthony and his brother Joe Russo.

When asked how he felt about Iron Man, aka Tony Stark, returning to the MCU, Anthony insisted his comeback should only happen if it has been “earned” by good storytelling, as his reappearance would undo the stakes in Endgame.

“I mean look, certainly we’ve always said this and we believe this about stakes have to be real, and if they’re not real, like the audience’s emotional investment in the moment and in those characters in the narrative is only… is contingent upon them feeling like there’s potential. There’s something to be lost,” Anthony told the ReelBlend podcast.

He went on to add that while he and his brother were committed to having Iron Man sacrifice himself to save the world and defeat supervillain Thanos in Avengers: Endgame, they are aware that there’s always room for a comeback within the comic book universe.

“It depends on how he was brought back. It depends on the storytelling, but it is certainly something that has to be earned,” he continued. “It’s certainly something that would shock and surprise audiences, so you can’t simply just bring him back. There would have to be a really compelling, innovative, unpredictable narrative event to find your way there in order for it to be worth it.”

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Mark Ruffalo tried to talk Joss Whedon out of casting him as Hulk

Mark Ruffalo tried to talk Joss Whedon out of casting him as the Hulk in The Avengers.The actor was best known for starring in dramas such as The Kids Are All Right, Zodiac, and Shutter Island before he was approached by the director and Robert Downey …

Mark Ruffalo tried to talk Joss Whedon out of casting him as the Hulk in The Avengers.

The actor was best known for starring in dramas such as The Kids Are All Right, Zodiac, and Shutter Island before he was approached by the director and Robert Downey Jr. about the possibility of starring in the Marvel blockbuster as Dr. Bruce Banner and his green alter ego.

Talking to Variety, the 52-year-old confessed he was terrified of playing the scientist on the big screen due to the extensive technology and special effects needed to transform him into the Hulk.

“I did try to talk them out of casting me. I said, ‘I don’t know if I’m the right guy, I’ve never done anything like this.’ Between Joss and Robert, they were pretty convincing that I could do it,” Ruffalo recalled, before admitting that he is still scared, even after playing the Hulk in four more Marvel movies.

“I was scared. I was really scared. I’m still scared. The technological aspect of it makes it really hard to work that way. I struggle with it all the time. But my motto is make fear your friend. Just keep pushing yourself into those places where you feel scared or challenged,” he added.

Don Cheadle, who plays James Rhodes and his superhero alter ago War Machine in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, said the pair bonded during filming the Avengers franchise as they both had to wear motion capture suits.

“Mark and I get to share that misery,” Cheadle joked. “Everyone else is walking around in their cool clothes. Mark and I are walking around in these unitards with symbols and dots and balls attached all over them.”

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Robert Downey Jr. defends wearing blackface in Tropic Thunder

Robert Downey Jr. accepted his controversial role in Tropic Thunder to call out the “insane self-involved hypocrisy” of fellow actors.Ben Stiller’s 2008 satirical comedy follows a group of actors who are making a Vietnam War movie, and the Iron Man sta…

Robert Downey Jr. accepted his controversial role in Tropic Thunder to call out the “insane self-involved hypocrisy” of fellow actors.

Ben Stiller’s 2008 satirical comedy follows a group of actors who are making a Vietnam War movie, and the Iron Man star wore blackface to play Australian method actor Kirk Lazarus, who underwent “pigmentation alteration” surgery to play a fictional African-American soldier.

It caused an outcry when it was released more than 10 years ago, and in a recent interview on The Joe Rogan Experience podcast, Robert confessed he was originally concerned about accepting the role.

“When Ben called and said, ‘Hey I’m doing this thing’ – you know I think Sean Penn had passed on it or something. Possibly wisely. And I thought, ‘Yeah, I’ll do that and I’ll do that after Iron Man.’ Then I started thinking, ‘This is a terrible idea, wait a minute,'” he explained.

He told host Joe that he listened to his heart, and while he was looking forward to “being black” for a summer, he wanted to use the role of Kirk Lazarus to call out “self-involved” actors.

“The other thing is, I get to hold up to nature the insane self-involved hypocrisy of artists and what they think they’re allowed to do on occasion, just my opinion,” he shared.

However, the 54-year-old insisted he understood those who took issue with the controversial character.

“Ninety per cent of my black friends were like, ‘Dude, that was great’… I can’t disagree with (the other 10 per cent), but I know where my heart lies,” he added. “I think that it’s never an excuse to do something that’s out of place and out of its time, but to me it was a blasting cap on (the issue).

“Sometimes, you just gotta go, ‘Yeah I effed up.’ In my defence, Tropic Thunder is about how wrong (blackface) is, so I take exception.”

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Katherine Langford: ‘Cutting my scenes from Avengers: Endgame made sense’

Katherine Langford has no issue with her scenes in Avengers: Endgame ending up on the cutting room floor because she can still treasure the memory of working with Robert Downey Jr..The 13 Reasons Why star was recruited to portray Iron Man/Tony Stark’s …

Katherine Langford has no issue with her scenes in Avengers: Endgame ending up on the cutting room floor because she can still treasure the memory of working with Robert Downey Jr..

The 13 Reasons Why star was recruited to portray Iron Man/Tony Stark’s grown-up daughter Morgan in the 2019 movie, but when the film hit theatres in April, she was nowhere to be seen.

Opening up about being cut from the highest-grossing film of all time, the Australian actress said on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon that the decision made sense and doesn’t take away from her “amazing” experience on set.

“I’m such a huge fan of the Marvel films and the Russo brothers so when Marvel reached out to me to play Iron Man’s daughter that was such an honour,” she said. “Ultimately it didn’t make it into the film and creatively that makes sense and that’s totally fine. I was just content with having the memory in my head. To play with Robert Downey Jr on the last scene he was Iron Man, on the last day that he was Iron Man, that was just amazing… He was amazing, it’s the biggest franchise in the world and it was the biggest set I’d ever walked on to. He was just so cool and so elegant.”

The 23-year-old is thrilled that Disney bosses put their deleted scene on the Disney+ streaming service because fans demanded to see it.

“That’s what I was told, it was out because people wanted to see it,” Katherine added. “Which is just really cool.”

Avengers: Endgame director Joe and Anthony Russo previously explained that the scene, in which Tony and a now-teenage Morgan briefly reconnect in the Soul World after he dies, got cut because test audiences found it too confusing and “we didn’t feel an emotional association with the adult version of his daughter.”

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Kevin Feige wanted Iron Man’s death to be as powerful as Wolverine’s

Marvel boss Kevin Feige was determined to make Iron Man’s death in Avengers: Endgame as powerful as Wolverine’s in Logan.  After 11 years playing Tony Stark / Iron Man, Robert Downey Jr. made his final appearance in this year’s Endgame, in which the …

Marvel boss Kevin Feige was determined to make Iron Man’s death in Avengers: Endgame as powerful as Wolverine’s in Logan.

  After 11 years playing Tony Stark / Iron Man, Robert Downey Jr. made his final appearance in this year’s Endgame, in which the billionaire sacrifices himself to defeat the evil Thanos and his army. 

  During a live Q&A session with Empire magazine this week, Feige explained that he wanted Downey Jr.’s last outing as Iron Man to be as moving to audiences as Hugh Jackman’s final appearance in 2017’s Logan. 

  “We saw Logan like the audience did, in a theatre having nothing to do with the making of that film and went, ‘Oh my God, what an amazing ending for Hugh as this character,'” the film producer recalled. “And there are only a handful of examples where an actor so associated with a character can go out perfectly. That’s what we desperately wanted to give Robert, and that was what our focus was on.”

   Jackman holds the Guinness World Record for having the longest career as a live-action superhero. After playing Wolverine for 16 years and 228 days, he took his final bow in Logan, in which the character loses his regenerative powers and dies. 

  Feige also spoke about how his team came up with Stark’s death early on in the development process for Endgame and were “dedicated” to the storyline because they were determined to show fans that deaths do matter in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).

  “Around the time we started working on this film, there was some sense that deaths don’t matter in our movies – Nick Fury gets shot and died in Winter Soldier and comes back in the third act, which was awesome, but is not a death,” he said. “And people were clamouring for, not death necessarily, but stakes and real emotion. And I remember thinking, ‘Be careful what you wish for,’ as we started getting closer to this. But we never questioned it. All of the angst and all of the effort went into sticking the landing, to make it worthwhile.”

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Avengers: Endgame passes Avatar to become biggest film of all time

Avengers: Endgame has topped Avatar to become the highest-grossing film of all time.Marvel boss Kevin Feige made the news official at the studio’s Comic-Con panel in San Diego, California on Saturday, announcing the blockbuster would pass Avatar’s $2.7…

Avengers: Endgame has topped Avatar to become the highest-grossing film of all time.

Marvel boss Kevin Feige made the news official at the studio’s Comic-Con panel in San Diego, California on Saturday, announcing the blockbuster would pass Avatar’s $2.78 billion global box office mark over the weekend, ending the James Cameron-directed movie’s nine-year reign.

“Thanks to you, Avengers: Endgame is the biggest film of all-time,” Feige told fans in Comic-Con’s fabled Hall H.

While Avengers: Endgame co-directors Anthony and Joe Russo took to Twitter to share a similar sentiment.

“To the greatest fans in the universe, from the bottom of our hearts, thank you…,” they commented.

Avengers: Endgame, featuring an ensemble cast including Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, and Brie Larson, follows the surviving members of the Avengers and their allies as they attempt to reverse the damage caused by Thanos, as played by Josh Brolin, in 2018’s Avengers: Infinity War.

The blockbuster has passed Avatar’s record in just 13 weeks, and in a statement, Alan Horn, co-chairman and chief creative officer of Marvel’s parent company, The Walt Disney Studios, praised the cast and crew for their achievements.

“A huge congratulations to the Marvel Studios and Walt Disney Studios teams, and thank you to the fans around the world who lifted Avengers: Endgame to these historic heights,” he commented. “Of course, even with the passage of a decade, the impact of James Cameron’s Avatar remains as powerful as ever, and the astonishing achievements of both of these films are ongoing proof of the power of movies to move people and bring them together in a shared experience. The talented filmmakers behind these worlds have much more in store, and we look forward to the future of both the Marvel Cinematic Universe and (Avatar’s setting) Pandora.”

Bosses at Disney are also celebrating another record-breaking weekend in North America, as The Lion King has roared to the top of the box office to become the biggest July opening of all time.

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Robert Downey Jr. ready to move on from Iron Man

Robert Downey Jr. is looking forward to exploring new opportunities now he’s finished playing Iron Man. The 54-year-old first portrayed billionaire Tony Stark in 2008’s Iron Man and reprised the role a number of times over the next 11 years, with him …

Robert Downey Jr. is looking forward to exploring new opportunities now he’s finished playing Iron Man.

The 54-year-old first portrayed billionaire Tony Stark in 2008’s Iron Man and reprised the role a number of times over the next 11 years, with him playing no other character between 2015’s Avengers: Age of Ultron and this year’s Avengers: Endgame, during which Tony Stark sacrifices himself to defeat the evil Thanos and his army.

In an interview with Off Camera with Sam Jones, Downey Jr. reflected on the next phase of his career and said he was looking forward to doing something different.

“I had an incredible 10-year run that was creatively satisfying. It was very, very, very hard work and I dug very deep, but I have not been forced to explore the new frontier of what is my creative and personal life after this,” he said. “By creating and associating and synergising with Tony Stark and the Marvel Universe… and being a good company man but also being a little off-kilter and being creative and then getting into all these other partnerships, it was a time when it’s like… owners start looking like their pets… occasionally you would pull back from it and go, ‘Let me stop, let me get off the teat of this archetype and let me see where I stand.’ And you can feel really buffeted, you can get really spun out by it.”

The actor explained that he prepared for this transition and made sure his career didn’t “fall apart” post-Endgame, and confessed that having such a long-running relationship with the Marvel is “the closest I will ever come to being a trust fund kid,” because “there’s always a dependency on something that feels like a sure thing.”

Downey Jr. then expressed the importance of maintaining an “aesthetic distance” between himself from his work.

“I’m not my work. I’m not what I did with that studio. I’m not that period of time that I spent playing this character,” the star insisted. “And it sucks because the kid in all of us wants to be like, ‘No! It’s always gonna be summer camp and we’re all holding hands and singing Kumbaya. Isn’t it?’ It’s like, ‘No! Snap out of it.'”

Downey Jr. has already filmed The Voyage of Doctor Dolittle and Jamie Foxx’s comedy All-Star Weekend and is set to reprise his role of detective Sherlock Holmes for a third instalment in the franchise.

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Dwayne Johnson was urged to ‘drop some weight’ at start of career

Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson was urged to “drop some weight” when he first arrived in Hollywood.The wrestler-turned-actor picked up the Generation Award during the MTV Movie & TV Awards on Saturday night, which aired in the U.S. on Monday, and he gave a h…

Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson was urged to “drop some weight” when he first arrived in Hollywood.

The wrestler-turned-actor picked up the Generation Award during the MTV Movie & TV Awards on Saturday night, which aired in the U.S. on Monday, and he gave a heartfelt acceptance speech, in which he looked back at his humble beginnings.

“When I first got to Hollywood – Hollywood, they didn’t know what the hell to do with me. I was this half-black, half-Samoan, six-foot-four, 275-pound pro wrestler,” he said after taking the stage at the Barker Hanger in Los Angeles. “You know, I was told at that time, ‘You’ve got to be a certain way. You’ve got to drop some weight… You’ve got to stop working out.’ Stop doing the things that I love. You’ve got to stop calling yourself The Rock – what? And for years, I actually bought into it.”

The 47-year-old continued, “I was miserable doing that, so I made a choice. And the choice was, I wasn’t going to conform to Hollywood, Hollywood was going to conform to me. So, Hollywood conformed to me, and here I am with all of you getting the Generation Award… It’s important that you are your most authentic self. I’m a walking example of that.”

The Fast & Furious star concluded with a heartfelt message to fans, encouraging them to be true to themselves.

“There’s another side to being your authentic self, your true self, and that’s the side that the magic is on. That’s the side that’s gold. While yes, it’s important to be yourself, you’ve got to recognise the joy and responsibility of bringing everybody with you,” he added. “We bring everybody with us, and you do that by being kind, by being compassionate, by being inclusive, and straight-up being good to people, because that matters.”

Previous winners of the prize, which celebrates “beloved actors whose diverse contributions to both film and television have turned them into household names in the industry,” include Robert Downey Jr., Mark Wahlberg, Sandra Bullock, Ben Stiller, Adam Sandler, Tom Cruise, and Jim Carrey.

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Don Cheadle had hour to decide if he wanted Terrence Howard’s Marvel role

Don Cheadle was given an hour to decide if he wanted to replace Terrence Howard in the Marvel franchise.Empire star Terrence was the original actor to play Lt. Col. James ‘Rhodey’ Rhodes / War Machine, taking on the role opposite Robert Downey Jr. in 2…

Don Cheadle was given an hour to decide if he wanted to replace Terrence Howard in the Marvel franchise.

Empire star Terrence was the original actor to play Lt. Col. James ‘Rhodey’ Rhodes / War Machine, taking on the role opposite Robert Downey Jr. in 2008’s Iron Man.

By the time Iron Man 2 came out two years later, Don had been cast as the superhero – a role he’s helmed right up until the latest movie, Avengers: Endgame.

Revealing Robert and producer Kevin Feige called him up to offer him the part during his daughter’s birthday party, saying he had an hour to decide, he told Variety and iHeart’s new film podcast The Big Ticket: “(They said) ‘You just gotta take a leap of faith’. But that’s, like, 10 years. That could be 12 years that we’re talking about. I said, ‘Well, I’m at my daughter’s birthday party.’ They said, ‘Oh, take two hours.'”

Coincidentally, the Oscar nominee bumped into Terrence the very next day.

“We never had any beef,” Don said of his Crash co-star.

Terrence left the Marvel Cinematic Universe on bad terms, and has subsequently blamed Robert for pushing him out of the lucrative franchise.

During an appearance on Watch What Happens Live in 2013, he told host Andy Cohen that his exit was all down to a money dispute.

“It turns out that the person I helped become Iron Man… when it was time to re-up for the second one, (he) took the money that was supposed to go to me and pushed me out,” he stated.

“We did a three-picture deal, so that means that you did the deal ahead of time. It was going to be a certain amount for the first one, a certain amount for the second one, a certain amount for the third. They came to me with the second and said, ‘Look, we will pay you one-eighth of what we contractually had for you, because we think the second one will be successful with or without you.’ And I called my friend – that I helped get the first job – and he didn’t call me back for three months.”

Later in 2015, Terrence reiterated the story, pointing out how much money he’s lost out on as a consequence of being axed from the Iron Man movies.

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