Tradecraft: Marvel Superspy Shifts
Deadline Hollywood reports that Emily Blunt (who was previously announced) is out as Russian superspy Black Widow in Iron Man 2 (due to conflicts with a contractually-obligated Fox film), and Scarlett Johansson is in. I like Johansson a lot, but I'm still a little bit disappointed about this. I have an easier time picturing Blunt as Natasha Romanoff... though Johanssen will certainly fill out the catsuit well. I can picture Johansson more as the second Black Widow, blond Yelena Belova, though all indications (including Johansson's recent, newsmaking change from blonde to redhead) point toward her playing Romanoff. And if there's only going to be one Black Widow on film, I'd certainly prefer the original. (Just as I'd prefer the original Nick Fury to the Ultimate Version, but oh well.) Samuel L. Jackson is also signed on to play Nick Fury in Iron Man 2, so the cast is filling up with spies!
But what about the rumored Nick Fury/S.H.I.E.L.D. movie? The Hollywood Reporter's Risky Business Blog speculates that its future is uncertain following today's announcement of a release date shift among Marvel tentpole movies. Marvel's big superhero jam The Avengers (not to be confused with the Steed and Peel version, which we all know is the real Avengers) will move from 2011 to 2012, prompting blogger Steven Zeitchik to speculate: "The other question this opens up is what this means for a potential Samuel Jackson Nick Fury pic: That could have been the 2012 tentpole, but with Avengers that year, those prospects are less clear."