'Black Widow' Could've Featured An Iron Man Or Hawkeye Cameo, But "She Doesn't Need The Boys"

Marvel's Black Widow takes place between the events of Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War, allowing for a number of potential cameos from other members of The Avengers. Since the movie takes us back to Budapest, famously mentioned in banter between Black Widow and Hawkeye, many fans expected Jeremy Renner to pop up at some point. Meanwhile, another rumor pointed at a possible appearance by Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark. While both options were discussed, writer Eric Pearson explains where the Stark rumor came from, and director Cate Shortland explained why they kept the rest of the Marvel characters away.

While making the publicity rounds, Black Widow writer Eric Pearson was recently asked about rumors about Robert Downey Jr. making an appearance in the movie as Tony Stark. Pearson previously denied any consideration of a Tony Stark appearance, but then he remembered where that idea might have come from. Speaking with ComicBook.com's Phase Zero podcast, Pearson explained:

"I feel bad for the person who asked me this the other day because I said 'there was never any discussion,' but 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,' but it was old footage. It would have been, 'Hey audience, remember where we are, we're going to key off of this moment of her.'"

In this version of Black Widow, there wouldn't have been a new scene with Robert Downey Jr., but rather just a previous scene from Captain America: Civil War. It might have even been an alternate take instead of the exact same one from Civil War. Pearson even remembers being confused when this rumor came about:

"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, Tony Stark's not in it.' Everyone was like 'No, no.'...I don't know where it came from unless somebody got a very old version with this kind of scene, which wasn't even a new scene. I don't know, I don't know where it came from."

At least we know where that rumor likely came from, and we're glad that it ended up not coming to fruition.

So Where Was Hawkeye?

Since Black Widow takes us to Budapest, fans were likely anticipating Hawkeye making an appearance after banter between the SHIELD-agents-turned-Avengers previously mentioned the location as part of their work together in the past. Director Cate Shortland explained why Hawkeye (or any other Marvel character) didn't make an appearance. The filmmaker told Total Film:

"Initially, there was discussions about everything, about all of the different characters. What we decided was, and I think [Marvel Studios boss] Kevin [Feige] was really great, he said, 'She doesn't need the boys.' We didn't want it to feel like she needs the support. We want her to stand alone. And she does."

Thankfully, even though Hawkeye doesn't make an appearance in Black Widow, we learn about what happened during the time they spent together there. Honestly, it makes sense that Hawkeye doesn't return to help Natasha, since he's probably avoiding the government and likely laying low with his family.

In the end, letting Natasha deal with this family business on her own was the best decision. After all, she was already getting help from her sister and their adoptive assassin family, so why beef up the number of characters if there's not a good reason to do so?