It appears that over the holiday weekend, rumors of Emily Blunt's exit from her role as Black Widow in Iron Man 2 have been going strong. While there have been rumblings of a possible scheduling conflict with Blunt, this latest report is the strongest evidence that yet another casting scramble may occur for this film. Moreover, the name of Scarlett Johansson came up as a possible replacement for Blunt. According to a report by Entertainment Weekly:
"Because Emily Blunt's commitment to Twentieth Century Fox and the studio's upcoming Gulliver's Travels movie may prohibit her from costarring in Iron Man 2, Marvel is in discussions with other actresses, most significantly Scarlett Johansson, to take her place, EW has learned exclusively."
Marvel has yet to confirm anything, but let us hope that Blunt is able to work something out. While I would not go so far as to say that casting Johansson would be turning the film into a pure celeb vanity project (there are obviously bigger stars in the film already), it just seems like casting her would be pandering to the Hollywood machine that is still trying to convince us that she has something special to offer. You would think that the film's producers would arrive at the conclusion, that at some point, a film can only have so many "celebrities" before it becomes an over-crowded Ocean's Eleven-like debacle where we all are expected to be in awe of the "hip" chemistry of some tired A-List cast. It is so contrived and artificial.
This is not meant to be perceived as "Scarlett Jo hatin'." But for a film that is plagued with casting issues (do we need to go down the list?), putting her in this role really comes across as a weak default to a current Hollywood standard actress, instead of taking the time to find the PERFECT actress for this role (which will likely be reprised in The Avengers films.) This is a long-term investment, and falling back on a standard default is only going to end in a yet another Terrence Howard/Don Cheadle casting mix-up. Who needs it? And for what? Are there people actually clamoring to see her as Black Widow?