Black Widow <i>Not</i> in <i>Iron Man 3</i>, Scarlett Johansson Confirms

Contrary to a casting call and subsequent reports, The Avengers star Scarlett Johansson tells Screen Rant Black Widow won't appear in Iron Man 3, which begins production next month.

The character's exclusion makes sense, of course, considering that last year director Shane Black indicated that, post-Avengers, Marvel wants to focus more on self-contained, single-superhero movies. Still, that's not likely to please Black Widow fans who looked forward to seeing Johansson back in the skin-tight suit next year.

So what about a solo project? After all, Lionsgate put a Black Widow movie into motion before those plans fizzled and the rights reverted to Marvel. Johnasson is definitely up for it, but it's unclear whether the studio is.

"I think you build this character in the hopes that the fans will be like, 'We want more,'" she says in the video interview, "and so I, personally, think there's an awesome Black Widow movie in there that is, like, kind of a Bourne-type of film  that I think would take that whole kind of comic drama in a completely different direction. It would be awesome. [...] I've spoken to Marvel about it, and Kevin Feige, and there's so much story there to draw from, I think it would be totally awesome. Do I want to, like, spend another three months, like, shedding the manatee skin and squeezing back into that suit? Y'know, not necessarily."

The Avengers opens May 4. Iron Man 3 arrives May 3, 2013 -- without Johansson.

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