She has yet to land a solo film for her Marvel character Black Widow, and now Scarlett Johansson has a fellow “Avengers” co-star in full support of the idea. “Iron Man” star Robert Downey Jr. sat down with USA Today’s “Entertain This” to weigh in on the “Black Widow” debate and prompted the burning question, “Doesn’t Scarlett deserve a break?” While he may have been referring to Johansson’s schedule as she prepares to become a first-time mom, Downey couldn’t shy away sharing his feelings on the issue.
While promoting his new film “The Judge” set to open at the Toronto Film Festival on Thursday, Downey agreed with “Zero Dark Thirty” actress Jessica Chastain who recently asked, “Where is the Scarlett Johansson superhero movie? I don’t understand it, why is it taking so long for this?” Downey echoed her sentiment saying, “It just seems like whatever Scarlett does people want to go see it…The funny thing is honestly at this point everyone deserves a franchise.”
Noting the impact a female lead can have on the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the actor referenced his “Iron Man” franchise co-star Gwyneth Paltrow and “Guardians of the Galaxy’s” Zoe Saldana. Downey said, “Look, I think that the interesting thing particularly after “Guardians” with Zoe (Saldana), (or) even from the first Iron Man where Pepper was kind of this really – to me the Iron Man franchise would never have taken off without (Gwyneth) Paltrow. There’s something about her that grounded the story. She’s not your typical lady in a superhero movie, and then by Iron Man 3 she’s swallowing serums and putting on suits and kicking (butt) and all that stuff.”
While Paltrow and Saldana delivered excellently among their superhero co-stars for their respective Marvel productions, Downey admits, “It would be kind of more appropriate for a character that already was like a Black Widow (to lead a movie).” Black Widow was introduced as a Russian spy during her comic book debut in 1964. As seen in the “Avengers,” Black Widow jumped across the pond to the United States where she joined the fictional spy agency S.H.I.E.L.D. and became a member of the superhero team the Avengers.
Downey also weighed in on the possibility of Jeremy Renner’s “Hawkeye” receiving a franchise along with his on-screen bromancer Mark Ruffalo who portrays “Hulk.” Hinting at an exciting scene in the upcoming “Avengers” sequel, he says, “I think Jeremy Renner is – when folks see the “Avengers: Age of Ultron” he’s just a rockstar, a badass. And Ruffalo is pumped. He does great (work). I’d like to hear them talk even more seriously about a Hulk franchise, because that’s been one of the toughest ones to get right.” Much to fans delight, Downey suggests his hopes may become a reality thanks to the success of previous films saying, “I’m sure that my parent company is feeling expansive and bold after the summer they’ve had.”
Downey reunites with Johansson, Renner and Ruffalo for “Avengers: Age of Ultron” along with Chris Evans as Captain America, Chris Hemsworth as Thor and Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury. Aaron Taylor-Johnson also joins the star-studded cast as Quicksilver alongside newcomer Elizabeth Olsen who portrays Scarlet Witch. “Avengers: Age of Ultron” sweeps into theaters on May 1st, 2015. What do you think of Johansson, Renner and Ruffalo receiving solo Marvel franchise flicks?