Assembling the right cast for the Marvel Cinematic Universe — the solo superhero movies that informed the various, massive Avengers movies — was as tough a task for the executives at Marvel Studios as it was for Nick Fury to assemble the Avengers. Personalities, egos, money, input from movie people and comics people … what a headache. It took years to get all of the stars signed up and signed on for multiple movies, and still Marvel couldn’t get their first choices some of the time. Here are some stars who were almost an Avenger.
Emily Blunt as Black Widow
The British star of The Devil Wears Prada and Sicario was one of Marvel’s top choices to play Black Widow (and Natasha Romanoff) in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, beginning with a major role in Iron Man 2. The studio was reportedly very close to signing her, until all parties realized a scheduling conflict couldn’t be overcome. Blunt had to honor her commitment to starring in the 2010 adaptation of Gulliver’s Travels with Jack Black … which flopped.