There’s a scene in Iron Man 2, when Tony Stark is quite literally ogling the fresh-faced Black Widow (“I want one”), that hasn’t aged particularly well.
In fact, it already feels like a museum piece in the era of #MeToo. So it comes as no surprise that Black Widow herself, Scarlett Johansson, looks back on MCU Phase One as a “major testosterone festival,” in which competing heroes drown out most, if not all female representation.
Currently in the midst of Avengers: Endgame‘s global press tour, Johansson swung by Lorraine (h/t Digital Spy) and spoke to guest host Christine Lampard about the MCU’s imminent showdown, and why she felt nothing but relief when Marvel Studios finally opened its doors to other female characters besides Black Widow – think Peggy Carter, Scarlet Witch, Okoye and the supercharged Captain Marvel.
Oh yeah, it’s a huge relief for me because, you can only imagine, a decade ago when we started all this, it was a major testosterone festival. It was me and the dudes and the locker room banter. I’d had it, by the time [Elizabeth Olsen]’s character was introduced, Scarlet Witch, and then Cobie [Smulders] came in – and she was a part of SHIELD, Maria Hill.
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Perhaps more than anything, it’s a pointed reminder of just how far the Marvel Cinematic Universe has progressed over the past 10 years, as characters like Scarlet Witch and Captain Marvel are on the verge of becoming household names – if they aren’t already. Gone are the days when a female character is overtly sexualized; now, Black Widow and Co. are well-rounded characters capable of carrying their own solo franchise.
Avengers: Endgame opens big April 26th. How big, you ask? Try $285 million during its opening weekend, which is well within reach as Marvel Studios begins to draw the curtain on its so-called Infinity Saga.