Alasdair Stuart writes for Bleeding Cool:
The Avengers' survivor count begins. Widow confirmed safe, en route to mess with billionaire genius playboy philanthropist.
I have a tremendous fondness for Iron Man 2 and a big part of that is the dynamic change brought about by Black Widow. As well as Tony spewing his well intentioned and cheerfully fatalistic crazy juice all over the place, it gives Gwyneth Paltrow someone new to bounce off and leads to the best fight scene gag that Marvel have done to date, with Widow destroying a legion of guards in the time it takes Happy to hit one guy. Admittedly he does hit him very hard, and a lot, but the sequence is still a beautiful use of fighting style as an insight into character psychology, and weirdly sweet too.
Which is why Feature Film Casting's announcement for Iron Man 3 has made me distinctly giddy. According to them, the film is set to shoot from May 21st to September 7th in Wilminton, NC and they're going to be casting supporting actors and day players from the region, as well as stand ins, photo doubles and extras. So if you live in the region and look a bit like Tony Stark from a distance you could get lucky.
However, what really got my attention is their statement that not only is Don Cheadle back as Rhodey but Scarlett Johansson is returning as Black Widow.
I'm always pleased to see Cheadle, and he was great fun in the second one, but it's Johansson's return which has me really interested. Not only will this bring about the first post-Avengers acknowledgement of that film – and specifically, a pretty clear indicator she survives – it's also the first hint we'll get of how the Marvel movie universe will look in the run up to it's next cross-over stage.
Plus, with Pepper and Tony together in the movies, it might be nice to see her and Happy get involved. They could even double date. Just imagine the sit-com:
He's a billionaire genius playboy philanthropist! She's his boss! Kind of! She's one of the toughest secret agents in the world and can kill ten men in under sixty seconds! He drives the billionaire genius playboy philanthropist around and hits people for him! They bicker! And fight crime! Sometimes!
See? Writes itself.