Marvel Studios’ BLACK WIDOW..Black Widow/Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson)..Photo: Film Frame..©Marvel Studios 2020

Every so often, a movie’s writers and producers will create a role with a certain character in mind. But more often than not, they will go through an exhaustive audition process, seeing dozens — if not hundreds — of actors before deciding on one. And sometimes — as we learned with Raiders of the Lost Ark and Tom Selleck — the original first choice has to drop out, leaving the role to a second choice. Of course, some of those second choices own the role so thoroughly, it seems ludicrous that producers thought anybody else could play the character any better.

Well, guess what: It turns out that one of our beloved Avengers was a second choice: In a recent Parade magazine profile, Scarlett Johannsen talked about how she’d had a great meeting with Jon Favreau, but wound up losing the role to Emily Blunt. Though disappointed, Johanssen told Favreau, “If this doesn’t work out, I’m an actor for hire, so call me anytime.” And when a scheduling conflict meant Blunt had to bow out, Favreau did just that. “The best call you can receive is after you are rejected for something, and then you get it,” she told the magazine. “You appreciate it more.”

So let’s play a little game! Imagine there’s an alternate universe, and all of the Avengers actors we know and love had to drop out. Who would you have cast in some of the roles? Comment below with your choices, and tell us how you think the series might have been different as a result.

Meanwhile, Johannsen’s Black Widow spinoff film, originally due out this spring, is now scheduled to open in theaters on November 6.

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