Scarlett Johansson first starred in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in 2010 as Black Widow in Iron Man 2 and is now set to star in her own franchise-starter this summer. After being one of the few female heroes in the MCU for years, more and more began to be included in addition to Marvel Studios launching its very first female-led franchise with Brie Larson's Captain Marvel .
Johansson even became a producer on Black Widow , which she described as being “in control of the destiny of this film.” This showed that she had gained enough sway with Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige to garner such mutual respect and control.
In an interview, Elizabeth Olsen gave credit to Black Widow star Scarlett Johansson and her contributions to help widen the scope of the MCU for women, despite not starring in her own franchise.
BUSTING DOWN THE MCU DOOR
Speaking with Vanity Fair on the podcast Still Watching , Elizabeth Olsen was asked whether, after playing Wanda Maximoff for seven years, she noticed an “evolution” about “what women are allowed to do” or “what female-fronted stories” Marvel Studios is interested in telling.
In response, Olsen agreed that Marvel Studios and the MCU has evolved for the better over the years thanks to the inclusion of Scarlett Johansson:
“I think so. I mean, yeah, I really think so and I think it starts with Scarlett Johansson. She's a very powerful, talented woman in the MCU and I believe that she, maybe, she didn't have the first franchise film, but she really created that space.”
Olsen also gave credit to Kevin Feige for paying attention to the world at large and what it's “asking” from the MCU:
“She is quite a pioneer who takes up space and gets heard and does it elegantly and with a lot of intelligence. And I think Kevin (Feige) has always been a good listener and good at responding to what the world is asking from the MCU when it comes to representation on all platforms.”
She even described Johansson as having “busted” down the door for the female presence in the MCU:
“And, so I really do think when it comes to the female presence, I feel like Scarlett was welcomed into the door in the Iron Man films and just really busted it down.”
KEVIN KNOWS WHEN TO LISTEN
While Brie Larson was the first actress to lead her own franchise in the MCU, Scarlett Johansson is still the first and only actor in the MCU with a producer credit on one of the films. It really goes to show the outreach that Kevin Feige is willing to have with his actors and being receptive to their ideas and feelings.
For example, when Chris Hemsworth famously came to Feige with concerns after the poor reception of Thor: The Dark World , it resulted in the absolute banger that is Thor: Ragnarok .
It will be curious if Johansson will have any more of a role with the Black Widow franchise, despite Natasha Romanoff no longer being in the company of the living. Regardless, it's great that Marvel Studios has someone like Kevin Feige who is willing to keep an open ear to his actors and the world at large. As Ben Affleck said it just weeks ago , “That f***er knows his audience.”