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Emily Blunt gave up Black Widow MCU role for “heartbreaker” reason

Emily Blunt was painfully close to playing iconic MCU character Black Widow. But she ended up having to turn down the role, which went to Scarlett Johansson.

emily blunt gullivers travels

Emily Blunt could’ve fronted her own MCU movie. But we missed out on that, and it’s all Jack Black‘s fault. Just kidding — it’s not because of Jack Black that she missed out on the role of Black Widow. It was actually because of the small print related to a family movie she starred in alongside him: Gulliver’s Travels.

The 2010 comedy movie, in which Blunt starred as Princess Mary of Lilliput, was pretty unpopular with critics. The Rob Letterman-directed flick holds a 20% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, whereas Marvel movies are among the highest grossing movies of all time. So, it’s clear to see why Blunt feels a little regretful about how things worked out.

“I was contracted to do Gulliver’s Travels. I didn’t want to do Gulliver’s Travels,” Blunt admitted in a 2019 interview with Howard Stern. The actor, who most recently starred in new movie Oppenheimer, explained how she was contractually bound to an “optional picture deal” with 20th Century Fox.

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On the one hand, despite it not being the best movie, she was full of praise for the Gullivers’ Travels cast. She described them as “a lot of really lovely people who were heaven to work with.”But on the other hand, she was a bit gutted that she never got to play the MCU character. “It was a bit of a heartbreaker for me,” she added. “I take such pride in the decisions that I make, and they mean so much to me, the films that I do.”

Still, when the topic resurfaced during a recent appearance on the Happy Sad Confused podcast, Blunt was adamant that Johannsen was “amazing” at the role. “Come on, the best girl got it,” she added.

To see Blunt in action in the Oppenheimer cast, check out our guide on how to watch Oppenheimer. Or, remind yourself of Black Widow’s journey from start to finish with our deep-dive on how to watch all the Iron Man movies in order and Marvel movies in order before looking ahead to the future of the MCU with our articles breaking down Marvel’s Phase 5, upcoming Marvel movies, and The Marvels release date.