E! News is reporting that actress Scarlett Johansson is pregnant with her first child. While that is happy news for the expectant parents, it brings up a big question for Marvel as they have just begun filming Avengers: Age of Ultron. What does this mean for Black Widow? Will she be cut from the film? Or will her scenes be trimmed down. Perhaps they will simply kill her off, or send her to Tahiti.
A source close to production claims an initiative is already in place, and that director Joss Whedon and his crew are going to fast track her scenes. The actress is between four and five months pregnant, which doesn't give them much time to move forward. Scarlett Johansson is expected on set April 5, and is currently in the midst of her Captain America: The Winter Soldier press tour, so she can't arrive any sooner.
The unidentified insider confirmed the actress will begin shooting on April 5, after she has fulfilled her press obligations for next month's Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
"They're going to fast-track her scenes."
Those involved with the production have stated many times that Black Widow will have a substantially bigger part in the movie. At this time, no script changes are expected. Its conceivable that with the right stuntwoman in place, Scarlett Johansson will be able to shoot all of her scenes. But it won't be long before she starts to show. And the action intensive storyline may cause a problem for the actress. Of course, they can always use CGI to hide her pregnancy, but safety comes first.
Marvel is notorious for going back and picking up missed scenes, or moments that the filmmakers feel need to be added, at a later date. The subject of reshoots has not yet come up, but with the baby due in June or July, there will also be some time after she gives birth for any needed scenes to be shot, before the May 2015 release date.
This does calls into question The Black Widow solo film. While it is still a long ways off, it is unclear if it may even move forward now, depending on what Scarlett Johansson will choose to do after giving birth. She may instead focus on motherhood. In all likelihood, Marvel will just recast the character if this becomes an issue.
At this time, the pregnancy doesn't seem to threaten Avengers: Age of Ultron or the character of Black Widow too much. Worst case scenario is that we see less of Black Widow in the upcoming sequel. Best case scenario is that they cast someone new in terms of moving the character forward.