The scene set the tone for how Natasha would often be treated in the early phases of the MCU, even after she’d been revealed to be one of Nick Fury’s top S.H.I.E.L.D. operatives. From undressing in the back of Happy’s car later in the film to being reintroduced in a revealing dress while tied to a chair in 2012’s The Avengers, the lone female member of the superteam is objectified and sexualized far more than her male counterparts. Even her story line in 2015’s Avengers: Age of Ultron focuses largely on a budding romance between her and Mark Ruffalo’s Bruce Banner, a strange development that is only awkwardly acknowledged in passing when they’re reunited a few movies later in Infinity War. “She was a character created for the male gaze,” Black Widow director Cate Shortland told Time when describing her impressions of Natasha’s previous MCU appearances. “Initially, even the way she moved, the way she dressed—it was helpful as a stepping stone. But it wasn’t who she was.”
Avengers” star Robert Downey Jr., 56, has unfollowed his fellow Marvel cast members on Instagram recently, including Tom Holland, 25, along with his good friend Chris Evans, 40, and it’s got the internet blippin’ out. This also comes just days before the release of 36-year-old Scarlett Johansson’s first MCU standalone film, “Black Widow,” on July 9. This social media sequel to the “Avengers” breakup went widely unnoticed over the holiday weekend — but more and more Iron Man/Tony Stark fans are beginning to express their shock online.
Val Kilmer has had a long and varied acting career—not just in genre movies, though he has made quite a few of those. So we’re used to seeing him in front of the camera. But who knew that the star of Batman Forever, Willow, Top Gun, Tombstone, and so many other iconic movies was also behind the camera a lot of the time, too?