In just under two weeks time director Joss Whedon’s comic book epic The Avengers will be released in theaters. A few short weeks after the U.S. opening of the long-awaited big screen depiction of The Avengers, Marvel’s next movie – Iron Man 3 – will go into production.

Though the cast of the next addition to the Tony Stark saga is filling up rather quickly with a bevy of notable and formidably talented actors, Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow will not be joining the adventures on this one. The actress told us she would not be appearing in Iron Man 3 at the start of our interview with her and The Hulk himself, Mark Ruffalo, at The Avengers Los Angeles press event last week. Johansson did, however, pitch the idea of a Jason Bourne-esque super hero movie featuring the Black Widow character.

Without spoiling anything from the film, we can say that Whedon gives Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow a rich back-story in The Avengers and plenty to fill out the rather rough character sketch that Iron Man 2 provided. I can unequivocally say that I would love to see the Black Widow/Hawkeye film that The Avengers so deftly lays the foundation for.

Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) in 'The Avengers'

The Hulk was another great success in the film and we predict that Mark Ruffalo’s Bruce Banner will be a fan-favorite once The Avengers has been released. The addition of the motion-capture technology to create The Hulk helps Ruffalo with his character’s superhuman counterpart in a way that we have not previously seen. Some fans were initially resistant to the recasting, but I believe they will ultimately be more than pleased with The Hulk that Whedon and Ruffalo have created. The actor even endured the embarrassment of the motion capture leotard in order to bring the SMASH more fully to life.

Though Kevin Feige has already discussed the next several films in the Marvel production pipeline it will be interesting to see if there are any further developments once The Avengers has been presented to audiences at large.

Please don’t post any major plot spoilers in the comments of our Avengers interview posts. If you want to chat about the film itself head over to our Avengers spoilers discussion.

The Avengers opens in theaters in the U.S. on May 4th.

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