Avengers director and writer Joss Whedon has stated that that the Black Widow, played by Scarlett Johansson, will have a major role in Avengers: Age of Ultron. Johansson’s Black Widow character had a mixed reception in Iron Man 2 but after the Avengers, her popularity has grown. She is due to have a significant role in the currently filming Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and now it seems that she’ll have an even more important role in Age of Ultron.
Whedon promises that the Black Widow will have more screen time in the sequel, saying, “Natasha (Black Widow) is a huge part of the sequel because you do want to concentrate on the people who don’t have their own franchises… She was the most fun for me because she’s not a hero, you know, and it’s something that I read – and I feel bad that I can’t remember who wrote the book – but it’s in one of the books explaining, ‘These guys are heroes, you are a spy. It’s a different thing- it’s a different skill set – and you don’t have their moral high ground or any of that good stuff.’ And that just makes her so interesting to me. So yeah, the stuff I’ve got going on with her in the second one is killer.“
Whedon also says that Hawkeye will get better treatment this time around. Jeremy Renner, who plays Hawkeye, made a few statements proclaiming that he was very unhappy with the way his role turned out in The Avengers. He didn’t like that his character was basically a zombie for most of the film.
Renner says, “At the end of the day, 90% of the movie, I’m not the character I signed on to play . I’m literally in there for two minutes, and then all of a sudden… All I could really work on was the physical part of it all, because that didn’t change. That was just the biggest challenge to overcome in playing the guy. Also, we’re pretty much introducing a new superhero character to everyone in a movie where there’s a thousand superheroes. So there’s not a lot of back story or understanding we can really tell about who Clint Barton is, or Hawkeye, and is he working for SHIELD or not. There’s a lot of unanswered questions, even for me. And I was OK with that. At least I was still in the movie. And I was glad for that. The closest thing I could really link to was Scarlett’s character, Black Widow, because they have a history. And that definitely plays in the movie, I think. And obviously, you can’t go into too much just because there’s so much story to tell, but you definitely get a sense that they’re connected, and that there’s something really, really important that ties them together. And I could try to summarize it, but it can go a lot of places. That excites me, though, that there’s room for other things. I think he’s already an interesting enough character. To really kind of take away who that character is and just have him be this sort of robot, essentially, and have him be this minion for evil that Loki uses. Again, I could just focus on the task. I was limited, you know what I mean? I was a terminator in a way. So yeah, fun stunts. But is there any sort of emotional content or thought process? No. That doesn’t exist in that time that he’s hypnotized. It happens to be for most of the movie.“
Expect both Hawkeye and the Black Widow to have bigger roles in the sequel than in the original.