Black Widow’s original plan included Tony Stark in the film but the screenplay improved with Secretary Ross’ presence as the enemy of Natasha Romanoff.
The original Black Widow script included Tony Stark’s appearance in the film, but the movie worked much better without the inclusion of Iron Man in it. Placed right between the events of Avengers: Infinity War and Captain America: Civil War, Black Widow reunited Natasha with her family; Red Guardian, Yelena Belova, and Melina Vostokoff to take Red Room down and also General Dreykov.
How Black Widow Would Have Included Tony Stark?
While the film is set between Phase 3 of Marvel Cinematic Universe, it was supposed to naturally include Tony Stark in the film. However, the man behind Tony Stark, Robert Downey Jr. was not supposed to shoot any footage for Black Widow as it went after the production of Endgame. As a result, it prohibited Downey from shooting any footage due to his contractual obligation with the franchise.
In this regard, the initial purpose of Black Widow was to re-use some of the footage between Natasha Romanoff and Tony Stark from Captain America: Civil War. For an instance, the farewell moment after the battle at the airport left Rhodes hospitalized with some spinal injuries. The scene might have reminded MCU fans that Natasha had a falling out with Tony and the team Avengers and she opted to go on a run as a result of a violation of the Sokovia Accords.
Black Widow Used Secretary Ross As The Antagonist
Apparently, it was not Tony Stark but Secretary Ross who played Natasha’s antagonist in Black Widow. Ross enforced Sokovia Accords and that is why he ran behind Natasha throughout the film to hunt her. Well, this was a smarter move by the makers overall. Tony’s presence in the film might have pulled a larger audience to himself, leaving the guest appearance turn into the only major thing of the film; like what happened in Spider-Man: Homecoming.
Additionally, Secretary Ross played the perfect enemy for Natasha because he is the she could easily face being against and not Tony Stark as he is much like a part of her family. While Marvel fans definitely miss the first ever Avenger, Iron Man, Black Widow was definitely not a place for him to return.