Ray Winstone tried to quit Marvel’s Black Widow

Black Widow
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Of his work on Marvel’s Black Widow, Ray Winstone says that in the end, “it’s like being kicked in the balls”.

Ah, you know the drill everybody. An actor does an interview, and movie websites home in on the bit they said about working within the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Ordinarily, I’d turn a blind eye, but one, it’s Ray Winstone, and two, he’s unusually candid about just where actors fit into the productions. It’s the Radio Times he’s been talking to, primarily to promote a pair of Netflix productions. There’s the film Damsel, opposite Millie Bobby-Brown, and then the episodic spin-off from The Gentlemen.

But Winstone did his Marvel stint with the film Black Widow, and he’s lifted the lid on why he nearly walked about from the project altogether. He told the outlet that “it was fine until you have to do the reshoots”.

That was the moment, he revealed, when you “find out that a few producers have come down and your performance is too much, it’s too strong”.

He talked about that being the way the Marvel machinery is set up, admitting “it can be soul-destroying”. In his case, he got to the point where he tried to get out of the movie altogether. He told Marvel that it should recast his role “because that was it for me”. But also, he knew he didn’t have much of a leg to stand on. “You end up doing it again because you’re contracted to do it. Otherwise you end up in court. It’s like being kicked in the balls.”

Marvel had its hands full with Black Widow anyway, a movie whose released came during the early stages of the Covid-19 pandemic and assorted lockdowns. Then, it led to legal action from its star, Scarlett Johansson. There have been no known plans for a Black Widow 2, and there are no known plans to find a way to bring Ray Winstone back to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Black Widow is available on Disney+ now.

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