Emily Blunt may not be a huge fan of superhero movies, but there's a pretty good chance she would have accepted a shot at playing Marvel's Black Widow...if she wasn't stuck in a contract to make another movie. For years, the story has been that Blunt opted to do Gulliver's Travels with Jack Black rather than sliding into a leather bodysuit to appear in Iron Man 2. And while there is an element of truth to that, Blunt took a moment during a recent interview with Howard Stern to clear the air about one thing: Gulliver's Travels wasn't exactly her first choice.
According to Blunt, she signed a contract with 20th Century Fox that gave her a star-making role in The Devil Wears Prada, but part of the cost was that the same contract locked her into a second movie for the studio. That movie, chosen by Fox, turned out to be Rob Letterman's Gulliver's Travels, a loose adaptation of the adventure novel which starred Jack Black.
"I actually do want to clean up the story," Blunt told Stern during their conversation. "I was contracted to do Gulliver’s Travels. I didn’t want to do Gulliver’s Travels."
When Fox exercised Blunt's option and called her to work on Gulliver's Travels, she wasn't able to make the decision about Black Widow at all, since there would have ben no way to make Marvel wait on Iron Man 2 for her. She passed, the role went to Scarlett Johansson, and Blunt went on to appear in Gulliver's Travels, which received a dismal response from critics and a disappointing domestic box office, turning a modest profit only after making about three quarters of its money overseas.
Blunt characterized the situation as "a heartbreaker," explaining, "I take such pride in the decisions that I make, and they mean so much to me, the films that I do. I care very deeply, very, very much, about the choices I make. That’s all I have, the choices that I make."
This kind of situation comes up fairly often in Hollywood, although it's rare for a major star to be as...ahem...blunt about having been essentially forced to do a movie. Blunt hedged her bets somewhat in the interview, praising the cast and crew and saying that she had a good experience working on the movie...but it irked my heart for it to have happened in the first place."