Long-time Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige almost exited the company during the filming of 2012's Avengers over disagreements with his then boss, Marvel chairman Isaac "Ike" Perlmutter," according to Mark Ruffalo.
"When we did the first Avengers, Kevin Feige told me, ‘Listen, I might not be here tomorrow.’ And he’s like, ‘Ike does not believe that anyone will go to a female-starring super movie.’ So if I am still here tomorrow you will know that I won that battle," Ruffalo told The Independent.
Although Marvel had produced a female-led film before (2005's Elektra with 20th Century Fox), its first in-house female-led film was 2019's Captain Marvel. The idea of a Black Widow film is something Feige had spoken publicly about as far back as 2010 during the build-up to the character's debut in Iron Man 2.
"That was the turning point for Marvel. Because Kevin wanted black superheroes, women superheroes, LGBT superheroes. He changed the whole Marvel universe," Ruffalo said. "We now have gay superheroes, we have black superheroes, we have female superheroes - Scarlett Johansson has her movie coming out, we have Captain Marvel, they are doing She-Hulk next. No other studio is being that forwardly inclusive on that level."