You’ve got an awesome job and a man you absolutely adore. Things are going swimmingly. Then one day, BAM! — a hot Russian chick shows up and ruins everything. Your name is Pepper Potts and you’ve just fallen prey to…The Other Woman.
For an industry obsessed with perfection, there’s this radical idea in Hollywood that says things cannot go smoothly in movies, especially when it comes to love. Crazy, I know.
Of course, in comic book films you have supervillains to create instant drama for you — but when it comes to sequels and subsequent follow-ups, creators always feel the need to add more fuel to the fire. And as a sexy spy/assassin, Scarlett Johansson’s character in “Iron Man 2,” Black Widow, is practically plutonium.
"I was more concerned about the interpersonal dynamic and how the presence of [Johansson's character] would affect Tony and Pepper," director Jon Favreau told MTV News. "Because what I didn't want to do is make this film episodic, like just another episode of a TV series. So one way to approach that is to shift the dynamic with the introduction of new characters."
And we’ve already seen a taste of that approach in one of the "Iron Man 2" clips released last week.
Still, even though Tony and Pepper aren't officially together, actress Gwyneth Paltrow knows the characters have something special.
"I think in the films, they definitely have that sort of soulmate-ish connection," she told MTV News.
But on the other hand, Robert Downey Jr. tells us we could be surprised: “Whatever [the relationship] is supposed to be, we're going to play with that and probably do something shockingly different."
Black Widow isn’t the only well-known character used specifically to tempt a hero away from his leading lady lately, either. In “Spider-man 3,” Bryce Dallas Howard’s Gwen Stacy was introduced as a rival to Kirsten Dunst’s character, Mary Jane, yielding some interesting results. Whereas in the comics, Gwen had dibs on Peter Parker first, in the films it’s MJ — leaving many fans conflicted about who to root for.
In “Superman Returns,” it was actually The Other Man who caused the drama. James Marsden’s Richard White was brought in as fiancé to Kate Bosworth’s Lois Lane to throw a wrench in Superman’s plans. Though traditionally it’s Lana Lang who causes the strife for Lois, she’s never been used quite that way in any of the previous Superman films.
Along the same lines, it’s a safe bet that if next summer’s “Green Lantern” is a success, we’ll be seeing the appearance of Jillian Pearlman (aka Cowgirl) in the sequel to cause trouble for Hal Jordan and Carol Ferris.
Luckily, Batman can’t keep a girlfriend long enough to be bothered by such trivial temptations.
What do you think readers? Is The Other Woman necessary or can studios bring in female comic book characters without them having to serve as a potential love interest? Let us know what you think in the comment section or on Twitter!