Iron Man 2 may be the cinematic debut for Marvel's femme fatale spy the Black Widow, but it's not the first time she was headed for the big screen. X-Men screenwriter David Hayter explains how Charlize Theron ruined everything.
Latino Review spills the beans, quoting from a Hayter interview in the book Tales From The Script: 50 Hollywood Screenwriters Share Their Stories:
I had a very solid relationship with Marvel, having worked on a number of films with them, and I was looking for something to write and direct. They brought up Black Widow, and I knew the character very well from the comic book. So I spent about a year working on the script, and I was extremely happy with it... Unfortunately, as I was coming up on the final draft, a number of female vigilante movies came out. We had Tomb Raider and Kill Bill, which were the ones that worked, but then we had BloodRayne and Ultraviolet and Aeon Flux. Aeon Flux didn't open well, and three days after it opened, the studio said, "We don't think it's time to do this movie." I accepted their logic in terms of the saturation of the marketplace, but it was pretty painful. I had not only invested a lot of time in that movie, but I had also named my daughter, who was born in that time period Natasha – after the lead character in Black Widow. I named my daughter after a movie that I wasn't working on anymore.
David Hayter Talks What Happened to Marvel's 'Black Widow' [Latino Review]