Director Cate Shortland has confirmed that the baton will be handed to Florence Pugh’s Yelena Belova in the upcoming Black Widow movie.
Due for release later this year, Black Widow not only sees Scarlett Johansson’s kick-ass heroine FINALLY getting her own movie, but it will also start Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).
Since the first trailer dropped, there have been rumours that Pugh’s Yelena could indeed take on the Black Widow mantle following Natasha Romanoff’s death in Avengers: Endgame, which now appears to be confirmed.
In an interview with Empire Magazine, director Shortland said:
“[Kevin Feige] realised that the audience would expect an origin story so, of course, we went in the opposite direction. And we didn’t know how great Florence Pugh would be.
We knew she would be great, but we didn’t know how great. Scarlett is so gracious, like, ‘Oh, I’m handing her the baton.’ So it’s going to propel another female storyline.”
Now there are three things Shortland seemingly confirms here: that the upcoming prequel will be Johansson’s last hurrah, that Pugh’s Yelena will be the new Black Widow, and finally that there is much more to come from the character, with the director mentioning propelling ‘another female storyline’.
Shortland also suggested the movie will give audiences a chance to say goodbye to the character, responding to the fan upset over Natasha not being given a funeral in Endgame.
The director added: “In Endgame, the fans were upset that Natasha did not have a funeral. Whereas Scarlett, when I spoke to her about it, said Natasha wouldn’t have wanted a funeral.
She’s too private, and anyway, people don’t really know who she is. So what we did in this film was allow the ending to be the grief the individuals felt, rather than a big public outpouring. I think that’s a fitting ending for her.”
Pugh of course has made quite an impact on Hollywood already, delivering incredible performances in films including Midsommar, Fighting With My Family and Little Women.
And if she is just as good as Yelena as Shortland says she is, and we reckon she is, then we could think of no one better for the Black Widow baton to be passed on to.
Black Widow is due to hit UK cinemas on 28th October.