After her heartbreaking end on Vormir in Endgame, fans got a glimmer of hope seeing Scarlett Johansson appear back on our screens for the upcoming Black Widow solo film. However, although this might be the final show for Johansson’s Natasha Romanoff, the film will mark the first appearance of Florence Pugh as Yelena Belova.
In an interview with director Cate Shortland for Empire magazine’s upcoming Big-Screen Preview issue, Shortland praises about Pugh’s introduction into the MCU saying, “[W]e 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.”
Pugh, who has received critical acclaim for her roles in films like Lady Macbeth, Midsommar, and Little Women, will join the rest of the Black Widow cast in taking part in the beginning of Phase Four in the MCU. Although the film will now be released on November 6th, 2020, the story is set after Captain America: Civil War. Pugh’s Yelena is another spy and assassin trained in the Red Room as a Black Widow, she is described as a “sister-figure” to Natasha, though in the comics they were originally enemies-turned-allies.
For fans who were upset that Natasha did not get a funeral after her sacrifice, Shortland explained, “[W]hat 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.” Johansson told Shortland that Natasha would not have wanted a funeral, “She’s too private, and anyway, people don’t really know who she is,” Shortland relayed.
Joining Johansson and Pugh in the film is David Harbour, O.T. Fagbenle, William Hurt, Ray Winstone, Rachel Weisz, and Olivier Richters. Robert Downey Jr. will also be reprising his role as Tony Stark/Iron Man.