‘Black Widow’ Will ‘Hand the Baton’ To Florence Pugh’s Character
All it took for Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow to get her own solo Marvel movie was (uh, spoilers) die. In Avengers: Endgame, Natasha sacrificed her life to help the Avengers retrieve the Soul Stone and defeat Thanos. In Black Widow, set before the events of Endgame, Natasha reunites with the “family” of fellow spies she left behind many years earlier.
That family includes Yelena Belova, played by Florence Pugh. In Marvel’s comics, Yelena becomes the second character to use the Black Widow identity. Although the two women were rivals for years, after Natasha’s death in the pages of Marvel Comics (she got better), Yelena adopted the Black Widow name for herself. So it’s only natural to wonder whether Pugh and Yelena will become the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s new Black Widow, and appear in future Avengers movies using that name.
It definitely sounds possible based on an interview Black Widow director Cate Shortland gave with Empire. Describing the relationship between Johansson and Pugh in the movie:
“[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.’”
This next phase of the MCU looks like it may contain several characters adopting the identities of the superheroes that died or retired in Avengers: Endgame. The first Marvel Disney+ series, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, will feature two rivals fighting over the title of Captain America. Spider-Man: Far From Home saw Peter Parker inherit much of Tony Stark’s technology. And Black Widow could see a literal handing of the baton, in addition to this more metaphorical one. Black Widow is scheduled to open in theaters on November 6.
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