As Marvel deals with the aftermath of the events of Avengers: Endgame, the franchise has seemingly found a new lead in Little Women’s Florence Pugh. The actress is set to introduce herself in the upcoming Black Widow movie as a “sister” of Johanssen’s Natasha Romanoff. Named Yelena, the character will share Romanoff’s origin and also be a spy.
As many fans would know(Spoiler Alert!) Natasha died in Avengers: Endgame and so it makes sense that a new character would pick up the mantle.
— IGN (@IGN) July 6, 2020
The upcoming Black Widow film is a prequel set before the events of Captain America: Civil War. The film sees the spy confront her past as she goes against the agency that made her become a spy. The movie is not only said to be our last time seeing Natasha but as director Cate Shortland has herself confirmed the movie will see the Black Widow moniker be taken up by Yelena.
“[ Producer 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.”
The new Black Widow movie was set to drop in early summer but now has been pushed back to November but given how countries all over the world are still struggling to overcome the virus, it is anyone’s guess just when the film will hit theaters.
There is always the possibility of the movie shifting to a new date in 2021 or even landing on PVOD services, a model which has proved to be very successful as of late for Universal Studios. Plus, Disney which owns Marvel has just launched a streaming service called Disney+ and with no new Marvel films hitting cinemas right now, its possible that Black Widow ends up on the streaming service as well.
Florence Pugh’s Rise
Cate Shortland on what to expect from ‘BLACK WIDOW’:
“In Endgame, fans were upset that Natasha didn’t 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… pic.twitter.com/I9afBoQD7Y
— DiscussingFilm (@DiscussingFilm) July 6, 2020
In the comics, Yelena becomes the second Black Widow and is more of an antihero than Natasha. Like Natasha she was trained by the same spymasters that trained Natasha and has much of the same training. It is understood, given the character’s trajectory in the comics as well as Shortland’s comments, that Yelena will be the new Black Widow in all upcoming MCU films.
Pugh’s rise has been nothing less than meteoric given that she’s snagged many Award nominations including an Academy Award nod in just a few years. Her work last year in Midsommer, as well as her Oscar-nominated turn in Little Women, in particular, made her one to watch out for. Now, Marvel has replaced Johansson who is herself an Oscar nominee, with an up and coming star of the same calibre.
It will be very interesting to see how and where Marvel utilizes Yelena’s character going forward and what fans will think of the new Black Widow.