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Black Widow Movie Sees Scarlett Johansson ‘Handing the Baton’ to Florence Pugh


While the upcoming Black Widow movie takes place several years ago in the MCU timeline, that doesn’t mean it won’t have a profound impact on Marvel’s movies going forward. Director Cate Shortland reveals the movie will see Scarlett Johansson’s Natasha Romanoff officially pass the torch to Florence Pugh’s Yelena Belova.Shortland revealed as much during an interview with Empire, revealing that the movie is setting up a long-term storyline for Pugh’s character. Based on that, Yelena may well be the MCU’s designated Black Widow in Phase 4 and beyond.

“[Kevin Feige] realised that the audience would expect an origin story so, of course, we went in the opposite direction,” Shortland said. “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.”

Who Is Black Widow’s Yelena Belova?

This would seem to discredit our earlier theory that the movie will see Yelena transform into the powerful Super-Adaptoid, as she did in Marvel’s comics.

Even though the movie takes place in between the events of Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War, Black Widow will also be focused on wrapping up Natasha’s MCU story arc and giving fans closure following the character’s heroic sacrifice in Avengers: Endgame.

“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,” Shortland said. “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.”

Black Widow should have arrived in theaters already, but the movie is among numerous Hollywood projects delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s currently set for release on November 6, 2020, the date previously reserved for Marvel’s The Eternals. The good news is that Black Widow’s delay won’t impact the larger MCU timeline.While we wait for Black Widow’s release, see Johansson, Margot Robbie and other stars fight each other in quarantine, and find out how Johansson’s salary compares to her Marvel co-stars.

Jesse is a mild-mannered staff writer for IGN. Allow him to lend a machete to your intellectual thicket by following @jschedeen on Twitter.

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