Categories: Entertainment

Report: ‘Black Widow’ to ‘hand the baton’ to Florence Pugh

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The upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) release Black Widow will reportedly feature Scarlett Johansson passing on the baton of the title character to young actress Florence Pugh, who will also star in the movie.

According to an exclusive report from Empire, the Black Widow film, which is slated for release later this year, will be Scarlett Johansson’s last hurrah (sort of), in playing the Marvel super-spy, as hinted by the movie’s director Cate Shortland.

It is quite possible that 24-year-old British actress, Florence Pugh, who will play international agent Yelena Belova in the movie, will take on the mantle of Black Widow, in future MCU offerings. For those not in the know, Yelena is another spy from the Black Widow program.

Subverting expectations

As shared by director Shortland to Empire, the filmmakers behind the upcoming Black Widow had realized that fans of the character would be expecting an origin movie.

But according to the Australian helmer, the Marvel Studios’ president himself, Kevin Feige, felt that the Black Widow character might have needed a storytelling approach that was propelling forward, as opposed to getting back to the origins of the character.

If indeed the latest offering from MCU will take this approach, handing the reins of the character to a relative newcomer will certainly count as a forward-looking move.

In more ways than one, Scarlett Johansson has done a pretty good job of owning the Black Widow character for about a decade now. Natasha Romanoff first appeared in the MCU through 2010’s Iron Man 2, and over the years, she has quickly become a mainstay or a welcome supporting character in subsequent MCU movies like The Avengers (2012), Captain America: The Winter Soldier (201), Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), Captain America: Civil War (2016), Avengers: Infinity War (2018), Avengers: Endgame (2019), and of course, this year’s Black Widow.

Still, she’s had a good run, and if the baton does need to be passed, choosing a talent like Pugh’s might not be too bad a choice as the next Black Widow.

On the rise

One can argue that Florence Pugh has had a pretty impressive half-decade run so far.

She broke through with a commanding performance in 2016’s Lady Macbeth and has since appeared in notable and major full-length feature films in recent years.

These include 2018’s Outlaw King (with Chris Pine), and a trio of 2019 gems that consist of Fighting with My Family, Midsommar (directed by Hereditary’s Ari Aster), and Little Women, for which Pugh got an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress (she eventually lost to Marriage Story’s Laura Dern).

In the upcoming Black Widow, she’ll get to showcase her action movie chops. For someone whose breakthrough came through dramatic roles, Pugh is not actually a total newbie when it comes to filming action scenes.

She did undergo extensive wrestling training because of last year’s Fighting With My Family, and many will agree that the biopic might have been the perfect warm-up role before tackling a Marvel comics character. For her supporters and MCU fans as well, they’ll soon find out later this year if Pugh will be slayin‘ it.

Images courtesy of Black Widow (Marvel Studios)

Guile Canencia

Guile Canencia has been a web content writer since 2012. He is endlessly fascinated by advances in consumer technology, while also a fan of comic books, music, and sports. In his free time, he loves to spend time with his wife, play soccer, and walk his pet mini schnauzer Mr. Miyagi.

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