Black Widow is mostly being hyped as a possibly final showcase for Scarlett Johansson in the MCU, following Natasha Romanoff meeting her end in Avengers: Endgame. However, it could also act as a new beginning, too, through the introduction of Florence Pugh’s Yelena Belova. As Nat’s surrogate sister and fellow Widow, Yelena has a long history in the comics herself, so there’s lots of potential for her to remain aboard the franchise following her debut movie.
While speaking to Total Film, the British actress touched on the opportunity for her to return following BW. Pugh didn’t divulge any secret deals she may have made with Marvel, but she did say that she would love to do more with her character. According to the star, though, it all depends on whether audiences take to Yelena or not.
“If you get asked to be in a Marvel film, and it was so thrilling and fun and exciting to be in, then of course, your head goes: ‘Oh my God. If this is what it’s like, then what else is next?'” the British actress tells Games Radar. “If that happens and I am lucky enough that people appreciate my character, that’s an exciting road to go on. I would be silly to not be excited by it. I think that being part of the Marvel club is a great honour. But we’ll just see if people like Yelena first.”
Interestingly, Pugh seems to be more cautious with her words than director Cate Shortland, who spoke with Empire over the summer and let slip that Johansson used to say on set that she was “handing her the baton.” That sounds a lot like Black Widow will wrap up Natasha’s MCU journey and set up more appearances for Yelena as the franchise’s new Black Widow. Perhaps this will involve leading Black Widow 2. Or maybe she’ll be part of the Thunderbolts.
Pugh also told Total Film about how the pic tells a “painful” but “important” story about “the abuse of women.” We already know a little about how badly the Widows are treated when they’re trained as assassins in the Red Room, but it seems like the movie won’t shy away from fully exploring the darkness of what both Nat and Yelena went through.
We’ll find out if audiences take to Yelena when Black Widow finally arrives on November 6th.