By the time Black Widow finally arrives in July, it’ll have taken eleven years, eight appearances and one onscreen death for Scarlett Johansson to finally get a solo movie of her own, but Florence Pugh’s Yelena Belova is already poised to take up the mantle and become the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s next highly trained Russian operative.
The actress hasn’t even made her MCU debut yet but has already shot scenes for Disney Plus exclusive series Hawkeye, while there were also rumors that she’d show up in The Falcon in the Winter Soldier, which ultimately amounted to nothing. However, we’ve heard from our sources this week – the same ones who told us the project was in development long before it was announced – that Pugh will have some sort of role in Captain America 4.
Steve Rogers and Natasha Romanoff were very close, and even buddied up during Captain America: The Winter Soldier, so it would certainly be in keeping with Phase Four’s idea of legacy to have their successors strike up a similar bond. Of course, Sam Wilson’s first feature-length outing in his new star-spangled garb was only confirmed to be in the works a couple of weeks back, so specifics remain unclear, but The Falcon and the Winter Soldier certainly set up a number of potential plot lines.
In the comic books, Yelena was once a member of the Thunderbolts, who were teased during the finale with John Walker and Zemo potentially doing the bidding of Contessa Valentina Allegra de la Fontaine, so there are no guarantees that Pugh’s Black Widow will be positioned as a straightforward hero once she’s fully established in the MCU, especially given the shades of grey with which Natasha regularly painted her past.