Florence Pugh was already one of the fastest-rising young stars in Hollywood before she even joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but her popularity reached new heights after Yelena Belova waltzed into the world’s biggest franchise and stole every scene she was in to become an instant fan favorite in Black Widow.
After being confirmed to reprise the role in Hawkeye, she remained one of the biggest talking points throughout the show’s six-episode run despite her contributions being fairly minimal in the grand scheme of things, but it sounds as though the natural successor to Natasha Romanoff’s crown is poised to be the main attraction of the upcoming antihero blockbuster Thunderbolts.
As per The Hollywood Reporter, not only is Pugh said to be “leading the ensemble cast” of the Phase Five flick, but she’ll also show up in another unnamed MCU project – and will pocket a sum in excess of $10 million for doing so. As an Academy Award nominee that’s already regarded as one of her generation’s finest performers, not to mention a massively beloved figure, it makes sense that the 26 year-old would take top billing in Thunderbolts.
If we’re being honest, the only other confirmed member of the roster who could rival her when it comes to being listed first is Sebastian Stan’s Bucky Barnes – who’s been a key part of the MCU for over a decade. Hannah John-Kamen’s Ghost, Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ Valentina Allegra de Fontaine, Wyatt Russell’s John Walker, David Harbour’s Red Guardian, and Olga Kurylenko’s Taskmaster round out the team, with freshly-minted Thaddeus Ross Harrison Ford also widely rumored to cameo, but it’s Pugh who looks set to spearhead the July 2024 release.