Florence Pugh’s Yelena Belova has been one of the top trending topics for two consecutive Wednesdays after Hawkeye aired on Disney Plus, even though she hasn’t even appeared on the show yet.
That’s another sign of just how closely the fans hold Black Widow‘s breakout star to their hearts, but the most recent promo for next week’s installment makes it pretty clear that she’s on the way. While the post-credits scene of Scarlett Johansson’s solo movie leads directly into Hawkeye, lead writer Jonathan Igla admits that he still had to beg Marvel for her inclusion.
While everything in the cinematic universe is connected in some fashion, it’s not quite as simple as writing someone into a script and then having them show up on set, especially for a talent as in-demand as Pugh. Luckily for Igla, the Black Widow stinger was Marvel’s idea, and he revealed that it set things up for Hawkeye quite nicely.
“[Black Widow’s post-credits scene] came from Marvel, but it came in response to [us] begging for and making a good case for why Yelena had a place in our story. I think what I can safely say about it right now is that there is an obvious connection between Clint’s guilt over the loss of his best friend and the other person in the world who cared the most about her.”
The first three Hawkeye episodes contained plenty of references to Natasha Romanoff, which it likely would have done anyway even if Yelena wasn’t part of the story, but it’s all worked out in the end. Audiences have been desperate to see more of Pugh since she stole every Black Widow scene she was in, and it looks as though we’ve only got a few more days to wait for her hotly-anticipated return to the fray, even if her debut only came five months ago.