While the upcoming Black Widow movie will bid farewell to Scarlett Johansson’s MCU character, the film will also be teeing up a potential new franchise inside the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The action tentpole sets up Florence Pugh’s character Yelena Belova as a new superhero that will appear in future Marvel films, confirmed the film’s director Cate Shortland in the new issue of Empire.
“(Kevin Feige) realized that the audience would expect an origin story so, of course, we went in the opposite direction. And we didn’t know how great Florence Pugh would be. We knew she would be great, but we didn’t know how great. Scarlett is so gracious, like, ‘Oh, I’m handing her the baton.’ So it’s going to propel another female storyline.”
Shortland also teased that Black Widow will give MCU fans the closure that Avengers: Endgame didn’t over the death of Johansson’s Natasha Romanoff.
“In ‘Endgame,’ the fans were upset that Natasha did not have a funeral. Whereas Scarlett, when I spoke to her about it, said Natasha wouldn’t have wanted a funeral,” the director said. “She’s too private, and anyway, people don’t really know who she is. So what we did in this film was allow the ending to be the grief the individuals felt, rather than a big public outpouring. I think that’s a fitting ending for her.”