Marvel 'Hands The Baton' To New Black Widow Florence Pugh

The director of Marvel's Black Widow seems to have let a major detail about the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe slip, or at least confirm something many suspected, in an interview with Empire. The film clearly takes place before the death of Scarlett Johansson's character in Avengers: Endgame and includes Florence Pugh as Yelena Belova, another operative from the KGB program that trained Natasha Romanov. The Belova character took on the Black Widow code name briefly in the comics, so it seemed likely that the same might happen in the movies. In the interview, director Cate Shortland seems to confirm that Pugh will take over as the MCU's new Black Widow:

“[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.”

Not a flat-out 100% confirmation, but pretty clear. Future Avengers movies could feature Pugh as a new Black Widow and Anthony Mackie taking over as our new Captain America, plus some combination of Spider-Man, Doctor Strange, Black Panther, and Captain Marvel. Thor, Hulk, and Hawkeye are still kicking around. I'd watch that team.

If not for the pandemic shutting down movie theaters we would have seen Black Widow back in April. Things being what they are, the movie has been pushed back to November 6th. Hopefully that will stick.

Photo: Getty Images

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