Two years ago, Natasha Romanoff sacrificed herself to save half of the universe in Avengers: Endgame. The beloved character, played for over a decade by Scarlett Johansson, will get one last story in Black Widow, a solo film that follows Natasha between the events of Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War. While this will probably be the last time we see Johansson's Natasha in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the film also sets up another popular Black Widow from the comics, Yelena Belova, played by Florence Pugh.
Black Widow acts as a sort of passing of the baton from Natasha to Yelena, and Pugh is ready to carry on that legacy moving forward in the MCU, even though Johansson is leaving behind some big shoes to fill. When talking to ComicBook.com about the new Black Widow movie, Pugh opened up about the future of her character.
"First of all, I think when I came on board there wasn't even any conversations of whether there'd be this scene or that scene or a future Yelena," Pugh explained. "It was just like, 'Get involved, get stuck in.' And I was so grateful to be invited. Going forward, I think the most wonderful thing and the scary thing is that, obviously, I've got major shoes to fill. It's just been really wonderful seeing all the ways that Scarlett's changed conversation about her character. And I think for me, whatever future there is, I would love to, I suppose, follow in her footsteps in that way. How do we make Yelena different, how do we make her stand out? How do we make her powerful? And that's going to be an ongoing, I hope, conversation. Yeah, I suppose follow in Scarlett's footsteps in that way, changing it."
Yelena may take on a similar role in the MCU, but Natasha isn't simply getting replaced with a new character. The stories and legacies of the two women are intertwined, and Yelena couldn't exist as she does in the MCU without Natasha.
Fortunately, we won't have to wait too long to see how Pugh fits in with the rest of the MCU. The character will appear alongside Hailee Steinfeld and Jeremy Renner in Hawkeye, a new series coming to Disney+ later this year.
Are you excited for Florence Pugh's future as Yelena Belova in the MCU? Let us know in the comments!