Florence Pugh will take over baton from Scarlett Johansson in Black Widow, confirms director Cate Shortland


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Scarlett Johansson hands over the baton to actor Florence Pugh in the upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe film Black Widow. The film is anticipated to be Johansson’s ‘last hurrah’ as the spy character, which she has played since 2010’s Iron Man 2.

“[Kevin Feige] realized that the audience would expect an origin story so, of course, we went in the opposite direction,” said director Cate Shortland who confirmed that Pugh, an Oscar-nominee, will be a prominent part of the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe in an interview to Empire.

Cate further added, “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.”

 “In Endgame, the fans were upset that Natasha did not have a funeral,” Shortland said. Johansson’s Natasha Romanoff was assassinated in 2019’s Avengers: Endgame, but the character’s death was overshadowed by that of Robert Downey Jr’s Tony Stark, and the retirement of Chris Evans’ Steve Rogers.  “Whereas Scarlett, when I spoke to her about it, said Natasha wouldn’t have wanted a funeral,” she added.

The director further continued, “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.”

Black Widow, originally which was set to release for an April release, now has been postponed to November because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The film is a prequel, set between the events of Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War.


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