‘Black Widow’ Director Says Film ‘Hands the Baton’ to Florence Pugh: ‘Propels New Female Story’

A long-standing rumor surrounding the upcoming Marvel movie “Black Widow” is that the action tentpole sets up Florence Pugh’s character Yelena Belova as a new superhero that will appear in future Marvel films now that Scarlett Johansson’s tenure as Black Widow is ending.

The film’s director, Cate Shortland, more or less confirmed that’s the case in a new interview with Empire magazine.

Shortland said that while her “Black Widow” film is a swan song for Johansson, it’s also a launching pad for Pugh in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.“[Kevin Feige] realized that the audience would expect an origin story so, of course, we went in the opposite direction,” Shortland said.

“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.

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