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Black Widow Director Says Film Will Pass the Baton to Florence Pugh

July 6, 2020 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Black Widow Natasha Yelena

When Black Widow finally arrives later this year, it will apparently be just the beginning of Yelena Belova’s story. Director Cate Shortland spoke with Empire for a new interview and discussed the upcoming film, which is currently set to open on November 6th and will go back to the time period just after Captain America: Civil War to tell the story of what happened with Natasha Romanoff after that film.

“[Kevin Feige] realised that the audience would expect an origin story so, of course, we went in the opposite direction,” Shortland told the site about the film. “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.”

Natasha of course died in Avengers: Endgame, and there was some criticism of how the character didn’t get a funeral after she sacrificed herself on Vormir. Shortland said that Scarlett Johansson doesn’t believe that Natasha would have preferred it that way, saying, “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. 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.”

The film also stars David Harbour, O-T Fagbenle, William Hurt, Ray Winstone, and Rachel Weisz and is set to kick off Phase Four of the MCU.