After Scarlett Johansson Calls Black Widow A Franchise, We Now Know More About The Plan For Florence Pugh

Florence Pugh in Black Widow

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The Marvel Cinematic Universe is an ever-expanding place, with new installments arriving in theaters regularly. Moviegoers are eager to see Phase Four begin with Black Widow, which is also expected to give Scarlett Johansson's title character a proper ending. But Johansson recently described the highly anticipated blockbuster as a "standalone franchise", possibly teasing a future of more Black Widow movies in the future. And that puts the question of Florence Pugh's character s Yelena Belova/Black Widow, and what role she might have in the future.

Black Widow is set between the events of Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War, and will dive into the character's mysterious backstory. The upcoming blockbuster should also bring new context to Natasha's sacrifice in Endgame, but Scarlett Johansson's recent quote about the Black Widow franchise may signify that the standalone movie will get sequels. Director Cate Shortland recently spoke about Florence Pugh's upcoming role in the spinoff, saying:

[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.

Well, this is exciting. We already knew that Black Widow will feature multiple assassins who share that code name, but it looks like Florence Pugh's Widow in particular could have some serious legs in the MCU. Should we expect her to eventually join The Avengers as Natasha's replacement? Only time will tell.

Cate Shortland's comments to Empire are sure to inspire a few fan theories, as it turns out Black Widow could have even bigger implications for the greater Marvel Cinematic Universe than we originally anticipated. While fans expected the long-awaited solo flick to reveal more about Natasha's history, the movie's placement in the MCU timeline seemingly kept the story contained. That is, unless Florence Pugh's Yelena Belova ends up leading a standalone property that continues Black Widow's story.

Marvel fans can re-watch Black Widow's tenure in the MCU on Disney+. You can use this link to sign up for the new streaming service.

Scarlett Johnansson and Cate Shortland's recent comments about Florence Pugh's Black Widow role seemingly mirrors the messages that the movie's final trailer has sent. The last full trailer for the blockbuster was very much focused on Yelena's perspective, with Pugh's character narrating the first half of the clip. As a reminder, you can check it out below.

Considering that Black Widow's marketing has shifted focus from Scalett Johansson to Florence Pugh, perhaps we could really see Yelena take on the mantle from her "sister" Natasha. Pugh's starpower has been steadily growing over the past few years, particularly with projects like Midsommar and her Oscar nominated performance in Little Women. So she seems like a great choice to lead her very own standalone franchise within the Marvel Cinematic Universe. What's more, fans would love to see her in a big crossover event like The Avengers.

The truth about Florence Pugh's character Yelena will be revealed when Black Widow hits theaters on its new release date of November 6th. In the meantime, check out our 2020 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Graduated with degrees theater and literature from Ramapo College of New Jersey. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid. He's particularly proud of covering horror franchises like Scream and Halloween, as well as movie musicals like West Side Story. Favorite interviews include Steven Spielberg, Spike Lee, Jamie Lee Curtis, and more.