Why Black Widow’s Story Is ‘Horrifying’, According To Florence Pugh

Florence Pugh as Yelena Belova and Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow in Black Widow (2020)

One of the most exciting aspects of Marvel’s Black Widow is that it will dive deeper into Natasha Romanoff’s mysterious past. With this, viewers will meet a number of faces from her past and get a sense of who she was before she joined up with S.H.I.E.L.D. and eventually Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. Of course, we know there are some relatively dark aspects of Natatsha’s past, and it would appear that they will take center stage in her solo film. There’s one aspect, in particular, that makes the film somewhat “horrifying” in Florence Pugh’s eyes.

Florence Pugh, who plays Yelena Belova in Black Widow, recently explained that she finds the film’s story somewhat unsettling. This is due to the fact that it centers on women who are dealing with immense trauma from horrible upbringings:

The storyline that we are telling is very horrifying. It's about women that have been, essentially, abused and trained up to be killing machines.

Hollywood has seen a bit of a shift both in front of and behind the camera, as the Me Too Movement has brought numerous stories of abuse to the surface. In the upcoming Marvel Studios’ Black Widow: The Official Movie Special Book (via Yahoo!), Pugh went onto stress that this is the right time for the film to be released and that it won’t shy away from its subject matter:

As Scarlett said over and over, this is the right time for her to be telling [Black Widow's] story. And we're not shying away from the fact that this story is essentially about women getting their life back.

Natasha Romanoff’s Marvel Cinematic Universe journey is one that’s filled with tragedy, abuse, violence and redemption. From a young age, she was trained to be an assassin with no personal ties and, as we learned in Avengers: Age of Ultron, that even included being sterilized. Things began to turn around, however, when she got on S.H.I.E.L.D.’s radar and joined the organization in an attempt to get some of the red out of her ledger. Romanoff would do many heroic things as a member of the Avengers, but her greatest act was her tragic sacrifice in Avengers: Endgame.

With Black Widow, Marvel will turn the clock back and force both Natasha and Yelena to face their past, as the villainous Taskmaster will be using the Red Room to control a new breed of assassins.

The concept of dealing with trauma will hopefully be one of the most compelling elements of Black Widow and, if Florence Pugh’s comments are any indication, this could very well be the case. Natasha Romanoff has proven to be one of the MCU’s most complex and beloved characters, and it’s only right that she has a film fitting of her legacy in the massive film franchise.

Black Widow is currently set to hit theaters on May 7, 2021.

Erik Swann
Senior Content Producer

Covering superheroes, sci-fi, comedy, and almost anything else in film and TV. I eat more pizza than the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.