Scarlett Johansson "passing the baton" to Florence Pugh as Black Widow
There's a position open for a new spy on the Avengers team...
The director behind Marvel's upcoming Black Widow solo movie has hinted that Florence Pugh could take up the mantle moving forward.
Initially scheduled for release back in May, the film was delayed until November due to the coronavirus outbreak that saw cinemas around the world shut up shop.
A prequel to Avengers: Infinity War, Black Widow marks the first solo outing for Scarlett Johansson's former KGB operative turned superhero as she returns to Russia and reunites with Yelena Belova (Pugh), a fellow spy with whom she shares a sister-like bond.
Director Cate Shortland spoke to Empire Magazine about the hotly anticipated blockbuster and her comments imply Pugh could become the next Black Widow, just as some fans had speculated.
She said: “[Kevin Feige] realised 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.”
If Pugh is to follow in Johansson's footsteps, it's possible her character could enjoy a similarly ambitious arc to that of Natasha Romanoff, which has spanned seven movies to date (her upcoming solo film being the eighth).
That has huge implications for the future of the MCU and who will be the major players moving forward, as heroes are required to fill the void left by Black Widow, Iron Man and Captain America after Avengers: Endgame.
Speaking of, Shortland went on to reflect on why Black Widow didn't get a funeral of her own at the end of the epic crossover flick.
“Scarlett, when I spoke to her about it, said Natasha wouldn’t have wanted a funeral,” she said. “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 is scheduled for release in cinemas on 6th November 2020. If you're looking for something to watch, check out our TV Guide.