Home / Hollywood / Scarlett Johansson will ‘hand over the baton’ to Florence Pugh in Black Widow, confirms director Cate Shortland
Scarlett Johansson will pass the baton to actor Florence Pugh in the upcoming Marvel movie Black Widow. The film is expected to be Johansson’s ‘last hurrah’ as the spy character, whom she has played since 2010's Iron Man 2.
In an interview to Empire, director Cate Shortland confirmed that Pugh, an Oscar-nominee, will be a prominent part of the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. “[Kevin Feige] realised 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.’ So it’s going to propel another female storyline.”
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Johansson’s Natasha Romanoff was killed off in 2019’s Avengers: Endgame, but the character’s death was overshadowed by that of Robert Downey Jr’s Tony Stark, and the retirement of Chris Evans’ Steve Rogers. “In Endgame, the fans were upset that Natasha did not have a funeral,” Shortland said. “Whereas Scarlett, when I spoke to her about it, said Natasha wouldn’t have wanted a funeral.”
The filmmaker continued, “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.”
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Black Widow, originally slated for an April release, has been pushed to November because of the coronavirus pandemic. The film is a prequel, set between the events of Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War.
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