As we’ve already discussed, Florence Pugh is everywhere. Now, Pugh is ascending to the next level by joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as she is in talks to join Scarlett Johansson in the Black Widow standalone movie. Apparently, Marvel was looking at her last year, but then went to look at other people, only coming back to Pugh after she got good reviews for being so goddamn delightful in Fighting with My Family. That is not unlike how the casting of Benedict Cumberbatch went down and, well, that worked out. The role Pugh is up for is unknown, but Variety describes it as a “second lead”.
If you say “second lead” in a Black Widow story, my mind goes right to Yelena Belova, another victim of the Red Room that made the Black Widow, and a rival assassin to Natasha Romanov. At one point, trying to prove she is the better assassin, Yelena goes toe-to-toe with Natasha. That’s not a bad story to adapt for a movie, but no one is exactly sure WHEN the Black Widow movie is set—will it be post-Endgame, or will it be a prequel a la Captain Marvel? If it’s post-Endgame, fine, great, bring on Yelena Belova because she makes for a great legacy Black Widow, if ScarJo is ready to go after finally getting her own movie.
But if the Black Widow movie is a prequel—which is the kind of idea that essentially admits “we should have made this movie years ago and didn’t”—I am going to be super f-cking pissed if they cast as brilliantly as Florence Pugh, especially if the role is Yelena Belova, and then they strand her in the Cold War or whenever the f-ck. We’re not sure who Pugh will be playing, but IF she is Yelena Belova and IF that movie ends up being a prequel it would be an astounding waste. Let Florence Pugh thrive in the new MCU led by Captain Marvel. Don’t put Baby in a corner!