Warning - This article contains spoilers for Black Widow.
Black Widow finally arrived in both theaters and on Disney+ via Premier Access for the world to see. It's been a long time coming, with the film originally set to have released last May. Obviously, a global pandemic got in the way of that.
But, it's all good now. The Marvel Studios train has started back up, and while the world is already on its third Marvel Disney+ show, Black Widow marks the first MCU film to release since Spider-Man: Far From Home in 2019. While it could have been said earlier, it's official now––the Marvel drought is over.
Thankfully, Black Widow is doing quite well with both critics and fans alike. In fact, it's even doing extremely well for Disney, having made a respectable amount of money both in theaters and on Disney+, especially in pandemic times. Needless to say, Disney's hybrid release seems to have been a good idea.
One of the biggest things to come out of Black Widow was Florence Pugh's Yelena Belova. She was a hit amongst audiences and is one of the most praised aspects of the film. Thankfully, if the post-credits scene is any indication, her character will have a long and fruitful future in the MCU.
Yelena actress Florence Pugh had a chat with Variety, and in it revealed her reaction to that post-credits reveal and having to film at Natasha's gravestone.
FLORENCE PUGH'S FIRST STINGER
Florence Pugh, the actress behind Black Widow's breakout character Yelena Belova, recently had a chat with Variety, and one of the things they touched upon was the film's post-credits scene.
That scene, where Julia Louis Dreyfus' Val is seen talking shop to Yelena while at Natasha's gravestone, wasn't actually a part of the movie's original production schedule that was done from May through September 2019. According to Pugh, it was shot "right around when we did reshoots for Black Widow."
Those additional scenes were shot in the winter of 2020, right before COVID-19 shut the world down and all productions with it. For Pugh, doing that post-credits scene after having worked with Scarlett Johansson for additional scenes made filming Yelena's visit to Natasha's grave much less emotionally devastating.
That's not to say it wasn't difficult, as Pugh noted that "It was quite shocking to fast-forward that quickly:"
“I was doing scenes again with Scarlett, and being strapped to her on various machines, and us giggling again... And then, the following week, I was at her grave! It was quite shocking to fast-forward that quickly... But wonderful to have only seen Scarlett the week previous. I think it would have been sadder if it had been many, many months later.”
Surprisingly though, Pugh wasn't aware that there was even going to be a post-credits scene. To have Yelena be the one featured in it pleased Pugh once she found out that she would be the focus.
As for what Yelena is going to do now that Natasha is dead, Push said that "she's going to continue what she's good at," and that even something like Yelena's costume "shows someone that's flourishing:"
“She’s going to continue what she’s good at, and despite her sister not being there, she’s back working... If you look at her costume, and you look at the way that she’s dressed herself, it shows someone that’s flourishing.”
Jumping ahead was something that Pugh really enjoyed, and simply seeing that Yelena was surviving was "really wonderful:"
“So to me, it was just really wonderful to kind of jump ahead and see she has been surviving...”
Going forward, Yelena's life won't be that simple; according to Pugh, the post-credits scene "sets up a whole different challenge:"
“But, of course, it sets up a whole different challenge — which is Natasha’s fighting partner.”
FLORENCE PUGH'S TIME TO SHINE
With all of the praise that Pugh's performance is getting from her time in Black Widow, it doesn't seem like the world is going to get tired of seeing her on-screen anytime soon. New characters join the MCU all the time, but they don't always get the amount of praise that Yelena Belova's entrance has gotten.
Good thing for fans, as the post-credits scene implicated, Florence Pugh will be returning to the MCU––this year, in fact, provided the rumored schedule for the year remains true. Of course, the project that Yelena will be seen in is none other than Hawkeye, in which she is likely to butt heads with not only Clint Barton but also Kate Bishop.
As for what Yelena is doing with Valentina and what her agenda is with Hawkeye, all of that remains a mystery. Though, going off of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier's closing few minutes, it would seem that U.S. Agent is also working with Val. So, that would seem to indicate that both he and Yelena are working together.
Will both of them show up in Hawkeye? That is the question, and fans will hopefully learn more when Hawkeye finally hits Disney+ later this year.