Hawkeye's Yelena Originally Had a Bigger Role In the Finale

Yelena Hawkeye role
By Russ Milheim Posted:

Marvel Studios’ Hawkeye has been one of the best received MCU Disney+ series to date; the perfect way to close out the year. Audiences got to meet newcomer Hailee Steinfeld’s self-proclaimed “world’s greatest archer” in Kate Bishop as she stumbled into Clint Barton’s messy Ronin legacy. The Ronin's reputation caused them to be hunted by the Tracksuit Mafia led by Alaqua Cox’s Echo, who was seeking revenge for the death of her father. Things got dialed up to eleven when the two were ambushed by a Black Widow assassin—who turned out to be none other than Florence Pugh’s Yelena Belova.

The character was last seen in Black Widow after being assigned a hit on Clint Barton. Pugh always gives a performance that audiences love, and it was no different this time around. In particular, her dynamic with Kate Bishop was a standout and immediately had fans clamoring for an official team-up.

Apparently, at one point, the world may have been able to enjoy even more of Yelena’s shenanigans.

Yelena Belova's Time Cut Short

Kate Yelena
Marvel

In an interview with Metro, Hawkeye director Rhys Thomas commented on a key sequence between Clint and Kazi that was not only meant to be longer, but also include another key character.

According to the director, the scene was originally set to show audiences “[the] stealthy side” of Ronin, and “Yelena was going to come up in the office as well:”

“The Kazi and Clint fight in the office, there was going to be a much longer sequence where Clint was going to take down all of the TSM [Tracksuit Mafia] in a sort of almost Ronin-like way, that you’d sort of see this stealthy side, and it was going to be a much longer sequence, that we ended up just truncating and Yelena was going to come up in the office as well… that was just a moving target of both script and logistics and stunt coordination and visual effects, all of this planning. It was a lot, for sure.”

Florence Pugh Can Come Anytime

After Black Widow released, Florence Pugh’s performance as Yelena Belova was cited as a highlight of the film by many—with the actor stealing every scene she was in. That doesn't seem to have changed for her Disney+ debut.

With her character seemingly forgiving Clint after momentarily connecting over the loss of Natasha, where she will show up next is a mystery. One thing is for sure: her employer, Julia Louis-Dreyfus' Val, isn’t going to be too thrilled with her failure to complete the hit.

Even more than her, Val’s employer, Wilson Fisk, probably won't have much tolerance for Yelena’s insolence. Though, the big man may have more to worry about before that makes it on the list.

As for where Florence Pugh may show up again, a second season for this series could be a good bet. Another possibility could be Captain America 4, which may also be a potential place for Val and her mysterious team to resurface.

Hawkeye is now streaming on Disney+.