Marvel's Black Widow Star Praises Florence Pugh's MCU Performance

By Aeron Mer Eclarinal Updated:
Florence Pugh as Yelena Belova, Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff, Black Widow logo

Black Widow is the next big-screen addition to the ever-expanding Marvel Cinematic Universe, but the film experienced multiple road bumps before landing a final release date.

The film was supposed to kick off Phase 4 of the MCU, but the pandemic derailed that plan. After several delays, Black Widow will now premiere on Disney+ premier access and in theaters on July 9, 2021. 

Directed by Cate Shortland, the prequel will showcase the return of Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff for presumably her last MCU stint, and she will be joined by a slew of veterans such as Rachel Weisz, David Harbour, and Florence Pugh. 

Plot details are still being kept under wraps, but marketing for Black Widow suggests that the film will do a deep dive into Romanoff's past in the Red Room. The inclusion of the character's Russian family amplifies that, and the aforementioned stars will all play vital roles to provide insight on how Romanoff became a dangerous spy

Now, new information about the film has emerged in a recent interview with one of its stars. 


Black Widow Florence Pugh

Black Widow star O-T Fagbenle recently sat down with Entertainment Tonight to talk about the upcoming MCU film, and one of the topics came up was his co-star, Florence Pugh. 

Without giving away spoiler-heavy details, Fagbenle expressed his excitement in seeing Pugh's portrayal of Yelena Belova in the film, admitting that the actress “smashes it” in the prequel: 

“I’m really excited to see that my homie, Florence Pugh, smashes it. She’s so good… I’m excited to be part of it.”

The actor also teased that Black Widow director Cate Shortland “created a really fascinating exploration of family within the context of a Marvel movie.”


Fagbenle's comment should boost fans' anticipation for Florence Pugh's Marvel debut in Black Widow.

Pugh's Yelena Belova has been involved in multiple rumors regarding the MCU's future, with reports claiming that she will appear alongside Jeremy Renner in Hawkeye.

In a previous interview, Cate Shortland even revealed that the Phase 4 entry will “propel another female storyline” with Scarlett Johansson's Natasha Romanoff “handing the baton” to Yelena. 

All of this evidence suggests that Pugh will likely carry on the legacy of Scarlett Johansson's Marvel hero, and Fagbenle's excitement is a solid indication of the actress' bright future in the superhero franchise. 

The actor's remark about Black Widow serving as a medium for a “really fascinating exploration of family” presents a unique storytelling approach for someone like Romanoff.

Throughout the Infinity Saga, Romanoff was trying to find her place in the world, which she largely found by joining the Avengers. Black Widow will offer a different side of Romanoff's perspective of family, considering that her Russian household is not really a true version of it. 

Exploring this plot point should add more layers to Romanoff's character arc in the MCU, and this should shed some more light behind her heroic sacrifice during Avengers: Endgame

From Taskmaster's real identity all the way to Romanoff's definition of family, Black Widow has a lot of moving parts that need to be addressed.

These story beats will no doubt provide more context about Romanoff's dangerous past while also laying the foundation for Belova's next chapter in the MCU. 

- In This Article: Black Widow
Release Date
July 09, 2021
- About The Author: Aeron Mer Eclarinal
Aeron is a news/features writer and Content Lead for The Direct who has been working for the site since March 2020. From writing about the inter-connectivity of the Marvel Cinematic Universe to having an extended knowledge about DC TV's Arrowverse, Aeron's expertise has since expanded into the realm of reality TV, K-drama, animated, and live-action shows from Netflix,  Disney+, Prime Video, MGM+, Peacock, Paramount+, and Max. When he isn't writing and watching all things MCU, Aeron is heavily invested with the NBA (go Celtics!) and occasionally watches thrilling matches in the WWE.