The MCU has brought plenty of new heroes to the table in Phase 4, among the most popular being Yelena Belova, played by Oscar-nominee Florence Pugh. The actress made quite a splash as the sister of Scarlett Johansson's Natasha Romanoff in Black Widow and Hawkeye, and she will soon be back once again.
Pugh was recently revealed to be taking on a starring role in 2024's Phase 5-closing ensemble Thunderbolts alongside David Harbour's Red Guardian, Sebastian Stan's Winter Soldier, and more. The Black Widow breakout has even been reported to be the main star of the team-up as it serves as her spin-off.
But with two MCU appearances under her belt and another on the way soon, fans are wondering what the future holds for the ever-popular Yelena Belova, and a new report may have offered some clues.
Florence Pugh Lines Up Big MCU Future
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Black Widow actress Florence Pugh will receive an eight-figure pay cheque for her next two theatrical appearances as Yelena Belova. The actress has currently only been confirmed to return in 2024's villain-centric ensemble Thunderbolts, leaving a second unknown movie title in play.
Perhaps the mystery MCU outing will be the one that former Black Widow Scarlett Johansson has signed on to produce, or maybe Pugh will join many of her fellow heroes in Avengers: The Kang Dynasty or Avengers: Secret Wars.
Florence Pugh's Massive MCU Future Explained
Florence Pugh already got two MCU appearances on her resume in 2021 with Black Widow and Hawkeye, but now she won't be seen again until 2024. During this extended absence, Pugh will have appeared in the likes of Don't Worry Darling and Dune: Part Two, before ultimately making her comeback for these two outings.
Obviously, the promise of her receiving an eight-figure pay cheque would indicate taking on a starring role, as she has already been confirmed to be for Thunderbolts. Pugh's intense commitments to Thunderbolts likely remove any Phase 5 or early Phase 6 appearance from the equation for this mystery MCU movie.
Looking at Avengers: Infinity War, only three actors were believed to make an eight-figure sum - Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, and Chris Hemsworth. So, if the mystery project were to be The Kang Dynasty or Secret Wars, Pugh ought to take a leading role, but that seems unlikely in a Multiversal affair.
Scarlett Johansson's mysterious MCU production may offer an opportunity; the project has been confirmed to have no relation to Romanoff, but one would assume it to have connections to the Black Widow mythos. Perhaps this will be a sequel to Black Widow that sees Yelena take on the spy hero mantle.
Alternatively, Spider-Man star Tom Holland has already opened up about how he has spoken with Pugh, sharing hopes to make a team-up happen, although it hasn't been pitched to the big bosses yet. So could Yelena join Holland for a street-level story in Spider-Man 4? It's too soon to rule anything out on that front.
Of course, the MCU is constantly expanding and new projects are emerging every few months, so there's every chance this appearance will come with something that the public has no idea exists yet. Perhaps even Marvel Studios has yet to even decide how it will utilize this contracted appearance.
Florence Pugh's Yelena Belova can be seen in Black Widow, streaming now on Disney+; the actress will next be seen in Thunderbolts which hits theatres on July 26, 2024.