Scarlett Johansson & Florence Pugh Got Pneumonia Shooting Black Widow

By Pamela Gores Updated:
Black Widow Florence Pugh Scarlett Johansson

With under two months to go until its reported release date, Black Widow is gearing up to lead Marvel Studios' charge back into theaters. Working from an original release date that's almost a year old, the Scarlett Johansson-led film will mark the beginning of the MCU's long-awaited theatrical endeavors of Phase 4. 

As such, marketing for the film is slowly beginning to ramp up. New promotional materials were recently spotted at Disneyland in California, and newly-uncovered set photos have made the rounds online.

Keeping in mind Disney's promise of new marketing materials for Black Widow when the time is right, it's safe to say that said time might be quickly approaching. This could be especially true considering Disney and Marvel Studios are becoming more and more adamant about the current May 7 release date.

In the meantime, a new interview with lead star Johansson and director Cate Shortland has emerged, and it unveiled some interesting insight into the filming of the Black Widow's first solo outing...


While speaking with The Gentlewoman magazine, Black Widow director Cate Shortland mentioned that both Scarlett Johansson and Florence Pugh came down with cases of pneumonia while shooting.

This was likely due to the fact that the MCU standalone film was shot over "four months of multiple locations and a relentless schedule," according to The Gentlewoman. Shortland compared it to "being in the army," but still praised Johannson's presence on set:

“It was like being in the army... [Johansson's] completely unpretentious...and that makes her really fun to be around. She’ll be joking with the best boy or the runner; there’s no hierarchy. She appreciates people, and she makes people feel appreciated.”


Similar to an infamous quote from a classic Marvel comic storyline, Scarlett Johansson is the Black Widow, and even death (or, in this case, pneumonia) can't take that away from her.

Black Widow Vol.7, #4, Marvel Comics
Black Widow Vol.7, #4

While it's not surprising the conditions that the cast and crew sometimes have to work through to achieve a finished product, this reveal does highlight the anticipation they all must have for audiences to finally see Black Widow.

Black Widow will serve as Johansson's first time as an executive producer on an MCU film, emphasizing her deep connection to the titular character she has portrayed for just over a decade. No matter what could've gotten in her or anyone else's way, there's no denying Black Widow was and is a passion project for those involved.

This is likely why there is such a strong push for Black Widow to be in theaters rather than on Disney+. The movie was crafted to be a cinematic experience; the only aspect getting in the way of this is the MCU's integral continuity between its film and Disney+ shows. Push Black Widow too far, and other properties may be affected even more so.

Either way, Black Widow will be seen soon enough. Hopefully, Johansson, Pugh, and everyone else involved will cherish their work on the first film in Phase 4 even more so because of the wait. 

Black Widow will reportedly release in Chinese theaters on April 30, followed by the U.S. release on May 7. 

- In This Article: Black Widow
Release Date
July 09, 2021
- About The Author: Pamela Gores
Pamela Gores is the Managing Editor of Copy and a writer at The Direct, where she's held these roles for over three years. A diehard MCU fan since 2012's The Avengers, she harbors an extensive appreciation for all things relating to Natasha Romanoff. Pamela serves as the main point of contact for all matters relating to editing and publishing at The Direct, maintains the staff's Writing and Publishing Guide, and helps implement all the latest copy rules, whether in-house or according to AP Style.