Published On: Sat, Aug 3rd, 2019

Black Widow details: Florence Pugh is Yelena, more Widows, Red Guardian explained

From San Diego Comic-Con to now, there have been some new details to discuss regarding Black Widow, the first new film in Marvel’s phase four of films.

While the storyline of Black Widow is still under wraps, Scarlett Johansson returns, while David Harbour, Florence Pugh, O-T Fagbenle, and Rachel Weisz are all in the film and Marvel confirmed at Comic-Con that Pugh is in fact playing Yelena Belova, who in the comics takes over the Black Widow mantle from Natasha Romanoff.

In fact, there are multiple Widows in the film.

“There are quite a number. I’m a Black Widow and there’s Scarlett and Florence. There’s quite a bit of other characters you’ll also meet that are Black Widows,” Weisz explained, dropping another new plot detail.

Natasha Romanoff has always been an MCU character shrouded in mystery. There have been a few brief comments about her dark life of crime, before Hawkeye found her and recruited her for S.H.I.E.L.D. (presumably in Budapest). Younger Nat has been through her vision in Avengers: Age of Ultron, which showed her terrifying upbringing.

Black Widow is a name shared by multiple agents, all of whom are presumably deadly in their own right and fans will be interested in seeing the other femme fatales that share Natasha’s training, and are presumably more experienced than the future Avenger.

Director Cate Shortland explained that “I think that’s what drew me to the story, she’s got so many secrets, she’s got so much vulnerability and I think that’s what makes her such a great heroine. In this film we get to understand her past and put the pieces of herself together and come out a whole person.”

In an interview with InverseBlack Widow writer Jac Schaeffer, who is co-writing the film with Ned Benson, described the fighting in the film as “a lot of close contact, hand-to-hand combat….”

“It’s very visceral. There’s a lot of aggression and power in a very human way that I find really satisfying and really exciting to watch, but it’s the polar opposite to writing for super-powered characters.”

Fans at SDCC got to see some early footage, Natasha and Pugh’s Yelena fighting it out in a grimy apartment, which was likened to the fighting in the Bourne films.

Schaeffer admitted that she would like to see “alternatives to violence in superhero movies.” She added, “Maybe I would qualify that by saying, alternatives to glamorizing guns and weaponry. That’s one of the reasons that I love Captain Marvel: it’s all about inner power. And the destruction is not at the expense of human life.”

The interview clarified that the movie will take place, at least partially, following the events of Captain America: Civil WarSpecifically referenced is the major battle between the Avengers over the Sokovia Accords at Leipzig Airport. After this conflict which tore the group apart, Schaeffer says Nat is “very much on her own and over the events of the Black Widow movie, she has to reckon with some of the red in her ledger.”

When asked about Natasha’s death in Endgame, Schaeffer admitted that she cried.

“I cried like a baby. I was very moved by it,” Schaeffer told Inverse.

“It was a strange feeling. I have some proprietary feelings because if you are a writer who gets very emotionally invested in your work — which I think is most writers — the characters feel very real to you. So seeing her death in a movie that I didn’t have anything to do with — it was a little bit similar to seeing an ex-boyfriend with another partner. There’s a weird sort of removal that feels wrong and right at the same time. But her arc in the movie is wonderful.”

Harbour plays Red Guardian, the Soviet version of Captain America with the Taskmaster set to be introduced as the film’s villain. At Comic-con he said: “In your cliche mind, you go like, ‘Oh this is what it’s going to be. ‘And it’s like, ‘No, it’s surprise, surprise, surprise.’ He will surprise you.”

“He’s the Red Guardian, which is the counterpart to Captain America. In the Cold War, the Soviets retaliated with the Red Guardian. And … he’ll surprise you,” said Harbour. “He has this ‘thing,’ this super-soldier thing. But he’ll surprise you with his flaws, and with his complexities. I kinda don’t want to give it away, because I want you to be surprised as well.”

Harbour said there’ll be more to this incarnation of the Red Guardian than simple villainy.

“He’s just really rich — and it’s expanding me in ways that I love,” he explained. “I never thought I would play a character as rich as Hopper in these sort of genre things. And this guy has his own riches, so it’s exciting.”

Via Marvel: Alexi Shostakov was one of the Soviet Union’s most acclaimed test pilots whose heroism caught the attention of the KGB. They arranged for Shostakov to wed Natasha Romanoff, a top agent of the secret Red Room Academy, later known as the Black Widow.

Fagbenle (The Handmaid’s Tale), is a “fixer” of sorts named Mason, with “the ability to get things for spies and superheroes who might find it hard to get otherwise,” said the British actor. He also teases an “interesting romantic conflict” between Mason and Natasha: “Sometimes you want things that aren’t practical, and your heart and the nature of your life doesn’t necessarily coalesce to provide that kind of connection.”

Other cast includes Ray Winstone and Liran Nathan

Black Widow arrives in theaters on May 1, 2020

‘Falcon and the Winter Soldier’ add Daniel Bruhl, Emily Van Camp

Black Widow film with Scarlett Johansson may happen, Feige talks Ancient One in ‘Doctor Strange’ and Hulk film

New ‘Captain America Civil War’ TV spots focus on Ant-Man, Baron Zemo


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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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