Florence Pugh Reveals New Marvel Character for ‘Thunderbolts*’

in Marvel

Florence Pugh with a leather jacket seated indoors, looking directly at the camera with an expression that conveys a mix of confidence and friendliness.

Credit: Marvel Studios

Florence Pugh will return to the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Thunderbolts*, the antihero-packed upcoming comic book movie. While the plot is being kept under wraps, Pugh managed to sneak to social media to show off a peek at her character as the new Black Widow.

scarlett johansson as natasha romanoff (left) and florence pugh as yelena belova (right) black widow on bike
Credit: Marvel Studios

The Scarlett Johansson movie Black Widow (2021) served as a swan song for the original Russian superspy, who seems to have permanently died in the events of Avengers: Endgame (2o19). It gave us a previously unseen look at the character of Natasha Romanoff, her brutal training, and her complex relationship with the organization that created her, but, just as importantly, it introduced a new Black Widow: Yelena Belova (Florence Pugh).

Florence Pugh as Yelena Belova
Credit: Marvel Studios

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Florence Pugh did not officially take on the title of Black Widow in the movie or her subsequent appearance in the Disney+ Hawkeye series, which also found her making an odd frenemy in Kate Bishop (Hailee Steinfeld), but it is clear that Yelena Belova is intended as the next iteration of the character. As the MCU has introduced new versions of the original Avengers in She-Hulk (Tatiana Maslany), Ironheart (Dominique Thorne), Captain America (Anthony Mackie), Hawkeye (Steinfeld), and even, briefly, Lady Thor (Natalie Portman), it seems that Pugh is the new Black Widow in all but name.

Promotional Image for 'Thunderbolts' will full cast
Credit: Marvel Studios

Thunderbolts* will see Florence Pugh back as the new character for the first time since Hawkeye. In this film, she apparently will be recruited by Valentina Allegra de Fontaine (Julia Louis-Dreyfus), whom she already met in the end-credits scene of Black Widow, to join a team of some of the MCU’s most notable villains/antiheroes. The team will include Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan), Red Guardian (David Harbour), U.S. Agent (Wyatt Russell), Ghost (Hannah John-Kamen), and Taskmaster (Olga Kurylenko). Lewis Pullman will reportedly debut as the Sentry after several false starts in casting.

While the movie might be wrapped in Marvel’s typical shroud of secrecy, Florence Pugh recently took to Instagram to give fans a peek at the new character costume for Yelena Belova. The short video sees the actress walking around the set of the film and pointing out various sets and trailers and is captioned “@jakeschreier and I have been hanging out.. ⚡️⚡️🔫❄️🌵🕷️☄️🛡️💀🦾👻🧔🏻‍♂️⚡️⚡️#Thunderbolts*

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Her new costume appears to be the same kind of dark grey, highly functional tactical bodysuit favored by the character in Black Widow (rather than her adoptive sister’s more skin-tight “poser” outfits). While walking through the set, Florence Pugh tells viewers, “Hey guys, how are you doing? I know I’ve dropped off for a little bit, but that’s partially because I was whisked off to Atlanta to shoot a movie that I’m not really supposed to talk about. But I can show you things, sneakily, as long as you don’t tell anyone…I can show you a sneak peek of the set. They’re shooting. I’ll be quiet now.”

Florence Pugh smiling while stirring something in a pot, with a bottle of sauce visible on the table.
Credit: Marvel Studios

It’s obviously a bit of sneaky marketing for Thunderbolts*, but Florence Pugh’s easy charm manages to pull it off. At least she’s not as bad with the spoilers as Mark Ruffalo and Tom Holland.

Are you looking forward to Thunderbolts*? Let’s hear your predictions in the comments below!

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