Black Widow has brought curtains down on the timeline of Natasha Romanoff, giving a perfect send-off to actor Scarlett Johansson in the MCU, an OG Avenger. The latest Marvel offering has also opened up several possibilities for the future of Nat’s sister Yelena Belova (Florence Pugh) in the universe.
Black Widow’s post-credit scene gives us a sneak peek into what lies ahead in Yelena’s story, with the surprise appearance of a character who was introduced in the Marvel Cinematic Universe recently.
Black Widow is set between Captain America: Civil War (2016) and Avengers: Infinity War (2018), and ends with Natasha zooming off to join her fellow Avengers to fight Thanos. Now, we are well versed about what happened in Endgame, with Nat sacrificing her life to save her best friend Clint Barton and obtain the Soul Stone.
Cut to Black Widow’s post-credits where her sister Yelena Belova is standing by the grave of Natasha, presumably after the events of Endgame. She even whistles in the same pattern she did as a kid with her sister who would whistle back at her. And just as the audience skips a heartbeat, expecting a possible reply from Nat, we only hear silence.
At this moment of mourning, Yelena is grabbed by Contessa Valentina Allegra de la Fontaine (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) who we recently saw in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, offering a work deal to John Walker (Wyatt Russell). In the Black Widow scene, she hands over a photo to Yelena and says, “I’ve got your next target — thought I’d hand deliver it. Maybe you’d like a shot at the man responsible for your sister’s death.” The picture is of Clint Barton aka Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), who Yelena is convinced is the reason behind Natasha’s death.
This post-credit scene hints at Yelena’s return in Marvel’s upcoming web show Hawkeye, that’ll premiere on Disney Plus later this year. It also tells us that both Yelena and John Walker have been recruited by Contessa Valentina Allegra de la Fontaine who once had ties with HYDRA. This adds more fuel to the speculation that Val will be responsible for the MCU’s incarnation of the Dark Avengers, given that she already has a Captain America and a Black Widow stand-in.
In an interview with Variety, Scarlett Johansson spoke on the end of road for her Natasha Romanoff. She said, “I really am happy with the work I accomplished in my last decade-plus at Marvel. I feel like I’m going out on a high note with a movie I’m incredibly proud of. I feel like my work with Natasha is complete, if that is such a thing.”
Director Cate Shortland also revealed that the post-credits scene wasn’t a part of the original plot, and was shot during Black Widow reshoots in early 2020. The movie’s original production schedule was May to September 2019.
Florence Pugh added that the scene cements Yelena’s position and the fact that she is finally in control of her life for the first time. The actor told Variety, “She’s going to continue what she’s good at, and despite her sister not being there, she’s back working. If you look at her costume, and you look at the way that she’s dressed herself, it shows someone that’s flourishing. So to me, it was just really wonderful to kind of jump ahead and see she has been surviving. But, of course, it sets up a whole different challenge — which is Natasha’s fighting partner.”
Black Widow arrived on July 9 in North America and several other territories. Disney also released the film on its streaming service Disney Plus as well under its Premiere Access section for $30 on the same date.
Fans in India will have had to wait to watch the superhero actioner as all the Premiere Access movies are made available to its subscribers by Disney after a few months. And that is the day Disney Plus Hotstar releases them in India.