[There are mega spoilers ahead for Black Widow. If you haven't seen the movie yet and don't want to be spoiled, feel free to exit this post!]
After Scarlett Johansson's Marvel hero died in Avengers: Endgame, she didn't get a funeral, but she did get a solo film three years later. That's basically the same, right? But the thing about Black Widow is that it's kind of secretly introducing Florence Pugh as the new Black Widow for the MCU, and the post-credits scene makes that even more clear. Spoilers ahead if that wasn't clear.
Florence's performance as Yelena Belova is the clear standout in Black Widow. Her character, who has all the same skills as her "sister" Natasha Romanoff and then some, is so charismatic and badass. I'm already thinking about the funny quips she'd have with Peter Parker and the other members of the Avengers if she does end up replacing the dearly departed Nat. The inevitable team-up can't come soon enough.
Is Scarlett actually leaving, though? Marvel Studios has big "never say never" energy about their actors returning or not returning to the franchise. It seems like she's said goodbye to Black Widow and moved on, but it's always possible that she could come back. The character did literally fall off a cliff, but that didn't stop Bucky Barnes from coming back. Marvel movies are pretty much soap operas, when you think about it.
Still, the character Yelena in the source material (Marvel comics, obvs) does take over as Black Widow, so the theory seems solid enough. There hasn't actually been a new Avengers crossover film announced yet, which is a bit odd because we usually know these things years in advance, but it's safe to assume that when there is, Florence will be back. She's already been cast to reprise her role in at least one of the Marvel shows on Disney+. Heck, maybe there will even be a Black Widow 2 all about Yelena and her hero's journey. If that means more Florence and more David Harbour, count me in.
But wait, you ask, wasn't Yelena hired to kill Hawkeye in the post-credits scene? Jeremy Renner's one of the good guys, right? Does this mean she's a villain? You're right to raise your eyebrows as to what side Yelena's on after that post-credits scene... but that doesn't necessarily mean she's not going to be an Avenger in the future. Superheroes team up with people that tried to kill them all the time. Look at Loki.
Besides, we've all had jobs we regret in our lifetimes. Don't knock her hustle. (Then again, the show Florence has been cast in is called Hawkeye, so I guess we'll see what happens next...) Though it's not set in stone that she's literally replacing Black Widow in the MCU, she's definitely here to stay.
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.
SCARJO AS BLACK WIDOW #4EVER: