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I’m Suddenly Uncertain About Yelena’s Fate in Black Widow


Florence Pugh in the Black Widow trailer

Yelena Belova is a Black Widow from Natasha Romanoff’s past, and now, in a new look at Marvel’s Black Widow movie finally arriving this May, it’s clear that Yelena’s story might be more important to the Natasha we’ve already seen in some of the Avengers movies that take place later. Played by the incredible (and now Academy Award-nominated) Florence Pugh, Yelena, in the comics at least, replaces Natasha … well, quite literally. They swap faces at one point.

But that’s beside the point of what I’m getting at. What’s most interesting about the movie’s new trailer, to me, is that it looks as if Yelena Belova is about to jump off some kind of ledge. Here, give it a watch:

As‘s Brandon Davis pointed out, though, that Yelena’s actions in this movie, rather than making her a replacement for Natasha in the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, could instead be a driving force for her in both Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame.

Now, going based entirely on Davis’ speculative tweet alone, there could be a connection between Natasha’s change in look, as well as her dedication to doing “whatever it takes” to defeat Thanos. Even if that were the case, though, this doesn’t necessarily have to be how Yelena dies, though. Maybe, after Infinity War, Natasha discovers that Yelena is one of the people snapped away, and when she’s on Vormir, it isn’t just about her Avengers family, but also about her sister.

To be honest, I think the vest and blonde hair Natasha sports in Infinity War might be an ode to the comic run where Natasha and Yelena essentially act out the John Travolta/Nic Cage movie Face/Off. Still though, it is important to note that her change in hair color and vibe is very much seeming like an ode to her sister.

So … could Yelena die in Black Widow? I don’t really think so, especially because they’ll need a new Black Widow-esque character, now that Natasha is dead, in the future. But I could see Natasha adopting Yelena’s look to go undercover with Captain America and Sam as homage to that comic run.

My hope is that Yelena ends up in future movies with the rest of the remaining Avengers. Imagine her interacting with Thor? It’d be incredible. But we’ll have to see if she even survives her first movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to even begin planning what it’d be like if Yelena Belova had to spend any amount of time talking with Peter Parker. (I imagine he’d ask about a million questions about the Red Room, until finally someone told him to stop or Yelena knocked him down.)

It’s going to be interesting to see Natasha Romanoff interacting not only with Yelena, but the rest of her old “family,” and it does sadden me that Widow only gets (maybe) this one movie.

(image: Marvel Entertainment)

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Rachel (she/her) is an I, Tonya stan who used to have a poster of Frank Sinatra on her wall as a kid. She loves superheroes, weird musicals, wants Robert Downey Jr. to release a new album, and would sell her soul for Pedro Pascal as Kraven the Hunter. She is Leslie Knope and she's okay with that. Secretly Grogu's mom and Lizzie Olsen's best friend.