Black Widowsuit in Avengers: Infinity War has a deeper meaning that was revealed in her 2021 solo film, but according to Marvel CEO Andy Park, this wasn’t planned in advance. Released in 2018, Avengers: Infinity War served as the first part of the culmination of the Infinity Saga that had been building since Phase 1 of the MCU. The titular team would return Avengers: Endgame the next year, where Black Widow ultimately sacrificed herself in an attempt to defeat Thanos. However, Johansson’s character would return Black Widowa prequel that saw her team up with her sister, Yelena Belova (Florence Pugh).
In the recently published Marvel’s Black Widow: The Art of the Movie (via The direct), Park, Marvel’s director of visual development, reveals that Natasha fits the bill Avengers: Infinity War became retroactively more important i Black Widow. Park reveals that during the development of the latter film, it was decided that Yelena would wear Black Widow’s black tactical vest, confirming that Natasha actually got the item from her sister and thus giving it more significance. Check out Park’s explanation of the Easter egg below:
“When we were working on ‘Black Widow,’ we retroactively gave that vest meaning — that it’s actually Yelena’s vest. If you ever watch Infinity War again, your eyes will water because Natasha is wearing her sister’s vest, and there is love in there. That’s what we do as concept artists because we’re all storytellers.
“When I first designed Natasha in ‘Infinity War,’ the Russo brothers didn’t want her to have a completely new suit. They wanted to take her existing suit from Captain America: Civil War and add something to it. When I came up .with the tactical vest, they liked that idea, so that’s what stuck.
“Her look has remained pretty much the same in her different appearances, so a lot of it is playing with details – different lines and materials … I did versions where she’s just wearing a jacket and other kinds of everyday clothes, and that was , I started thinking that it might be a good idea to incorporate the vest we see in ‘Avengers: Infinity War’.
“With Yelena’s flight suit design, I did many versions. I had played with incorporating the vest from Avengers: Infinity War into Natasha’s design, but I had the idea that what if it’s Yelena’s vest? I presented the idea and designs I played along and it worked really well with the white suit. And of course the vest became a thing.”
What’s next for Yelena in the MCU?
In many ways, Phase 4 of the MCU has had a strong focus on passing the torch from an older generation of heroes to a younger generation. Kate Bishop (Hailee Steinfeld) has been established as Hawkeye’s (Jeremy Renner) protégé, Ironheart (Dominique Thorne) serves as the MCU’s Iron Man replacement, and Yelena is essentially the new Black Widow. Outside of her role in Black WidowYelena also appeared as an antagonist in Hawkeye in 2021, but she has been absent from the MCU ever since. Pugh’s anti-hero is expected to play a much more important role going forward, however, due to a Phase 5 film in particular.
Thunderboltswhich is scheduled to be released next summer, will see Yelena join a team of Marvel’s most formidable anti-heroes, including Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan), Red Guardian (David Harbour), US Agent/ John Walker (Wyatt Russell) , Taskmaster (Olga Kurylenko) and Ghost (Hannah John-Kamen). The titular team will be led by Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine (Julia Louis-Dreyfus). More information will come regarding Thunderboltsbut the project is expected to start filming during the first half of 2023. Outside of her role in ThunderboltsYelena’s future in the MCU is much less certain.
As the new Black Widow, it is very likely that Yelena will also appear in one or both of the upcoming ones Avengers movie. Avengers: Kang Dynasty expected to be published in 2025 and Avengers: Secret Wars a year later in 2026, and while the plot details of the films remain under wraps, it certainly looks like the titular team of heroes will need Yelena’s unique set of skills to defeat Jonathan Major’s Kang and any other villains who will be thrown in in the mixture. While Johansson’s Black Widow remains a highlight of the previous era of the MCU, the character will in many ways live on through Pugh’s Yelena and whatever adventures lie ahead for her.
More: What Martial Arts Does Yelena Belova Use? Her fighting style explained
Source: Marvel’s Black Widow: The Art of the Movie (via The direct)