Florence Pugh will reprise her role as Yelena Belova, close confidante and colleague of Black Widow, in the upcoming Marvel Disney Plus TV series Hawkeye, according to Variety.
This is the first hint we have that Hawkeye will directly tie into a specific film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe — you know, other than how it stars Jeremy Renner as Clint Barton after the events of Avengers: Endgame.
We already knew that Hailee Steinfeld had come aboard as Kate Bishop, the other Hawkeye. In the comics, she took the mantle of Hawkeye at a time when everybody thought that Clint Barton was dead, but he was really running around as Ronin, events that were paralleled in Endgame. Variety reports that Marvel Studios has added six more cast members to the Disney Plus show: Pugh, Vera Farmiga, Fra Fee, Tony Dalton, Alaqua Cox, and Zahn McClarnon.
Farmiga (The Conjuring) will play Eleanor Bishop, mother of Kate Bishop. Fee (Les Misérables) is playing Kazimierz Kazimierczak, the ultimate villain of Matt Fraction and David Aja’s Hawkeye comic series, on which the TV series is heavily based. Dalton (Better Call Saul) takes on the role of Jack Duquesne, a circus performer turned hero and villain, and an early mentor to Clint Barton. Cox will play the deaf, Native American superhero Echo, who can learn skills simply by watching someone else perform them — a talent shared by Black Widow villain Taskmaster. McClarnon (Fargo) will play William Lopez, Echo’s father.
Pugh’s Belova will make her debut in the upcoming Black Widow feature film. Much like Kate Barton, Yelena Belova is one of Marvel’s legacy characters, who took over the mantle of an established superhero after their demise. As a fellow graduate of the Russia’s Red Room program, the deadliest finishing school in the Marvel universe, Belova is the second Black Widow, and is still appearing in comics today.
Black Widow, expected to be Scarlet Johansson’s final appearance in the MCU, is set just after the events of 2016’s Captain America: Civil War. Yelena Belova’s appearance in a modern-set Marvel project may indicate that Marvel has more in store for the character, and the Oscar-nominated Pugh.
Hawkeye is expected to premiere in late 2021 or 2022.