‘Black Widow’ First Reactions Go Wild for ‘Standout’ Florence Pugh: ‘An Instant MCU Icon’

The first reactions from film journalists are in for “Black Widow,” and they’re strong across the board. Fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe have been waiting over a year for the “Black Widow” release, which was delayed multiple times because of the pandemic. The film is Scarlett Johansson’s long-awaited standalone MCU tentpole, but it’s also her last appearance in the franchise. No wonder anticipation is so high. Joining Johansson in the cast are Rachel Weisz, David Harbour, and Florence Pugh. The “Midsommar” actress and “Little Women” Oscar nominee is earning instant raves for her performance, being called “an instant MCU icon.”

“Black Widow” is directed by Cate Shortland, making it the first MCU movie tentpole to be solo-directed by a woman director. The Australian filmmaker is best known for movies such as “Somersault,” “Lore,” and “Berlin Syndrome.” The “Black Widow” script, credited to “WandaVision” showrunner Jac Schaeffer and Ned Benson, is set after the events of “Captain America: Civil War” and finds Johansson’s Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow on the run and heading to Russia to confront her past.

“I think we’ve made something very raw and very painful and very beautiful and I think people are going to be really surprised by the outcome of a big action film having that much heart,” Pugh told Variety about the tentpole. “And I know lots of people will be emotional about her because her character had such a hard ending [in ‘Endgame’], but it was special learning from [Johansson], and she’s been doing this for like 10 years in those films. For this to be her film was special. And I got to be there and see how she does stunts and lives it, and it’s so her.”

“Black Widow” opens in theaters and streams on Disney+ via Premier Access on July 9. Check out first reactions below.

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