‘Black Widow’ Post-Credits Scene Explained by Star, Director

SPOILER WARNING: Don’t learn when you’ve got not seen “Black Widow,” presently in theaters and accessible on Premium Entry on Disney Plus.

For many of her interview with Selection, Cate Shortland was an open book: Candid and humorous and thrilled to get to speak about her expertise directing Marvel Studios’ “Black Widow.” That’s, till she was requested concerning the movie’s post-credits scene.

“Are you listening to this,” she requested the unseen (and completely silent) publicists overseeing the Zoom interview. “Are you listening to this, my associates?”

Even after additional assurances that no matter she says gained’t be printed till after her movie’s launch, Shortland virtually caved in on herself with fear.

“I’ve been instructed I’m not allowed to talk about it!”

Shortland’s hesitation is comprehensible given Marvel’s legendary aversion to spoilers — and particularly given what occurs within the post-credits scene, after “Black Widow” ends with a reunited household and Natasha (Scarlett Johansson) setting off to convey the Avengers group again collectively as soon as extra.

Within the scene, Yelena (Florence Pugh) pulls up in a truck with a canine, parking in a bucolic, woodsy setting. She walks as much as a grave, and we see that it’s Natasha’s — we’ve jumped from the occasions of “Black Widow” (which happened between 2016’s “Captain America: Civil Struggle” and 2018’s “Avengers: Infinity Struggle”) to some level after the occasions of 2019’s “Avengers: Endgame,” when Natasha sacrificed her life so the Avengers may purchase the Soul Stone.

Her headstone reads “Daughter Sister Avenger.” The gravesite reminds the viewers that the Avengers are celebrities: It’s lined in stuffed animals, which Yelena rearranges as she cries (and whistles, like she used to do as a child together with her sister). As Yelena mourns, a lady standing subsequent to her artlessly blows her nostril: It’s the Contessa Valentina Allegra de la Fontaine, performed by Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who was first launched on “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” on Disney Plus.

“Sorry,” the Contessa says to Yelena. “I’m allergic to the Midwest.” (This assertion reinforces that Nat has been buried in Ohio, the place the opening scenes of “Black Widow” had been set.)

“You’re not purported to be bothering me on my vacation time, Valentina,” Yelena says.

“Bothering you? No, no, no, no — I’m simply right here paying my respects,” the Contessa solutions. “, coming right here makes you look determined,” Yelena says. With a barky giggle worthy of “Veep’s” Selina Meyer, the Contessa says, “OK!”

The Contessa then takes a pill out of her purse. “I’ve bought your subsequent goal — thought I’d hand ship it,” she says. “Possibly you’d like a shot on the man accountable for your sister’s demise.” She arms the pill to Yelena, and the person within the photograph is Clint Barton (AKA, Hawkeye, AKA Jeremy Renner).

“Form of a cutie, don’t you suppose?” the Contessa asks teasingly.

The film ends with Yelena Clint’s photograph.

From this scene, we be taught a number of key issues about Yelena for the reason that occasions in “Black Widow”: She works for the Contessa, probably on the identical group for which Val recruited “Falcon and Winter Soldier’s” John Walker (Wyatt Russell). And although Yelena is clearly aggravated by her boss, she does look like dwelling her life on her personal phrases, which is what she needed after her liberation from her pressured duties as an murderer for Normal Dreykov (Ray Winstone). It’s additionally emotionally satisfying to know that Yelena stayed shut with Natasha.

However what’s most essential about this scene is the way it signifies the way forward for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and Yelena’s half in it. She’s being despatched to kill an Avenger underneath the pretense that Clint — Nat’s greatest good friend, and for whom she sacrificed herself in order that he wouldn’t die to get the Soul Stone — is “accountable” for Nat’s demise.

The scene units up, in different phrases, Yelena resuming her MCU journey later this 12 months on the TV present “Hawkeye” when it premieres on Disney Plus.

Pugh and Shortland spoke with Selection about how the scene got here collectively, and the way Johansson’s presence was felt though she wasn’t there.

The scene was shot throughout the “Black Widow” reshoots in early 2020.

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Florence Pugh on the set of “Black Widow.”
Jay Maidment / Courtesy of Marvel Studios

Pugh stated the finish credit scene wasn’t a part of the film’s authentic manufacturing schedule, which happened from Might via September of 2019. “We really shot that scene proper round after we did reshoots for ‘Black Widow,’” Pugh stated.

The extra scenes had been accomplished in winter 2020, earlier than the COVID-19 pandemic introduced manufacturing in all places to a halt. And for Pugh, having simply labored with Johansson throughout the reshoots made filming at Natasha’s grave much less emotionally devastating.

“I used to be doing scenes once more with Scarlett, and being strapped to her on varied machines, and us guffawing once more,” Pugh stated. “After which the next week, I used to be at her grave!”

“It was fairly surprising to fast-forward that rapidly,” she continued. “However great to have solely seen Scarlett the week earlier. I feel it will have been sadder if it had been many, many months later.”

Pugh was particularly happy for Yelena to be featured within the post-credits scene as a result of she stated, “I didn’t know that there was going to be one.”

The scene is when Pugh realized that her character was persevering with within the MCU — and shortly.

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Florence Pugh in “Black Widow.”
Kevin Baker / Courtesy of Marvel Studios

“Black Widow” is nearly definitely the top of the MCU highway for Johansson’s Natasha Romanoff. In an interview with Variety, the actor stated: “I actually am proud of the work I completed in my final decade-plus at Marvel. I really feel like I’m going out on a excessive word with a film I’m extremely happy with. I really feel like my work with Natasha is full, if that’s such a factor.”

Nevertheless it’s probably simply the beginning for David Harbour’s Pink Guardian and Rachel Weisz’s Melina Vostokoff — and we all know we’ll be seeing Pugh as Yelena quickly. However how quickly seems to have been a shock even to Pugh. “There’s at all times talks, however I didn’t ever actually think about that it will proceed fairly so rapidly,” she stated.

And the scene itself gave Pugh path about what Yelena is doing within the current day, in addition to what had led as much as the graveside scene.

“She’s going to proceed what she’s good at, and regardless of her sister not being there, she’s again working,” Pugh stated. “In case you take a look at her costume, and also you take a look at the way in which that she’s dressed herself, it reveals somebody that’s flourishing.”

In spite of everything, as Yelena instructed Nat, she has goals of what she desires her life to be, if she’s ever really freed from the Pink Room — as Pugh put it, “as a result of she’s by no means had management over her life.”

“So to me, it was simply actually great to type of soar forward and see she has been surviving,” Pugh stated of the scene, which additionally factors particularly towards Yelena’s future on a mission to kill Clint. “However, after all, it units up an entire totally different problem — which is Natasha’s combating companion.”

The scene’s location was primarily based on a suggestion from Johansson.

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Scarlett Johansson in “Black Widow.”
Jay Maidment / Courtesy of Marvel Studios

“Black Widow” ends with Natasha nonetheless alive, her ever-changing hair reduce to the blonde bob she sports activities in “Infinity Struggle,” as she flies off to reunite together with her Avengers compatriots and in the end struggle towards Thanos. Audiences know, after all, that will probably be the most essential mission of her life — and one which ends together with her demise. Shortland noticed the post-credits scene as the easiest way to honor that sacrifice.

“I do know the response that followers needed to Scarlett’s demise in ‘Endgame,’” the director stated. Having Yelena go to her gravesite allowed for a ultimate reminder of how lasting Natasha’s impression was on her sister’s life. “The truth that we bought to see that second between her and her sister, it signifies that to me, she is everlasting, ?”

The place that gravesite was positioned turned out to be simply as essential to reaching that purpose. All through “Black Widow,” Natasha is reminded of simply how well-known she’s grow to be as an Avenger, and the MCU has already depicted how the Avengers’ fame perpetuated after their deaths, like the ever present memorials to Tony Stark in “Spider-Man: Far From Dwelling” and the museum exhibit devoted to Steve Rogers in “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.”

Johansson, nonetheless, knew Natasha would need to keep away from that type of consideration as a lot as attainable. “Scarlett talked to me about it: Her character would have hated a public funeral,” Shortland stated. “So I felt like the truth that she’s buried in a actually personal place, within the boondocks someplace, is ideal.”

Yelena’s whistle nearly bought a response.

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Johansson and Pugh in “Black Widow”
Courtesy of Disney/Everett Assortment

When Yelena whistles whereas standing at Natasha’s grave, it’s the identical sample she’d used together with her sister as children — and one which Natasha would at all times reply to together with her personal whistle. Shortland holds the second for an agonizing beat, as Yelena — and the viewers — waits to see if someway Natasha will magically reply.

She doesn’t, maybe ultimate proof that the character is properly and really gone. However that wasn’t at all times the case.

“I heard that whistle, too,” Shortland stated, referring to Natasha’s phantom response. “I feel we even — no, we by no means put it in. However we talked about it.”

Working with Julia Louis-Dreyfus is precisely such as you suppose it will be.

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Julia Louis-Dreyfus because the Contessa Valentina Allegra de la Fontaine on “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.”
Screengrab courtesy of Marvel Studios

Earlier than the pandemic, “Black Widow” was going to debut just a few months earlier than “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” premiered on Disney Plus, so when Shortland shot the post-credits scene, it was the primary time Louis-Dreyfus was taking part in the Marvel Comics icon who traditionally has had ties to the nefarious group Hydra — and a sophisticated historical past with SHIELD chief Nick Fury.

So what path did Shortland have for the multi-Emmy-winning actor?

“Nothing,” Shortland stated with fun. “I feel I instructed her that I actually beloved her. I feel at occasions I simply requested for actually, actually small issues between them. However she got here on as a totally fashioned genius. There’s not a lot I may have executed besides mess her up.”



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