Scarlett Johansson and Florence Pugh both came down with pneumonia, but pushed through filming on set of Black Widow. The latest Marvel movie is scheduled for release later this year, starring Scarlett, 36, back in action as her Avengers character Natasha Romanoff aka Black Widow and Florence, 25, as Yelena Belova – who is like a sister-figure to Natasha. Production wrapped on the film last year, with filming taking place in London, Norway, Morocco, Atlanta and Budapest, but the movie’s director Cate Shortland has now revealed that Black Widow’s leading stars both fell ill. Scarlett and Florence came down with pneumonia on set but pushed through with filming despite being unwell.
‘It was like being in the army,’ filmmaker Cate told The Gentlewoman, as she touched on the intense schedule production brought with it. Cate also opened up about what it was like to work with Scarlett and how the actress had pushed her to create a standalone Black Widow film that meant something.
‘She’s completely unpretentious,’ Cate said of Scarlett. ‘And that makes her really fun to be around. She’ll be joking with the best boy or the runner, there’s no hierarchy. She appreciates people and makes people feel appreciated.’ Cate continued: ‘[Scarlett] really pushed to make something that wasn’t flimsy or superficial. She wanted to make something that meant a lot to young people and to women. ‘She knew it was possibly her last film as Black Widow – she didn’t want to leave Marvel making a feel-good movie.’
Black Widow will pick up from the event of Captain America: Civil War and will follow Scarlett’s character Natasha as she confronts her past and broken relationships she left behind to become an Avenger. The movie also stars Stranger Things actor David Harbour, Rachel Weisz and will see Robert Downey Jr feature as Tony Stark. Since last year, Black Widow has faced multiple pushbacks due to the coronavirus pandemic, with Disney now announcing that its release date has been scheduled for July 2021.