Saoirse Ronan Reportedly Passed on Major Black Widow Role

Academy Award nominee Saoirse Ronan reportedly passed on the opportunity to play Yelena Belova in the 2021 movie Black Widow.

Deadline’s Justin Kroll shared the casting tidbit during an appearance on the podcast, The Town (via “The Saoirse thing, I’ve heard stuff she’s passed on. She passed on Florence [Pugh]’s role in Black Widow, the sister,” he revealed. “Marvel has not been her cup of tea, and she was not interested.”

Yelena Belova is the new Black Widow

For the first three phases of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Scarlett Johansson appeared sporadically as Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow, a former KGB assassin, S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, and member of the Avengers. Following the character’s death in Avengers: Endgame, Marvel Studios introduced Yelena Belova to take up the mantle of Black Widow.

Florence Pugh has so far appeared as Yelena Belova in Black Widow and the 2021 Disney+ series Hawkeye. She is also set to star in the upcoming MCU crossover movie, Thunderbolts, opposite her Black Widow co-stars David Harbour (Red Guardian) and Olga Kurylenko (Taskmaster), among others.

As for Ronan, after receiving an Oscar nomination for 2019’s Little Women (which coincidentally also starred Pugh), the actor has gone on to appear in the romantic drama movie Ammonite (2020), the comedy-mystery film See How They Run (2022), and the sci-fi psychological thriller Foe (2023). Ronan also made a cameo in Wes Anderson’s The French Dispatch (2021). Her next film, The Outrun, is set to make its world premiere at the 2024 Sundance Film Festival on January 19.

Black Widow is available to stream on Disney+.

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