Scarlett Johansson to ‘hand the baton’ to Florence Pugh in Black Widow

Scarlett Johansson will hand the Black Widow franchise over to Florence Pugh in her upcoming standalone movie. Director Cate Shortland has revealed that Johansson’s long overdue standalone film will serve as her final outing as Natasha Romanoff/Black …

Scarlett Johansson will hand the Black Widow franchise over to Florence Pugh in her upcoming standalone movie.

Director Cate Shortland has revealed that Johansson’s long overdue standalone film will serve as her final outing as Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow as well as the beginning of a new storyline for Pugh’s Yelena Belova.

“(Marvel boss Kevin Feige) realised that the audience would expect an origin story so, of course, we went in the opposite direction,” Shortland told Empire magazine. “And we didn’t know how great Florence Pugh would be. We knew she would be great, but we didn’t know how great. Scarlett is so gracious, like, ‘Oh, I’m handing her the baton.’ So it’s going to propel another female storyline.”

Black Widow, which is set between the Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War films, will also give fans the opportunity to grieve for the character’s death in last year’s Avengers: Endgame.

“In Endgame, the fans were upset that Natasha did not have a funeral. Whereas Scarlett, when I spoke to her about it, said Natasha wouldn’t have wanted a funeral,” explained Shortland. “She’s too private, and anyway, people don’t really know who she is. So what we did in this film was allow the ending to be the grief the individuals felt, rather than a big public outpouring. I think that’s a fitting ending for her.”

In the Marvel comics, Yelena, who is introduced in the upcoming movie, starts as an enemy of Natasha before they later become allies, and she eventually takes up the Black Widow title.

The movie’s May release was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic and is now scheduled to be released from October.

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Ariana Grande throws Midsommar-themed birthday party

Ariana Grande celebrated her 27th birthday with a party inspired by the horror film Midsommar.The 7 Rings hitmaker enjoyed an intimate bash hosted by her new boyfriend, Dalton Gomez, along with her close friends Doug Middlebrook and Diane Herrera.Celeb…

Ariana Grande celebrated her 27th birthday with a party inspired by the horror film Midsommar.

The 7 Rings hitmaker enjoyed an intimate bash hosted by her new boyfriend, Dalton Gomez, along with her close friends Doug Middlebrook and Diane Herrera.

Celebrity stylist Mimi Cuttrell helped create a look worthy of a May Queen, as Ariana rocked a knitted crop top by Beginning Boutique for the party, as well as a Danielle Guizio white silk satin skirt.

She finished the look with a large floral crown in honour of Florence Pugh’s character in the movie, who wore a huge floral hairpiece and was named a May Queen by a Swedish cult’ as her boyfriend was burnt alive in a midsummer ceremony.

The Grammy winner’s boyfriend also helped deck out Ariana’s house with floral decorations, and each of the guests, including her mother Joan Grande, wore a flower crown.

The Sweetener singer shared snaps from the bash on Instagram Stories, featuring pictures captured by photographer Alfredo Flores.

She also wore a flower cape that matched her custom flower eyelashes, which were applied by make-up artist Michael Anthony.

And the party won the approval of Florence herself, who commented on one of Ariana’s photos on Instagram.

“Happy birthday sweetheart. You can have the Mayqueen title today,” the Oscar-nominated actress commented.

“I love uuuuuuu sm (so much) !!!!! honored,” the singer replied.

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Florence Pugh changed her mind over wrist tattoo at last minute

Florence Pugh has shared how she ended up getting a bee design tattooed on her wrist. During Elle U.K. magazine’s Ask Me Anything video series, the Little Women actress showed off the inking on her left wrist and revealed that she doesn’t know why she …

Florence Pugh has shared how she ended up getting a bee design tattooed on her wrist.

During Elle U.K. magazine’s Ask Me Anything video series, the Little Women actress showed off the inking on her left wrist and revealed that she doesn’t know why she asked for the bee because she had always been planning to get one of a snail.

“It’s the only one that I have. If I ever spoke about getting a tattoo, it was always that I was going to get a snail,” she explained. “And on the day, Evan Tattoo, he’s in New York, he’s an amazing tattoo artist, I went in with friends and they all got their tattoos done, and he said, ‘Are you sure you don’t want anything?’ and for some reason, it came out of me, and I said, ‘I want a bee.’

“Basically, I ended up shaving part of the bum (off the bee design), I said I wanted it to be rounded but slightly pointy – there’s very specific bees and this is a worker bee.”

Elsewhere in the interview, the 24-year-old named the tiered blue Louis Vuitton dress she wore to the Oscars and the pink and white Emilia Wickstead gown that she sported to a Little Women premiere as her favourite red carpet looks.

She also explained that while she likes to get dolled up for the red carpet, but has no issue with looking “normal” in her Instagram cooking videos.

“When I’m making marmalade, I don’t have pretty hair. There are moments in my life when I get dolled up and two amazing artists will come to my house and paint, pull and brush me for two hours. Then I go to the red carpet,” Florence continued. “That’s a two-hour event, then I go home and take it off. But when I make marmalade, I look normal.”

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Florence Pugh’s Midsommar floral dress sells for $65,000 at charity auction

The impressive floral dress Florence Pugh wore in horror movie Midsommar has sold for $65,000 (£52,700) at a charity auction.Officials at A24, the studio behind the film, put the 30-pound creation the actress wore for the May Queen scene and her match…

The impressive floral dress Florence Pugh wore in horror movie Midsommar has sold for $65,000 (£52,700) at a charity auction.

Officials at A24, the studio behind the film, put the 30-pound creation the actress wore for the May Queen scene and her matching crown up for auction alongside numerous other film props in a bid to raise money for organisations in New York amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Five bidders sought after the item, but it was the Academy Museum that placed the winning bid, according to Variety, with that money going directly to the FDNY Foundation, the New York City Fire Department’s official nonprofit organisation.

Midsommar costume designer Andrea Flesch previously told Vanity Fair magazine that the dress, which featured 10,000 silk flowers, became so heavy that Florence sat on a chair underneath the skirt of the ensemble in between takes.

The museum, which is based in Los Angeles, announced its auction win on social media.

“We’re excited to share our newest acquisition, the May Queen gown made of 10,000 silk flowers from the film Midsommar,” it stated, alongside a picture of the impressive gown from Ari Aster’s horror movie.

The dress was featured in a collection called Midsommar Harga Collectibles. Other lots included the bear headdress worn by Jack Reynor, which sold for $4,750 (£3,873).

Underneath an Instagram post about the A24 auction, Pugh left a comment describing what it is like to wear the May Queen gown.

“I should let you know that you can actually spend many hours in that flower dress. Good bang for your buck!” the Oscar-nominated actress wrote. “You can sit in it, lie in it, shield from the rain in it. I’m sure if you had a potty you could wee under it! And then best of luck getting out of it…”

Singers Ariana Grande and Halsey both publicly registered their interest in bidding for the floral dress, but it’s not known if they did.

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Dakota Johnson joins Olivia Wilde’s Don’t Worry, Darling

Dakota Johnson has joined the star-studded cast of Olivia Wilde’s second directorial effort, Don’t Worry, Darling.The Fifty Shades of Grey actress will be appearing in the psychological thriller alongside the likes of Florence Pugh, Shia LaBeouf, and C…

Dakota Johnson has joined the star-studded cast of Olivia Wilde’s second directorial effort, Don’t Worry, Darling.

The Fifty Shades of Grey actress will be appearing in the psychological thriller alongside the likes of Florence Pugh, Shia LaBeouf, and Chris Pine.

The movie is set in an isolated, utopian community in the 1950s California desert and follows the story of a housewife, played by Little Women star Pugh, who uncovers a disturbing truth about her seemingly perfect life.

Wilde will also star in and produce the movie from a screenplay based on an original story by Shane and Carey Van Dyke. The script will be penned by Katie Silberman, who also co-wrote Booksmart.

“I think therefore I stan Dakota. Very happy. Very grateful. Very ready to get to WORK,” the 36-year-old filmmaker wrote on Instagram, alongside a screenshot confirming the casting news.

Fans had previously speculated on social media that Johnson would be added to the cast because she said “see you on set” to Wilde in a viral hand-washing video back in March.

It was announced in April that Pugh, LaBeouf, and Pine would be appearing in Wilde’s sophomore movie, and the mother-of-two took to Twitter to confess she was nervous about the upcoming project, which has made her the “happiest director in the world”.

“This cast is B A N A N A S,” Wilde posted on Twitter. “To say that I’m honored/excited/elated/s**tting myself would be a massive understatement… Looking forward to announcing the rest of our incredible ensemble very soon. #DontWorryDarling.”

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Florence Pugh wanted to ‘call the shots’ with Black Widow training

Florence Pugh was determined to “call the shots” with her physical preparation for Black Widow. The Little Women actress stars as Yelena Belova, a Russian spy and sister figure to Scarlett Johansson’s Natasha Romanoff, in the upcoming Marvel Cinematic…

Florence Pugh was determined to “call the shots” with her physical preparation for Black Widow.

The Little Women actress stars as Yelena Belova, a Russian spy and sister figure to Scarlett Johansson’s Natasha Romanoff, in the upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) blockbuster.

Many stars have embarked on gruelling workouts, intense training plans, and strict diets to prepare for a Marvel role, but one of the first conversations Pugh had when she landed the part was to make it clear she didn’t want people checking up on her to ensure she was getting into the “right shape”.

“When I got the job, I wanted to know what the regime was,” she explained to Elle U.K. magazine. “I wanted to know whether it was them or me calling the shots. That was a big deal for me. I didn’t want to be part of something where I was constantly checked on. And people making sure I was in the ‘right’ shape. That’s not me at all.”

The Oscar nominee, who is also known for her cookery videos on Instagram, made her own meals before every shoot day and brought them into work because she finds cooking helps her unwind.

“Scarlett had this amazing guy who cooked beautiful things for her and her team. I thought that was clever because you’re doing fitness all the time and you need to have someone who’s on top of what you’re eating and the nutrients you’re getting,” the 24-year-old recalled. “I remember her asking, ‘Why are you cooking for yourself? Just let us feed you!’ And I was like, ‘Nope’… Genuinely, my therapeutic thing is chopping and cooking and stirring and tasting.”

Black Widow is scheduled to hit cinemas in November.

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Florence Pugh to star in Olivia Wilde’s Don’t Worry Darling

Florence Pugh has signed on to star alongside Shia LaBeouf and Chris Pine in Olivia Wilde’s second directorial effort Don’t Worry Darling.The Little Women star took to social media to share her excitement at landing a role in the psychological thriller…

Florence Pugh has signed on to star alongside Shia LaBeouf and Chris Pine in Olivia Wilde’s second directorial effort Don’t Worry Darling.

The Little Women star took to social media to share her excitement at landing a role in the psychological thriller, which is set during the 1950s in an isolated, utopian community in the California desert.

Sharing a screenshot of the casting news on Instagram, Florence wrote: “@oliviawilde just tagged me in a picture *gasp no.1* @oliviawilde casted me in a film *gasp no.2* @oliviawilde is my idol and allowed me to be a part of this fecking incredible cast. Shia?!? Chris?!? *gasp no.3*. I can’t wait to join this project when all of this is over. Until then, masks up. Gloves on. Stay home.”

Olivia also posted a screengrab of Deadline’s casting story and wrote, “AM. I. DREAMING?”, prompting Florence to write in the comments: “This just make my heart pound unbelievably so. I can’t explain how excited I am!”

The Booksmart director later took to Twitter to confess she was nervous about the upcoming project, which has made her the “happiest director in the world”.

“This cast is B A N A N A S,” she posted. “To say that I’m honored/excited/elated/sh**ting myself would be a massive understatement… Looking forward to announcing the rest of our incredible ensemble very soon. #DontWorryDarling.”

Fans have since speculated on Twitter that Dakota Johnson will be added to the cast because she said “see you on set” in a hand-washing video that was posted on the director’s Instagram page in March.

In addition to helming the film, Olivia will also star in and produce the movie from a screenplay written by Katie Silberman, who co-wrote Booksmart.

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Halsey going head-to-head with Ariana Grande over Midsommar dress auction

Halsey and Ariana Grande are set to go head-to-head for the May Queen dress Florence Pugh wore in cult 2019 horror movie Midsommar.The extravagant floral item, which was worn by the British actress in the final scene of the movie, is up for grabs in th…

Halsey and Ariana Grande are set to go head-to-head for the May Queen dress Florence Pugh wore in cult 2019 horror movie Midsommar.

The extravagant floral item, which was worn by the British actress in the final scene of the movie, is up for grabs in the A24 Films charity auction to benefit The FDNY Foundation – and both of the stars want it.

“Me, to myself,” Halsey tweeted. “Don’t bid for the Midsommar May Queen outfit don’t bid for the Midsommar May Queen outfit don’t bid for the Midsommar May Queen outfit don’t bid for the Midsommar May Queen outfit…”

Grande responded: “DO IT! Halloween will never be the same… Also, I’m bidding as soon as possible.”

The 7 Rings hitmaker previously shared a screenshot on her Instagram Stories to confess she already had her eye on replicating the dress after her friends had been forwarding her the news of the auction.

“I was already planning to have it made anyway bye,” she wrote.

Pugh starred in the movie as a young woman who travels to a commune in Sweden with her boyfriend, played by Jack Reynor, for a midsummer festival that descends into terrifying violence at the hands of a pagan cult.

The studio will host a series of auctions, each with different lots. The first sale was held on 22 April and featured original items from the hit HBO show Euphoria and horror movie Hereditary, with proceeds donated to NYC Health + Hospitals.

The next auction, to take place on 27 April, will include 10 items from Midsommar, including the May Queen outfit and a bear mask.

Another sale will be held on 4 May, and will feature lots from Uncut Gems, with the iconic jewelled Furby chain and Idina Menzel’s bat mitzvah dress up for grabs, with proceeds going to the Queens Community House.

And on 11 May, the final auction will be held, featuring items from The Lighthouse, including a mermaid statue.

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Disney sets new release date for Black Widow

Scarlett Johansson’s standalone superhero movie Black Widow will now be released in cinemas in November. The latest Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) outing, which also stars Florence Pugh, David Harbour, and Rachel Weisz, was originally set to be relea…

Scarlett Johansson’s standalone superhero movie Black Widow will now be released in cinemas in November.

The latest Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) outing, which also stars Florence Pugh, David Harbour, and Rachel Weisz, was originally set to be released on 1 May, but was shelved back in March and delayed indefinitely.

However, on Friday, Disney bosses released an extensive revision of their 2020-2021 schedule and announced Black Widow would open in cinemas on 6 November, replacing Eternals. All other MCU projects in the pipeline have been pushed back, with Eternals now opening on 12 February 2021, followed by Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, a project which has been temporarily halted mid-production, on 7 May 2021, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness on 5 November 2021, and then Thor: Love and Thunder, Black Panther 2, and Captain Marvel 2 in 2022.

Outside of Marvel films, Disney executives have also delayed the release of Jungle Cruise, starring Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt, and Indiana Jones 5, featuring Harrison Ford, by almost a year later than expected. Ryan Reynolds’s action-comedy Free Guy has been pushed back from July to December and Wes Anderson’s The French Dispatch has shifted from July to October.

In a surprising move, they announced sci-fi fantasy film Artemis Fowl, which was due to have a theatrical run from 29 May, will now premiere on Disney+, making it the studio’s first film to skip its cinema release entirely.

Other Disney properties such as The New Mutants, The Woman in the Window, Antlers, and The Personal History of David Copperfield remain without release dates.

However, Disney officials are yet to shift the release of their Pixar animation Soul, with it still being set to open on 19 June, although this is expected to change. They have also kept the release dates for Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story remake on 18 December and Ridley Scott’s The Last Duel on 25 December.

Most big studio releases have vacated their summer slot. One of the last holdouts, the Candyman reboot, was also moved from June to September by MGM/Universal bosses over the weekend, and film experts are now waiting for Warner Bros. officials to shift Christopher Nolan’s Tenet, which is still set for release on 17 July.

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Scarlett Johansson: ‘Black Widow is big tonal shift from other Marvel films’

Scarlett Johansson has praised Kevin Feige for giving fans what they least expected and making her Black Widow movie a family drama.The Marriage Story actress joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) as Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow for Iron Man 2 in …

Scarlett Johansson has praised Kevin Feige for giving fans what they least expected and making her Black Widow movie a family drama.

The Marriage Story actress joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) as Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow for Iron Man 2 in 2010 and has been one of the mainstays of the franchise, with her appearing in all the Avengers movies until Natasha’s demise in last year’s Avengers: Endgame.

After many years of speculation, Johansson was finally given her own standalone Black Widow movie, which is set between the events of Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War. Unlike most other MCU instalments, the film is a family drama, focusing on her relationship with sister figure Yelena, played by Florence Pugh, and parent figures played by David Harbour and Rachel Weisz.

In an interview with Total Film magazine, Johansson praised Marvel boss Feige for subverting expectations and coming up with the family drama angle.

“I think part of Kevin Feige’s genius is that he always thinks about what fans expect out of these films and then gives them something that they never could’ve dreamed of,” she gushed. “The idea of Natasha Romanoff in a family drama is the least expected thing, and I had to wrap my head around what that was going to be because there’s such a big tonal shift.”

The 35-year-old shared that she wanted to make sure there was an emotional story to tell before agreeing to do a standalone film.

“I think from the very beginning when we first started talking about doing this standalone film, there was no reason to do it unless we could really dig deep and be brave and go there,” Johansson explained. “Having played this character for a decade, I wanted to make sure that it would feel artistically and creatively rewarding for me as well as the fans.”

Black Widow was due to be released in May, but is currently delayed indefinitely due to the Covid-19 pandemic. According to Film Music Reporter, Marvel bosses have used the delay to replace composer Alexandre Desplat with Lorne Balfe.

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