When it was revealed that Yelena Belova would appear in Black Widow, most fans assumed that meant they were setting up a new Black Widow for the MCU. After all, she was a Black Widow in the comics and with Natasha dead following the events of Avengers: Endgame; they would need a super spy on the New Avengers, or even Thunderbolts, teams.
Now Cate Shortland, the director of Black Widow, has confirmed to Empire that the movie does indeed setup Yelena to be the new Black Widow going forward:
“[Kevin Feige] realised that the audience would expect an origin story so, of course, we went in the opposite direction,” Shortland tells Empire. “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.”
This seems to debunk yet another fan theory. Much like the theory that Rachel Weisz was playing Taskmaster, which we know is not true, some fans believed that since Natasha was wearing Yelena’s vest in Avengers: Infinity War it meant that Yelena died in Black Widow. Now, it’s always possible that Natasha believes that Yelena died, but if the movie is being made to setup a new storyline for Yelena it means we’ll be seeing a lot more of her in the future of the MCU and she’ll obviously survive Black Widow.