Harry Potter veteran Emma Watson (Hermione Granger) was very close to nabbing the role of black widow Yelena Belova before it went to Florence Pugh.
In a report from 2019, before Yelena made her debut in Black Widow, That Hashtag Show gave us a look at the list of contenders Marvel was then looking at. It included names like Alice Englert, Dar Zuzovsky and (of course) Florence Pugh. But apparently, the headliner was Emma Watson, who was then coming off the blockbuster success of Beauty and the Beast and about to gain yet more praise for her role in 2019’s Little Women, a movie she starred in with Pugh. According to That Hashtag Show, the idea of Watson getting the role was “gaining momentum” among producers, including Marvel Studios CEO Kevin Feige.
It’s unclear exactly why Watson didn’t play the “Black Widow” character, which is fine because Pugh did a fantastic job. Some critics thought she stole the show in Black Widow and was able to project both kindness and danger when she turned up on Hawkeye.
Watson playing the character likely would have led to a completely different version of Yelena than the one fans ended up getting with Pugh too. While viewers seem to be perfectly happy with Pugh’s take on the character though, it’s nonetheless fun to imagine a world in which Watson got the chance to show Marvel fans her version of Yelena.