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WIRE Buzz: Florence Pugh wraps Black Widow; Star Wars YA brushed Episode IX plot; more

By Jacob Oller
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (The medal)

As Marvel's work with the primary Avengers moves mostly to the small screen thanks to Disney+, one of its final heroes to get a solo film had some details drop. Black Widow, the film that gives Scarlett Johansson's super-spy a chance to explore her backstory in a way that the MCU has not yet previously.

Her co-star Florence Pugh, who plays assassin Yelena Belova in the film and recently broke out as the lead of horror film Midsommar, recently told SYFY WIRE that the experience "was totally nuts." But now she's finished with the film and ready to spill a little more.

Speaking to Variety, Pugh gave fans a glimpse into the timeline of making the Kate Shortland-helmed film as well as the globetrotting film locations they visited. “I just finished on it about three weeks ago," Pugh said. "Landed the role in March, April, started prepping in May, and then we shot throughout the whole of summer. We shot in London, Budapest, Morocco, and then they went to Atlanta for a bit.” She's the first fans have heard to wrap on the film, which was spotted filming early days in Norway back in May.

As for what fans can expect from the film, Pugh says to expect the unexpected. "I think we’ve made something very raw and very painful and very beautiful," the actress said, "and I think people are going to be really surprised by the outcome of a big action film having that much heart." Natasha Romanova will also get her due: "I know lots of people will be emotional about her because her character had such a hard ending," Pugh says of Black Widow's Endgame fate.

Black Widow hopes to give MCU fans some closure for the character when it hits theaters on May 1, 2020.

Next, a piece of Star Wars news dealing with the secretive plot of The Rise of Skywalker. This time it was a serendipitous accident from author Kevin Shinick as he was writing his young adult novel Star Wars: Force Collector.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the story about Karr — a Force-connected youth whose powers enable him to see the past by touching objects with a rich history — his droid RZ-7, and his First Order-adjacent friend Maize, got a little close to the real plot of Episode IX for Lucasfilm's comfort.

"In fact, a story that’s bittersweet is that when I turned in the first draft of Force Collector, J.J. [Abrams] had not yet finished his draft of the upcoming movie," Shinick said, "so when he did I got a call from the publisher saying, 'Well, I don’t know how you did it, but somehow you inadvertently wrote a big section of Episode IX.' It was a setback for sure, but also kind of a fun coincidence that confirmed that my mind was in the right place."

As Force Collector's story focuses on a new generation learning the truth about the Jedi and the Force, told through their past objects and the remnants of war, it makes sense that some thematic similarities could be found in Abrams' closing to the Skywalker saga. Fans that know The Force Awakens already know how much the writer/director likes to pay homage to the original canon, so a book based on reliving that past seems like a prime candidate to step on his screenplay's toes.

Everything has been rewritten and made kosher now, however, and Karr and crew are set to discover the truth behind the legends on Nov. 19.

Finally, Spies in Disguise is peeling back the mask for fans of animated spy comedies. The Will Smith and Tom Holland-starring tale of shapeshifting super-spies released a new trailer today, showcasing how the Men in Black actor deals with being James Bird. Double-coo seven? He gets turned into a bird by his tech nerd pal. Hijinks ensue. Lance Sterling is a nice name for a pigeon, right?

Take a look:

The film, from first-time directors Nick Bruno and Troy Quane (Ice Age: Collision Course), also features Karen Gillan, Rashida Jones, Ben Mendelsohn, Masi Oka, and DJ Khaled. This trailer shows off some of the classic action movie stunts that the now-feathered Smith will have to attempt in his new form. Car chases, henchman fights, and base infiltrations — all going a lot less smoothly than if Lance Sterling actually had hands to use high-tech gadgets.

Fans can partake in all the silliness of Spies in Disguise when it opens this Christmas.