Spy vs. spy: ‘Black Widow’ sisters Scarlett Johansson and Florence Pugh battle at Oscars before they team up this summer

It’s a small world. Or rather, it’s a big world, but Disney has bought the rights to most of it. The Marvel Cinematic Universe film “Black Widow” — a prequel set right after the events of “Captain America: Civil War” — opens on May 1 with Scarlett Johansson reprising her title role as Avenger Natasha Romanoff (watch the second trailer for the film above). Florence Pugh co-stars as her sister figure Yelena Belova, who has also been trained as a Black Widow. As luck would have it, both actresses received their career-first Oscar nominations this year, and they’re actually going head-to-head.

Johansson is nominated for Best Actress for playing a woman on the brink of divorce in “Marriage Storyand Best Supporting Actress for her role as the title character’s freedom-fighting mother in “Jojo Rabbit.” Pugh faces off against her in the supporting race for her take on the role of Amy March in Greta Gerwig‘s adaptation of “Little Women.” So theoretically both women could win Oscars if Johansson takes home the prize for her leading role.

Though maybe the spy duo should consider joining forces to bump off Best Supporting Actress front-runner Laura Dern, who, even more coincidentally, co-starred with both women in 2019. She played Johansson’s divorce lawyer in “Marriage Story,” the role for which she’s nominated for Oscar, and she also portrays Pugh’s mother in “Little Women.”

But that’s not the only connection between Best Supporting Actress and “Black Widow.” The film also stars Rachel Weisz as yet another trained assassin; she won that Oscar for “The Constant Gardener” (2005) and was nominated again in that category for “The Favourite” (2018).

Yet another Oscar connection: “Black Widow’s” score will be composed by Alexandre Desplat, who is currently nominated for his original music from “Little Women.”

Okay, one more Oscar connection, though in more of a six-degrees-of-Kevin-Bacon kind of way: the “Black Widow” screenplay is by Eric Pearson, who also co-wrote the MCU film “Thor: Ragnarok,” which was directed by Taika Waititi, who’s nominated this year for writing “Jojo Rabbit,” which, of course, stars Johansson.

It all comes back to Marvel in the end.

Be sure to make your Oscar winner predictions today so that Hollywood insiders can see how their films and performers are faring in our odds. You can keep changing your predictions as often as you like until just before winners are announced on February 9. And join in the fun debate over the 2020 Academy Awards taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our film forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.

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