Black Widow sends off one of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s most long-lasting stars in a solo movie of her own. While Scarlet Johansson’s standalone concluded her time as the Black Widow, the new villain the film introduced — Taskmaster –could be here to stay.
David Harbour has been no stranger to presenting pitches for his possible return as Red Guardian, eager to return to the role and see his character worked more into the MCU. To fans’ surprise, actress Olga Kurylenko may be more than a one-off, and Taskmaster could reappear in Marvel’s Phase 4.
WeGotThisCovered alleges that their sources can confirm that Taskmaster could appear in up to five new properties under the Marvel Studios banner. They support their reporting by noting that the source that they picked up their story from also provided them with insights that RiRi “Ironheart” Williams would see her MCU debut in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.
The gender-swapped take on the multifaceted antagonist came as a surprise to those who were expecting true comic book accuracy in regards to Taskmaster’s identity. In an interview with Slashfilm, the French-Ukrainian actress expressed that she would love to play the character again and that it would be “awesome.” Her interest in returning to Marvel Studios was reiterated in a similar interview with Esquire, where she admits that she can’t confirm anything, but would like to see development build around her character.
Black Widow has been criticized for poor timing and an unorganized patchwork of themes, including those involving the traumatized Taskmaster. The story attempts to combat sexism and other uncomfortable themes that have surrounded the assassin since her introduction in the comics, but fails in making those themes work cohesively.
This long-awaited standalone that sees Natasha clash with Taskmaster comes a little over a decade after Black Widow’s introduction into the MCU in Iron Man 2. There have been many discussions surrounding the hypersexuality of the Black Widow from her introduction on, and how the character has been portrayed as either a love interest or as a token female. Johansson’s final film as the superhero finally rewards her with the voice that she’s been missing. The movie itself, however, could have done well to arrive at least a couple of years before the character’s ultimate sacrifice in Avengers: Endgame.
The ongoing legal battle between Johansson and Disney has caused more noise around Black Widow in its post-release. The movie featuring the conflict between Natasha, Taskmaster, and the forces of the Red Room was theatrically released while simultaneously streamed through Disney+ for a premium fee. After it was reported that the feature film was performing higher through streaming, Johansson felt she wasn’t reimbursed from “box office” revenue collected through the online platform. The lawsuit is still ongoing between the actress and the production studio.
While the lawsuit pertains to Johansson alone, she has been openly supported by industry figureheads. Fortunately for Kurylenko, she’s been spared from having to face off with Disney’s legal team, which could keep her in their favor and bring about those upcoming projects that WeGotThisCovered referred to. Per their reporting, it sounds like Taskmaster isn’t going anywhere yet.