The Marvel Cinematic Universe has a history of flipping around the hero or villain role for some characters from comics. Skrulls are the perfect example, having been billed as villains in Marvel books but coming along in Captain Marvel as allies. Now, the Marvel villain of Flag-Smasher has an entire group of character representing him in The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, lead by Erin Kellyman's Karli Morgenthau. As the characters seem to be on the run from a more villainous PowerBroker character, Kellyman offered a bit of insight regarding their role in the series while talking to ComicBook.com.
"I was actually very lucky that I got to speak to [director] Kari [Skogland] and [co-executive producer] Zoie [Nagelhout], as well," Kellyman says of learning about Karli Morgenthau. "Both of them made me feel like we had time to talk things through and talk about my character and her backstory quite a bit, which is obviously so helpful, as well as having the script as well, which is very helpful."
In the comics, Karl Morgenthau is known as Flag-Smasher. He is a character who wants to eliminate nationalism, which is echoed in Kellyman's Karli Morgenthau for the MCU. "I feel like Karli felt like people were more unified when there was half of everybody had gone, that people came together because they needed to," Kellyman explains, furthering the show's introduction of an idea that Thanos snapping away half of the world's living beings provided some of the survivors with a better life. "And they were obviously going through a lot of trauma, so people kind of stuck together a little bit more. There was a lot more unity there, and I think that's what she's trying to get back to."
It seems possible there can still be some redemption ahead for Karli in The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, despite seemingly getting the best of our beloved Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes heroes.
"I hope so," Kellyman says. "I hope that people understand her. So, I guess, if you're understanding someone, then you may be rooting for them. There's a lot of layers to Karli and I think it... yeah. It's not so simple as being black and white. She's this middle section, you know?" As for the relationship to the MCU's PowerBroker, "You just have to watch it."
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