Black Widow director Cate Shortland and actor David Harbour hope Alexei Shostakov gets his glory in a Red Guardian movie from Marvel Studios. Spoiler warning for Marvel's Black Widow. Taking place in 2016, just after Captain America: Civil War and before Avengers: Infinity War, Marvel's latest reunites super-spy Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) with her family from before the Avengers: Alexei, Melina Vostokoff (Rachel Weisz), and Yelena Belova (Florence Pugh). Black Widow ends with a fugitive Natasha splitting off from her Russian family after defeating Dreykov (Ray Winstone) and bringing down the Red Room, leaving audiences to wonder what becomes of Alexei nearly a decade later in the present-day Marvel Cinematic Universe.
If Shortland and Harbour have their way, a Black Widow spin-off will answer that and other questions.
"Sometimes — not sometimes — often I would be crying with laughter," Shortland told TheWrap of Harbour's character, the Soviet Union's only super-soldier who becomes delusional after spending decades in a Russian gulag. "And there was so much good stuff that didn't end up in the film. But I think that's why Red Guardian needs his own movie. Because it will be so funny."
According to Harbour, Black Widow cut out a lot of material — some of it improvised — including more of a focus on Alexei's relationship with his undercover wife Melina (whose face decorates his heavily tattooed body).
"We did that [improvising] a lot! There's a whole other movie too, on the cutting room floor, of like, me and Rachel flirting throughout the movie and various sequences. When she breaks me out of prison and, you know, her stuff with the Taskmaster," Harbour said. "I mean, there's tons of stuff that we improv in this movie. And I think that's a credit to Cate Shortland, she saw the chemistry between us and she saw sort of our voracious, you know, appetite for these characters and for this world, and she just kind of let us run with it."
On returning for a Red Guardian movie, or an original series on Disney+, Harbour said, "People want to see more of this character, I would love to give people more. And I'm glad he's alive at the end of the movie too."
Harbour is hopeful his character has a future in the MCU, telling Variety that there are "so many things you could do" with Red Guardian either before or after the events of Black Widow. Alexei even brags of an early 1980s battle with Captain America, which Harbour said is something worth exploring — even if Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) was famously on ice at the time of the supposed bout.
"What happens to him after this movie, and why isn't he fighting Thanos [in Avengers: Endgame]? Where is he in that time, what happens then? And then post that, when [Natasha] dies, what happens then?" Harbour told Variety. "It's very interesting to me and I hope that there is interest on other levels, and maybe we'll see some more."1comments
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