Warning. Major spoilers for Black Widow follow…
Having been delayed for over a year due to the coronavirus pandemic, Marvel Studios’ Black Widow finally released this month, and while fans will certainly be glad to see the MCU back on the big screen any Tony Masters fans out there would surely have been left sorely disappointed by the film’s big Taskmaster reveal.
Instead of sticking with the comic book iteration of the character, the Black Widow movie changed things up drastically with the surprise reveal that Taskmaster was actually Antonia Dreykov, the daughter of Ray Winstone’s General Dreykov, played by Quantum of Solace and Oblivion star Olga Kurylenko. And, during an interview with Slash Film, Kurylenko has discussed the enormous amount of secrecy surrounding her involvement with the film:
“I kept the secret, but it’s not that difficult for me. Of course, obviously when people would speak about the film it was strange. Even my mother said, ‘Oh Olga, I saw this trailer.’ That was a year ago, not now, but it was supposed to come out a year ago. And she said, ‘I want to see this great film, Black Widow.’ And I was like, ‘Oh yeah, yeah. We can go together.’ And I had to pretend I didn’t know anything.”
Going into the movie, many had speculated that Taskmaster would end up recruited to the team of ‘Thunderbolts’ (or whatever they end up being called…) that is assembling in the MCU. The film does leave that possibility on the table, and while Kurylenko claims not to have any knowledge of Marvel’s future plans for the character, she is certainly excited about the possibility of returning to the role.
“There’s so much you can do,” states Kurylenko. “She’s going to be, I think, conflicted between the bad and the good, and probably torn in all directions and try to figure out which way she wants to go. But I think because underneath she’s a vulnerable human, she could be explored in all sorts of ways. The thing is, she could be always caught up in that power and manipulated again. So that’s always a danger. It’s always a danger to keep away from being possessed and concentrate on keeping her freedom. But it doesn’t mean that she’ll succeed at it. And there’s always bad forces that will try to capture her, I would imagine. It’s that kind of character. The character’s too valuable and too skillful to let go. Obviously, even though the main baddie is gone, there’ll be others that are going to try and do it. I would just imagine. I know nothing at all, I’m just speculating.”
Meanwhile, in a separate interview with the Phase Zero podcast, screenwriter Eric Pearson has offered some insight into the reason for the change, revealing that the original plan was to include Tony Masters but it was felt that Taskmaster had to have a convincing link to Natasha’s past:
“Taskmaster was going to be involved, and there was a version before I came that was Tony Masters, and it felt, I kept thinking, can this guy somehow not just be a goon? Cause Dreykov and the Red Room is the thing that’s tied into Natasha personally and her past. Trust me, I looked very, very far for like, how do we get this Tony Masters guy to believably be an agent of the Red Room?”
What did you make of Black Widow’s Taskmaster reveal? Would you like to see Kurylenko back in the MCU? Let us know on our social channels @FlickeringMyth…
In Marvel Studios’ action-packed spy thriller “Black Widow,” Natasha Romanoff, aka Black Widow, confronts the darker parts of her ledger when a dangerous conspiracy with ties to her past arises. Pursued by a force that will stop at nothing to bring her down, Natasha must deal with her history as a spy and the broken relationships left in her wake long before she became an Avenger.
Black Widow is directed by Cate Shortland (Lore) and sees Scarlett Johansson reprising her role as Natasha Romanoff alongside William Hurt as Thaddeus Ross, Florence Pugh (Fighting With My Family) as Yelena Belova, O-T Fagbenle (The Handmaid’s Tale) as Mason, David Harbour (Stranger Things) as Alexei Shostakov/Red Guardian, Rachel Weisz (The Favourite) as Melina Vostokoff and Ray Winstone (Sexy Beast) as Dreykov.