The first salvo of Phase 4 for the Marvel Cinematic Universe film franchise from Marvel Studios will hit in May of this year. And owing to character statuses at the end of the climactic “Avengers: Endgame” last year, this film takes place as a feature-length flashback prequel to the start of Phase 3 in order to explain its main character: Scarlett Johansson as assassin/spy-turned-SHIELD agent Natasha Romanov, aka “Black Widow.” The first trailer for the film has already showcased the prominent antagonist for Natasha and her allies from the past to confront, but now said villain gets some more focus.
As Comic Book Resources tells us, Marvel Studios has put up a new “special look” teaser for their next MCU spectacle “Black Widow.” For the most part it recycles scenes from the first full trailer while adding flavor context to interactions between Natasha (Scarlett Johansson) and her Red-Room associates: Yelena (Florence Pugh), Melina (Rachel Weisz) and Alexei/Red Guardian (David Harbour). It also shows the threat of a new generation of Red Room-trained “Black Widow” assassins, but also shows the mysterious Marvel mercenary character Taskmaster, and his incredible ability that makes him a threat to the ad hoc Black Widow team.
From the comics, Taskmaster – real name Tony Masters – is a mercenary with the uncanny skill of mimicking the physical movements of others via “photographic reflexes.” This enables him to copy the fighting skills of any combatant, from regular soldiers and operatives to superheroes and super-villains. Comics-wise he prominently has the marksmanship skill of Hawkeye, the shield-based fighting style of Captain America, and more. His archery is seen in the first trailer, and in the special look teaser he easily shields himself against Natasha’s gunfire and even throws said shield in a familiar way. The telling sequence is when he simultaneously gets up with Nat from a prone fall and their poses mirror each other perfectly.
But that teaser was just the beginning. The following day, Marvel then released a “Legacy” featurette wherein Scarlett Johansson, “Black Widow” director Cate Shortland, and Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige discussing the impact of the character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe setting. They point out that a solo “BW” movie was highly requested by MCU fans since Natasha debuted in “Iron Man 2.” Much attention was also given to facets of the character particularly her past, considering her story arc may have ended after “Endgame.”
No actor has yet been confirmed to be cast in the role of Taskmaster, though he might be played by Dutch bodybuilder-actor Olivier Richters whose casting remains unspecified. “Black Widow” premieres this coming May 1.
Image from Comic Book Movie