When some concrete info on the Black Widow solo film finally dropped last night at San Diego Comic-Con, all the hints pointed toward Taskmaster, a dude with the power to instantly replicate any physical action he sees, as the villain. Now, with the release of a new official illustration, that’s pretty much confirmed.
Andy Park, Director of Visual Development at Marvel Studios, is responsible for the visual identity of much of the film universe, and is the best source around for illustrations related to the MCU. Now, he’s posted a new keyframe illustration from the Black Widow movie, featuring Natasha fighting a heavily armored villain with a shield identified as Taskmaster.
In the comics, the Taskmaster is Tony Masters, a mercenary who injected himself with an experimental serum that gave him the power of “photographic reflexes,” meaning that he can reproduce, from memory, any action he sees. So he can fire arrows as like Hawkeye, fight like Shang-Chi, and throw a shield like Captain America. All he has to do is see them do it first.
What’s still not clear, though, is what the character’s origin is going to be in the MCU, or who’s going to play them. Out of the confirmed cast, we know that David Harbour is playing Alexei Shoskatov, the Red Guardian (the Communist answer to Captain America). Could the Guardian go rogue and become a supervillain? Who knows, at this point. But we did see, in the footage shown at the Hall H panel, Natasha fighting someone who definitely seemed like Taskmaster. Florence Pugh is playing Yelena, O-T Fagbenle is Mason, and Rachel Weisz is Melina (Weisz is Deputy Editor Jill Pantozzi’s guess for Taskmaster as an MCU switcheroo).
After watching the footage at the Marvel panel, io9 caught up with Scarlett Johansson. She talked to us about the joy of working in an increasingly more gender diverse MCU, which includes the director of Black Widow, Cate Shortland, the first solo woman director in the MCU. You can check that out below.
For more on Marvel’s announcements at Comic-Con, check out our master post here. Black Widow is due in theaters May 1, 2020.
For more, make sure you’re following us on our new Instagram @io9dotcom.