The newest big screen Marvel outing, Black Widow, introduces several scene-stealing new characters to the MCU, chief among them being Stranger Things star David Harbour as the super soldier Alexei Shostakov AKA Red Guardian. While the movie ends leaving Alexei’s whereabouts in the present day unknown, director Cate Shortland has now revealed that she believes the character deserves his own movie, where those kinds of questions could be answered.
“Sometimes – not sometimes – often I would be crying with laughter. 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.”
Red Guardian is the Russian super-soldier counterpart to Captain America, and an unorthodox father-figure to both Natasha Romanoff and Yelena Belova played by Florence Pugh (the movie’s other stand-out new MCU recruit). Betrayed by the regime he loves so much, Alexei is thrown in prison where he spends his time arm-wrestling and regaling anyone who will listen with improbable war stories. The character gets the lion’s share of funny moments in Black Widow, and no doubt audiences would love the opportunity to spend more time with the Red Guardian.
One person who would love to see more from the character is David Harbour himself, who revealed that there is already enough cut material from Black Widow to make the Red Guardian movie. “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 potentially returning for a solo project, either on the big screen or Disney+, Harbour is on board saying, “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.” The actor hopes that a Red Guardian movie would explore the superhero’s golden years. “What’s funny about Alexei (Red Guardian), you have this 25-year gap we don’t know about (in the movie). We see him in Ohio and in the prison. And even before the prison, there was a time when he was the Red Guardian, he must have put the suit back on,” he said. “There is this period of time where he has all these stories about his life. It’s questionable whether or not they’re real.”
Harbour has even teased coming face-to-face with Captain America saying, “I do think the classic Cold War thing is a really fun and funny dynamic between these two guys and the fact that they came up like nuclear warheads like in an arms race together. I think it’s a great concept that could be explored further. Kevin Feige in the room, did he hear?”
Black Widow is out now and finds Natasha Romanoff forced to confront the darker parts of her famous ledger when a dangerous conspiracy with ties to her past arises. Read the whole interview at The Wrap.