While it looks like his time as Hellboy will be a one-and-done affair, David Harbour is getting another crack at the comic book movie genre (his third total, having also appeared in Suicide Squad) with Black Widow, where he plays Alexei Shostakov, a.k.a. Red Guardian. Fresh off the first footage of Harbour’s Red Guardian being shown in the first Black Widow trailer, we finally have our first look at the character’s shield thanks to a product that'll be on shelves soon.
Just like Captain America, his counterpart in the United States, Red Guardian wields a shield when going into battle. As you can see in the fourth image in the tweet above (via Marvel News), the shield has the same circular design as the Star Spangled Man with a Plan’s and even has a big star in the middle. Since Red Guardian was created sometime after Steve Rogers was injected with the Super Soldier Serum, it makes sense that the shield would be modeled after what came before, just like the costume was.
While it’s unclear if Red Guardian’s shield is also made from vibranium or if the Russians went with a different kind of extremely durable metal, I have no doubt Red Guardian has put his own shield to good use over the years, just like Captain America did with his own during World War II and the modern era. You’ll also notice that the Taskmaster action figure has his own shield, which can briefly be seen on the ground during a snippet of the Red Guardian vs. Taskmaster fight in the Black Widow trailer. We’ll have to wait and see what happens to Red Guardian’s shield, i.e. if he just temporarily misplaces it or if it’s somehow destroyed.
Besides him being Captain America’s Russian counterpart, all we know about David Harbour’s version of Red Guardian is that he has history with the movie’s Black Widows, i.e. Scarlett Johansson’s Natasha Romanoff, Florence Pugh’s Yelena Belova and Rachel Weisz’s Melina. Thus far Alexei Shostakov looks to be an ally in Black Widow, but since his comics counterpart was primarily a villain, it doesn’t hurt to be cautious about his allegiances in the MCU.
Set between the events of Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War, Black Widow follows Natasha Romanoff as she’s “alone and forced to confront her past.” We saw in the Black Widow trailer that Alexei has held captive for an undetermined period of time, but in addition to being reunited with the Black Widows, who he considers to be his family, he also still fits into his Red Guardian costume, so he’s ready to jump back into action.
Along with the actors previously mentioned, Black Widow’s cast includes O-T Fagbenle as Rick Mason, William Hurt as Thaddeus Ross, Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark (his appearance will reportedly be through deleted Civil War footage) and a yet-to-be-revealed performer as Taskmaster, as well as Ray Winstone and Olivier Richters in undisclosed roles.
Behind the scenes, Cate Shortland directed Black Widow, and Jac Schaffer and Ned Benson wrote the script. Scarlett Johansson has said that the movie will make you see things Natasha Romanoff did in Infinity War and Endgame in a “new light,” and that it gave her closure following the character’s death in Endgame.
Black Widow opens in theaters on May 1, 2020, so keep checking back with CinemaBlend for more coverage. In the meantime, you can look through our Marvel movies guide to find out what else the MCU has in store for Phase 4 and beyond.