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David Harbour and Rachel Weisz in Black Widow

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The Marvel Cinematic Universe is in an interesting place right now. We're currently occupying the interim period between phases, with the rabid fanbase eager for any and all information about the future. Cate Shortland's Black Widow is set to kick off Phase Four, and finally give Scarlett Johansson's character the solo story she deserves. There's a killer cast joining Johansson, including Stranger Things breakout star David Harbour. And he recently addressed a viral rumor about his characters Red Guardian and Hopper.

Stranger Things 3 ended on a major cliffhanger for David Harbour's Hopper. After seemingly perishing in order kill the Mind Flayer, it was recently revealed that he's "The American" that was shown in a Russian prison which was also harboring a Demogorgon. Black Widow's Red Guardian is a Russian superhero, so many fans theorized that they could be the same man in some crazy Netflix/Marvel crossover. Now Harbour has addressed that viral fan theory, saying:

I know, it is a very surprising, annoying coincidence, and I apologize to the entire internet. There is no rhyme or reason for it, I promise you. There’s no crossover event between Stranger Things and the MCU.

Well, that seems pretty cut and dry. It looks like David Harbour just coincidentally got two gigs that are set in Russia. But that doesn't mean that Hawkins' favorite police chief is going to be suited up and fighting alongside Natasha in Black Widow. Sorry, fans.

David Harbour's comments to EW put the kibosh on the popular fan theory linking Stranger Things to Black Widow. While the Marvel Cinematic Universe is a franchise build on crossovers, they're usually between franchises within the shared universe. So don't expect outside properties to pierce franchise, with the exception possibly being Sony's mysterious Spider-Man plans.

Marvel fans can re-watch Natasha's tenure in the MCU in Disney+. You can use this link for a free 7-day trial to the streaming service.

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Later in his same interview, David Harbour joked that Stranger Things' Hopper and Black Widow's Red Guardian don't actually look that much alike. Despite playing both roles, Harbour highlighted their differences, saying:

I mean, I do look very different in them. One of them, I’m 270 pounds and got a beard and thick, long hair, and the other one I’m like 200 pounds and have no hair.

He's got a point. Plus there's the timeline of it all, as Hopper would have gotten quite old if he'd made contacts in Russia and became the Red Guardian. But while it doesn't make logical sense, fan theories don't always need to fall in the lines of realism. Because who doesn't want to see Hawkins' chief of police suit up and kick ass alongside Black Widow?

As a reminder, you can check out the Stranger Things sneak peek that revealed Hopper was alive in Russia below.

Stranger Things 4 recently started production, although it's been suspended in the wake of the coronavirus concerns. Hopper is clearly in a tricky position, especially since Eleven, Joyce and the rest of the group thinks he died. Meanwhile, Black Widow will expand the title character's story, and introduce us to her other family.

Black Widow is currently expected to arrive in theaters on May 1st. In the meantime, check out our 2020 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.

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