Red Guardian and Captain America

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Light spoilers for Black Widow lie ahead.

It’s been a long wait, but Marvel Studios’ Black Widow will finally grace both the big and small screens next month. The long-awaited solo film is set to thrust Scarlett Johansson’s Natasha Romanoff into the spotlight, giving fans a better understanding of where the deadly Avenger comes from. Along the way, audiences will also be introduced to a host of new characters, including David Harbour’s Alexei Shostakov a.k.a. Red Guardian. We may not know everything about the imposing character, but it’s more than apparent that he has a problem with former Captain America Steve Rogers. And Harbour has an idea that would see the two face off in a movie.

Black Widow establishes that in Alexei’s prime, he was the Soviet Union’s version of Captain America. There’s a whole swath of uncharted territory within his personal history, and David Harbour is eager to explore it. CinemaBlend was among a number entertainment outlets that attended a virtual press conference for Black Widow, where Harbour discussed the notion:

What’s funny about Alexei, 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. There is this period of time where he has all these stories about his life. It’s questionable whether or not they’re real.

It sounds like David Harbour hopes to illuminate the legend surrounding the Red Guardian. There’s no telling which of Alexei’s stories are true, and a film could certainly give viewers a better look at the character’s past exploits. And of course, if Harbour was to get his way, Steve Rogers would factor into the story:

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. Is Kevin Feige in the room, did he hear?

Seeing Red Guardian and Captain America on the big screen would certainly be a Marvel Cinematic Universe clash for the ages. Unfortunately, due to the MCU’s continuity, such a battle isn’t exactly possible. By the time Alexei was born and became Red Guardian, Steve Rogers was deep in ice and, by the time Rogers was revived, Alexei was likely in prison. Despite this, there may be other ways to mix Alexei into Cap’s storied history.

Although Red Guardian wouldn’t have met up with Captain America during his time, he may have crossed paths with Bucky Barnes, who was known as the Winter Soldier at that point. Alexei could’ve encountered and done battle with him during a mission, not unlike The Falcon and the Winter Soldier’s Isaiah Bradley. Or if fans really do want to see Alexei and Steve meet up, such a scenario could be depicted on Marvel’s What If…? TV series. That show debuts this summer on Disney+, which you can sign up for using this link.

Red Guardian’s history will be something to ponder but, before we get too deep into his background, let’s just wait and see the role David Harbour’s hero has to play in Black Widow. You can see Harbour make his MCU debut when the movie opens in theaters and streams on Disney+ (with Premier Access) on July 9.

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