The Falcon And The Winter Soldier packed a number of surprises into its six-episode run – from the introduction of Isaiah Bradley, to the appearance of the Dora Milaje – but easily the most delightful was the arrival of Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Valentina Allegra de Fontaine. While very little was revealed about the Marvel Cinematic Universe incarnation of the comic book character, she immediately charmed audiences with her sly demeanor and sinister attitude. Clearly the franchise has some big things planned her, and while we don’t quite know what those plans are just yet, the filmmakers behind the Disney+ original are teasing a “Pandora’s Box to be opened.”
With the Falcon And The Winter Soldier finale arriving on the streaming service this past Friday, I was delighted to have the opportunity to talk to director Kari Skogland and head writer Malcolm Spellman this week during a post-release virtual press day and discuss the series in depth. One of the thing that I asked both of them about in separate interviews was working with Julia Louis-Dreyfus and developing Val as a character, and what they described was the Seinfeld and Veep star very much getting into the role. Said Skogland,
Val is only featured in the last two chapters of The Falcon And The Winter Soldier and only appearing in two scenes total, but she makes a lasting impression – and a massive part of that is her demeanor. She has been established as thoroughly mysterious figure, and it definitely sounds like she is up to some nefarious business. I asked Kari Skogland about throttling the gas pedal in that respect, and she explained,
What will that future entail? Could it possibly lead to the introduction of the Thunderbolts/Dark Avengers? Will Valentina Allegra de Fontaine’s story continue in the developing Captain America 4 starring Anthony Mackie? We have a wide variety of questions right now, but sadly few answers.
Speaking to the opportunity to bring Julia Louis-Dreyfus into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Malcolm Spellman noted that he was a big fan of hers long before he had the opportunity to work with her, and that knowing what she could do as an actor had an important influence on the way that Val was written into The Falcon And The Winter Soldier. Said the writer,
What the series was able to pull off with Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ Valentina Allegra de Fontaine in such a short amount of time is impressive, and it all starts when she slinks out of the shadows following John Walker’s dishonorable discharge. Kari Skogland discussed the process of filming that moment, giving Wyatt Russell a lot of credit for maintaining the heightened emotions from the court martial scene that precedes it and not falling into the trap of trying to generate a certain comedic rhythm with his co-star. Said the filmmaker,
By the end of The Falcon And The Winter Soldier, Valentina Allegra de Fontaine has begun the process of rebranding John Walker as U.S. Agent, including getting him a new suit, and clearly she is recruiting him for some kind of bigger project. Needless to say, we’ll be paying very close attention to any and all developments regarding her character going into the future, and it seems fair to assume that we won’t have to wait very long before she pops up again.
While we wait for more exciting future Marvel Cinematic Universe developments, The Falcon And The Winter Soldier is now streaming in its entirety on Disney+ – and to keep track of everything that is coming up on the small screen for the franchise, be sure to check out our Upcoming Marvel TV Shows guide.
NJ native who calls LA home; lives in a Dreamatorium. A decade-plus CinemaBlend veteran; endlessly enthusiastic about the career he’s dreamt of since seventh grade.
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