“Black Widow” isn’t only about Black Widow, the Avenger. It actually features another superhero — Red Guardian, or Alexei Shostakov.
Red Guardian — who is Russia’s version of Captain America — appears in the film as Black Widow’s father. David Harbour, who plays Red Guardian/Alexi, said at a virtual press conference for “Black Widow” that I attended that there is so much material for Red Guardian to be explored in another Marvel prequel.
Harbour said there’s “a 25-year gap” for Red Guardian that we don’t know about yet. There are some hints in the film about his past, he said. Red Guardian tells stories about what went on in his past.
But there are questions about whether the stories he tells are real, Harbour said. The stories are so wild and outlandish that it’s unclear if the stories he tells about his history are real.
Alexei Shostakov/Red Guardian has to create this psuedo-reality where he is this overpowering superhero that’s greater than all others. Habour said Alexi creates this reality rather than deal with his own personal issues and his family.
“So, in other words, he has to be so bombastic because he can’t stop and feel these things, you know the failures they made,” Harbour said. “So he has to build around him a world of, like, a confabulate story, a psychotic reality where he is the hero.”
These Red Guardian stories could be explored in future movies, he said.
In fact, he responded to a question about a possible Red Guardian vs. Captain America story.
“I do think that the classic Cold War thing is a really fun and funny dynamic between these two guys and the fact that they basically came up as nuclear warheads like in an arms race together. I think it’s just a really great concept that could be explored further,” he said.
“Black Widow” opens in theaters and debuts on Disney+ through Premier Access on July 9.