Black Widow Director Discusses Taskmaster’s Surprise Reveal

By | July 10, 2021

After months of waiting, Black Widow has finally released in both theaters and on Disney Plus, and fans can finally experience one of the most highly anticipated films of the year. In a new interview with GamesRadar, Black Widow director Cate Shortland spoke about the film’s villain, Taskmaster, whose identity reveal is one of the bigger surprises of the film. 

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Before we dive in, it’s important to note that this interview has massive spoilers for the film, so here’s your spoiler warning if you haven’t seen it just yet. If you have seen the film, though, you’d know that in Black Widow, Taskmaster is revealed to be Dreykov’s daughter, Antonia, who was almost murdered by Natasha during her time in Budapest when the agent was trying to kill Dreykov. 

Speaking on the reveal, and using Antonia as a character who had been turned into a murder machine to seek out and hunt down Natasha, was something Shortland wanted to have in the film. 

“What’s great in the film is, you see that [Natasha] physically has to face what she’s done,” Shortland said. “It’s not a fragment [of that]. It’s real. And so she’s really facing her worst nightmare. I almost see Taskmaster as being her psyche, ‘This is what I’ve done, and it’s coming back to get me.’ The androgyny of the character is really interesting.

“Natasha is a perpetrator, and that’s what I love is this ambiguity. She’s not Superman. She’s done some terrible things. And this is the film where she has to face that. And, what it does is, it allows her to go to Endgame and the sacrifice she makes with resolve because she’s had to face all the parts that she’s tried to shut down inside her. All the little black boxes, she’s had to open them up or Yelena is kicking them open.”

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Black Widow serves as the first movie in Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Phase 4. Joining Johansson is David Harbour as Alexei/Red Guardian, Florence Pugh as Yelena Belova, and Rachel Weisz as Melina Vostokoff. Joining them are William Hurt as Thaddeus Ross, Ray Winstone as Dreykov, and O-T Fagbenle as Rick Mason.

Black Widow is directed by Cate Shortland (Lore) from a screenplay written by WandaVision head writer Jac Schaeffer, who is continuing her partnership with the studio after recently signing an overall deal with Marvel Studios and 20th Television. It is produced by Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige.