Black Widow’s David Harbour On Red Guardian’s Status In Thanos Battle
David Harbour, who plays Alexei Shostakov, a.k.a. Red Guardian in Black Widow, opens up about where his character was during Thanos’ invasion. Scarlett Johannsson’s long-awaited Black Widow solo movie follows Natasha Romanoff between the events of Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War. Set to explore the super assassin’s much-alluded to past via flashbacks, the summer blockbuster makes its way to theaters and Disney+ this week.
As part of Phase Four, Black Widow is set to introduce several characters to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Fans will meet Natasha’s surrogate family outside of the Avengers—which should further contextualize her sacrifice in Avengers: Endgame. These new characters include Red Room trainees, Yelena Belova (Florence Pugh) and Melina Vostokoff (Rachel Weisz). Harbour, who’s best known for his role as Sheriff Jim Hopper in Netflix’s Stranger Things, will play Russia’s version of Captain America in the super-soldier, Red Guardian. Harbour has previously described his character as “not the heroic, noble man that [people] want him to be.”
In an interview with ComicBook, Harbour was asked if he knows what his character was up to during the events of Infinity War and Endgame. In particular, why his character didn’t help during the final battle between the Avengers and Thanos. Read what Harbour had to say below:
“Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, I asked those questions,” said Harbour. “I mean, no. Yeah, I mean, the fun thing about this entire thing is that we go back and we build out this structure for something new. There’s all this new content with a lot of the information in the movie that moves forward with these other projects in terms of a new phase. And also you get to introduce these new characters, but [director] Cate Shortland and I had all kinds of speculations about where Red Guardian ends up with this and what happens to him. There’s a lot of fun ideas that we had, but I haven’t gone directly to the source. I haven’t asked [Kevin] Feige himself. I’ll do that later.”
Harbour went on to joke that it wouldn’t have been fair to have “such a specimen” like Red Guardian in the fight with Thanos. Flashbacks aside, the Red Guardian in Black Widow has let himself go—he’s not the same super soldier from the Cold War that people hear stories about. Granted, he’s still much stronger than the average human being but he’s certainly not about to wield Mjolnir against the Mad Titan like Steve Rogers a.k.a.Captain America. Harbour recently said he’d love to see a showdown between his character and Captain America.
Upcoming MCU films like Black Widow, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, and Eternals are tasked with explaining why their superheroes, who were presumably around during the Infinity Saga, didn’t lend a hand during Thanos’ attacks in Infinity War and Endgame. For example, the Eternals are a group of immortals meant to guide and watch over humanity; so, one would think Thanos’ (who is technically an Eternal) attempts a wiping out half of all life would be a tragedy worth coming out of hibernation for. Red Guardian, on the other hand, is a flawed father figure that Natasha probably didn’t expect to be there to help out anyway.