Footage shown at San Diego Comic-Con 2019 revealed a fan-favorite comic book villain, Taskmaster. With the Black Widow solo movie fast approaching its May 1, 2020 release date, details are finally starting to trickle in regarding the long-in-development Scarlett Johansson vehicle.
After years of rumors, months of casting, and filming news, SDCC 2019 marked the formal unveiling of Black Widow, with a sizzle reel of exciting footage showcasing tons of action, story, and the surprise appearance of one of the most dangerous mercenaries in comic book history: Taskmaster.
Near the end of the extensive footage shown to Hall H attendees, the iconic villain revealed himself, a striking silhouette emerging from a wall of fire to show his skull-masked visage to Black Widow before engaging the super spy in a one-on-one battle. Though the footage stopped short of revealing the identity of the actor playing Taskmaster, it certainly seems as though he'll be one of the main antagonists - if not the big bad himself - in the hotly anticipated film.
While Taskmaster is relatively unknown to the mainstream MCU audience, comic book fans are surely familiar with the character. He infamously possesses the superpower of "photographic reflexes." This allows him to effortlessly copy any combat moves, as long as he sees them once. This uncanny ability allows him to match blows with even the most skilled hand-to-hand fighters from across the Marvel Universe. Indeed, the footage shown at SDCC features Taskmaster perfectly parrying every attack the red-haired agent throws his way, indicating his unique ability will make an appearance in the movie.
In the world of Marvel licensing, everything is connected, or at least seems that way. Compared to villains like Bullseye or Omega Red, Taskmaster is far from a household name, but he has seen a recent surge of popularity thanks to his appearances in Marvel's Spider-Man for PlayStation 4 and the upcoming Marvel's Avengers. Notably, footage of Marvel's Avengers shown at E3 2019 involved Taskmaster and Black Widow in a pulse-pounding boss battle. It could just be a coincidence, but it certainly appears as though the stage has been set for Taskmaster to take his place among the pantheon of well known comic book rogues.
Whatever the case may be, fans have been looking forward to a Black Widow solo movie for a long time. Following her debut appearance in 2010's Iron Man 2, rumors and speculation immediately began to swirl regarding the character starring as the title character in her own MCU film. For one reason or another, nothing came together until now, and the film is set to release in May 2020, around one year after Captain Marvel, the first MCU film with a female lead. Nevertheless, following Black Widow's game-changing role in Avengers: Endgame, hopes are high that this solo movie will give the character the send-off she deserves.