O. T. Fagbenle, who was announced to be joining the cast of Black Widow last year, was later revealed to be playing a character named Mason - someone who is shrouded in mystery who has a romantic history with Scarlett Johansson's Natasha Romanoff. What's frustrating about this character is that fans haven't once seen Fagbenle's face in any of the trailers or promotional footage of the movie.
This has led many to believe that Fagbenle will actually be playing the villain, Taskmaster. Supporting this belief is how Fagbenle made a tweet (long deleted) hinting that he would be indeed playing the mercenary. However, there was a time that O. T. Fagbenle almost wasn't going to join Black Widow at all.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter promoting his recently released series on Hulu series, Maxxx, O. T. Fagbenle discussed how Marvel Studios had contacted him to audition and how he almost didn't end up staring in Black Widow.
From how THR describes it, Fagbenle was approached by Marvel Studios "several years ago," while he was on vacation in Mexico while writing scripts for Maxx. While Fagbenle was initially hesistant about pursuing the role, his girlfriend at the time persuaded him to record an audition.
He said that "After I'd recorded it, I was like, 'Oh that's pretty good tape, actually,'" continuing that "It just escalated again and again and again to the point it was like, 'Oh my God, like I'm actually going to be in a Marvel movie.'" However, he would later learn that filming for Black Widow would conflict with his filming for Maxxx.
"Maxxx was not a movable thing in my heart," he told THR. But, thankfully, director Cate Shortland and Marvel Studios saw that Fagbenle’s passion for Maxxx outweighed his role in Black Widow, so they made accommodations so that Fagbenele could do both with no scheduling conflicts.
WHAT THIS MEANS
It's unclearly whether or not O. T. Fagbenle having been contacted by Marvel Studios "several years ago" to audition was a typo on the part of THR, but that would indicate that Marvel Studios was interested in the actor since at least 2017 and maybe even a little longer than that.
This is interesting for a role that is seemingly just the part of a love interest and a minor character with, thus far, no discernible screen time, if trailers and TV spots are any indication. What's especially odd, but appreciative, is Marvel Studios actually working around Fagbenle's schedule so that he could still do Maxxx.
Maybe Marvel Studios really did appreciate Fagbenle's passion for his personal project, but, maybe, his role in Black Widow may be more important than an old flame of Black Widow. Or maybe he might be, as previously believed and hinted at, the primary villain of the movie, Taskmaster.
Whatever the case may be on who exactly Fagbenle will be playing in Black Widow, it'll either be anticlimactic or a pretty pivotal reveal for audiences.