Warning - This article contains spoilers for Black Widow.
Audiences left Black Widow praising Scarlett Johansson and newcomer Florence Pugh, but one of the bigger topics of conversation has surrounded Taskmaster.
The film revealed the copycat antagonist to be none other than Antonia Dreykov, a character presumed to have died during the infamous Budapest Operation. Acting as a living embodiment of the red in Natasha Romanoff's ledger, Antonia's fake death haunted Marvel's resident superspy as far back as 2012's The Avengers.
While Dreykov's daughter's resurfacing provided a unique twist on the film's final act, many fans have already likened the character swap to the controversial Mandarin reveal from 2013's Iron Man 3.
Regardless of how fans feel about the twist, Taskmaster left Black Widow freed from her mind-control. Considering where the character goes in the comics, there is a potential Marvel Studios future for her, one which actress Olga Kurylenko is interested in exploring.
WILL TASKMASTER RETURN IN THE MCU?
Is there a Marvel Cinematic Universe future for Taskmaster after Black Widow?
Speaking with Esquire, actress Olga Kurylenko said it's not her decision:
"It's for the studio. Look, they only decide. They could do whatever they want. Right? They could make her appear or disappear, so I wouldn't be able to confirm."
Regardless of whether Marvel Studios decides to use Taskmaster again or not, Kurylenko looked back at her time playing the character fondly:
"I mean, obviously the thing is, to me, I enjoy playing that character. There's so much background story. There was no time to show it all in this film because the story went into the other direction. But there's so much that, of course, it could be developed."
As for if a return to the MCU would even interest her, Kurylenko put it bluntly:
"Imagine I'd say, 'No, I wouldn't.' Would that be weird? Would you even believe me? Of course, I would. It'd be really cool. I'd love to."
AN AMBIGUOUS FUTURE FOR TASKMASTER
Considering how divisive the character was in Black Widow, a Taskmaster comeback actually seems somewhat inevitable.
Similar to how the MCU used Ben Kingsley's fake Mandarin in Iron Man 3 just to tease that the real master of the Ten Rings was out there in the one-shot "All Hail The King," leaving Taskmaster free from her mind-control (and alive) at the end of Black Widow is an abundant tease that her MCU days are far from over.
The biggest complaint about Taskmaster in Black Widow wasn't so much about the twist identity but rather the limited move-set. Taskmaster's entire gimmick revolves around her copycat fighting style, as she has the ability to emulate anyone's combat. Trailers teased that audiences would see references to Black Panther, Captain America, and the Winter Soldier within Taskmaster's hand-to-hand repertoire. Unfortunately, the marketing campaign's teases were about all that audiences got.
Bringing back Kurylenko for more Taskmaster action provides the opportunity to really flesh out the character's signature ability. As for where the antagonist could pop up again, a subtle storyline that heavily involves Taskmaster is already having its seeds planted.
On the page, Taskmaster is a key member of the Thunderbolts. With Julia Louis-Dreyfus's mysterious Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine seemingly assembling a squad, Taskmaster could be on her short list of ruthless killers she wants within her ranks.
Kurylenko can be seen in Black Widow, playing in theaters and streaming on Disney+ via Premier Access now.