After multiple COVID-19-related delays, Black Widow is finally releasing on July 9, 2021, and critic responses are pouring in with some hailing the film's cast as one of the best in Marvel history

In addition to Scarlett Johansson reprising her role as Natasha Romanoff, this acclaimed cast includes Black Widow's Russian "family" of David Harbour as Alexei Shostakov, Rachel Weisz as Melina Vostokoff, and Florence Pugh as Yelena Belova.

Alexei Shostakov is no stranger to Marvel fans considering he's also the Red Guardian — a character with a rich history within Marvel Comics. And, apparently, that history is something Harbour believes would be interesting to explore. 

DAVID HARBOUR TALKS FACING OFF AGAINST CAP

Red Guardian David Harbour
Marvel

During the virtual press conference for Marvel Studios' Black Widow on June 18, 2021, David Harbour was asked if he'd like to "bring to life... Red Guardian's fight with Captain America," to which the actor said "of course" before also touching on exploring his character's complex history:

"Of course. You know what’s funny about Alexei, you have this 25-year gap we don’t know about. We see him in the prison. And even before the prison, there was a time when he was the Red Guardian, he must have put the suit back on. There is this period of time where he has all these stories about his life. About what went on. It's questionable whether or not they’re real. I like the exploration of what is real and what isn't real. And how hard he had to construct these realities for himself and how durable those realities are."

Like Steve Rogers, Alexei Shostakov was also a super soldier and the Soviet version of Captain America. Even though Cap faced his own share of struggles, Alexei served time in prison, struggled to keep his family together, and is no longer in his prime. 

The prospect of pitting two similar soldiers from different countries and situations against one another is a fascinating one, and Harbour clearly agrees, saying the two were "nuclear warheads in an arms-race together" and how he feels it's a "great concept:"

“I do think the classic Cold War thing is a really fun and funny dynamic between these two guys and the fact that they basically came up like nuclear warheads in an arms-race together. I think it’s just a really great concept that could be explored further.”

A RED GUARDIAN PREQUEL STORY?

While both Avengers: Endgame and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier covered Steve Rogers passing on the Captain America shield and mantle to Sam Wilson, that hasn't happened yet within the Black Widow timeline. 

Black Widow actually follows the events of Captain America: Civil War, meaning Chris Evans' Captain America hasn't traveled back in time to live out his life with Peggy Carter. Therefore, in theory, the two could meet.

Of course, anything featuring Cap is intriguing for fans considering the current mystery surrounding his time-traveling romp and status.

But, apart from that, further exploring the Red Guardian's character would offer a whole new perspective of a government-created hero, one who's no longer in his glory days and has faced different struggles than Steve Rogers. 

No wonder Harbour finds this concept worthy of exploration, and no doubt Marvel fans will agree.

Black Widow will premiere in theaters and stream on Disney+ via Premier Access on July 9, 2021.