Warning - This article contains spoilers for Black Widow.
Black Widow introduced new and exciting characters that could have a major impact on the Marvel Cinematic Universe moving forward.
Directed by Cate Shortland, the MCU prequel follows the post-Captain America: Civil War story of Scarlett Johansson's Natasha Romanoff as she goes on the run from the Sokovia Accords. As a result of her current status, Romanoff finds herself in an unexpected reunion with her makeshift Russian family which includes Florence Pugh's Yelena Belova, Rachel Weisz's Melina Vostokoff, and David Harbour's Red Guardian.
Black Widow didn't waste time in placing the spotlight to Romanoff's family, giving each member their own chance to shine throughout the film. One of the highlights of the film is the dynamic between these stand-in family members, specifically Melina and Alexei.
Acting as the stand-in parents for both Romanoff and Yelena, Alexei and Melina tried their best to mend their relationship with their daughters in the film, with both of them even justifying that they only played their roles for the mission. After an emotional reunion and a high-stakes takedown of the Red Room, Romanoff reconciled with her family, leaving the door open for more adventures for the remaining members.
Black Widow's ending confirmed that the trio will live to fight another day, but it is unknown when are they going to return (except for Yelena's comeback in Hawkeye). Now, the head of Marvel Studios has teased the returns of Black Widow's pivotal characters.
THE MCU FUTURE OF RACHEL WEISZ AND DAVID HARBOUR
Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige sat down as a guest of D23 Inside Disney podcast to talk about the MCU futures of Rachel Weisz's Melina Vostokoff and David Harbour's Alexei Shostakov a.k.a. Red Guardian after Black Widow.
Feige admitted that it's "fun" to introduce new characters in films like Red Guardian and Florence Pugh's Yelena Belova since they can "hopefully go forth one day within a future storyline."
When asked about potential future appearances of Melina and Alexei down the road, the Marvel architect teased that "it's a safe bet" that fans will see them again, saying that the studio "definitely want that to happen:"
"It is always the intention that when characters come in, and great great actors come in to the universe, if we have a great time with them, the audience did, that you always want to see them again. I think it's a safe bet that we definitely want that to happen."
MORE MELINA AND RED GUARDIAN IN PHASE 4?
Kevin Feige's latest comments could serve as a confirmation that fans will get to witness the return of the MCU characters of both Rachel Weisz and David Harbour down the line.
Based on what's been revealed, it looks like major side characters that will be introduced in films and even the Disney+ shows have a prime opportunity to return in other projects. In a way, this makes sense, considering the interconnected nature of the franchise, but part of the fun is trying to speculate on when each character will show up next.
In the past weeks, Harbour has been teasing the future of Red Guardian during interviews. The Stranger Things actor mentioned that he would be open to return to confront Jeremy Renner's Clint Barton to avenge Natasha Romanoff's death.
It is unknown if Harbour's comment is simply a playful tease or a major hint to his return alongside Yelena in Hawkeye, but the fact that he is open to return is a welcome development for Marvel Studios.
As for Melina, it's possible that she is staying off the grid, especially now that the Red Room has been taken down. Still, Yelena can still contact her for resources and potential back-up, thus allowing her to appear in Hawkeye or even the rumored Thunderbolts project.
Melina and Alexei are pivotal figures of Romanoff's past, but it seems that they will serve as the guide or even mentors to Yelena moving forward to propel the Black Widow legacy into greater heights.
Black Widow is now streaming on Disney+ via Premier Access and in theaters worldwide.