Throughout The Falcon and the Winter Soldier's run, there was much hype about a character announced by head writer Malcolm Spellman to appear in the show's fifth episode.
The identity of the actor and character involved with this big celebrity cameo was a major topic of discussion among MCU fans in the weeks leading up to the episode's debut, and it turned out to be Julia Louis-Dreyfus in the role of Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine.
Even viewers who weren't well-versed in Marvel Comics enough to know who Valentina was were excited to see Louis-Dreyfus appear in the MCU.
The show's producers knew her involvement would be shocking and thrilling to many fans, so they made a heavy effort to keep her appearance top secret until the episode was released.
Now Marvel executives have spoken on why Louis-Dreyfus was a perfect fit for the MCU...
BRINGING IN JULIA LOUIS-DREYFUS
In an interview with Marvel.com, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier executive producer Nate Moore and co-executive producer Zoie Nagelhout discussed what it was like bringing Julia Louis-Dreyfus into the MCU, with Nagelhout saying that Louis-Dreyfus "was just excited by the idea of joining this world and what it could mean to play a new quirky, weird, mysterious character:"
“What a gift for us to have her. She is just incredible. In the initial conversations between her and Kevin [Feige], she was just excited by the idea of joining this world and what it could mean to play a new quirky, weird, mysterious character. And she loved that there was this comedy to it as well because that's, of course, one of her great strengths. She was the perfect character to bring into John Walker's world to complicate what he’s going through and give him a weird almost ominous light at the end of the tunnel.”
Moore added that Louis-Dreyfus "has such range" which helped bring the character to life:
“Julia has such range. She's only ever been great. There's something so likable about her that when she does show those darker tendencies to her character, it's a little bit more surprising and entertaining because you don't expect it to come from her.”
WILL JULIA LOUIS-DREYFUS RETURN TO THE MCU?
Based on Nagelhout's comments, Louis-Dreyfus was very enthusiastic about joining the MCU and playing such a dark yet funny character. More and more big names seem to be open to joining the franchise as it has expanded its range in storytelling over the years and continues to do so in these first few Disney+ projects.
The character of Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine (or "Val") only appeared for one scene in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier's fifth episode, but it was heavily implied she will be a bigger factor in the MCU moving forward. She expressed a desire to work with John Walker in some way and has worked with both SHIELD and HYDRA at different points of time in the comics (taking on the alias of "Madame HYDRA"). There is a lot of potential for her onscreen iteration as a villain, anti-hero, or maybe even straight-up hero down the line.
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier's first five episodes are now available to stream on Disney+.