Warning - This article contains major spoilers for Black Widow.
Black Widow was supposed to open a bold new chapter for the MCU last May, but the global pandemic derailed those plans. Instead, the Phase 4 entry will now open in theatres in May 2021, much to the dismay of MCU diehards. The silver screen release of the film was further cemented after Marvel Studios executive vice president Victoria Alonso assured fans that MCU films are solely for "theatrical distribution."
Still, the anticipation for the Scarlett Johansson-led prequel is still high, especially after the slew of reveals in the past months. This was due to the recent release of the film's official book, and it didn't disappoint in terms of providing fans with a stockpile of intriguing tidbits.
It was confirmed that the film's chief villain, Taskmaster, will mimic the moves of notable MCU heroes such as Bucky Barnes and Spider-Man, seemingly hinting that he has footage of the airport battle during 2016's Civil War. Not only that, but Johansson also shared that the mystery surrounding Budapest will finally be unveiled in the MCU prequel.
Now, another excerpt from the official book may offer clues about an intriguing character from the film.
Based on the recently-released Marvel Studios' Black Widow: The Official Movie Special Book, O.T. Fagbenle, who plays Mason in the MCU film, revealed that his character "can find anything you need" while also teasing his romantic relationship with Scarlett Johansson's Natasha Romanoff.
Mason is a finder for people who aren't so affiliated with armies, like people who are part of the underworld. He can find anything you need as well. He's had a relationship doing that work for the Black Widow, and they have a bit of a vibe going on. There's a sense that there's more to their relationship than it being purely work-related, so that's always in the mix.
Moreover, Fagbenle also shared more details about Mason's arc in Black Widow, revealing that he's the guy that Romanoff calls when "she's in trouble:"
Mason's story starts when Natasha is trying to escape, and she needs a place to hide out. So we hang out for a little bit. And then later on, when she gets in trouble, she calls me up again. I help her out with a Chinook. If you need a helicopter, I'm the guy to ask, and then again every time she's in trouble, she calls me.
Lastly, The Handmaid's Tale actor explained that Romanoff "definitely takes advantage" of Mason's ability to "provide certain things" while also declaring that Mason is the kind of guy that "you want on your side if you get into a hard corner:"
Mason is the guy that you want on your side if you get into a hard corner. Natasha definitely takes advantage of the opportunities for him to provide certain things- she never really pays with cash and she doesn't have credit either. She's always like, "Yeah, put it on my tab." It's a pretty long tab by now! I'm a giver.
WHAT THIS MEANS
Based on what's been revealed, it's clear that Mason is an integral character to the overall narrative arc of Black Widow. Due to the absence of Fagbenle's character in the film's marketing, many fans have been speculating that Mason may end up being Taskmaster, but these newly-revealed tidbits could prove otherwise.
Fagbenle's description of Mason as a "finder for people" seemingly confirms that he has strong connections to powerful people while also having access to a vast array of resources. Given that, it isn't surprising that Romanoff will ask him for help, especially after the heroine's post-Civil War predicament by the time the film starts.
However, an intriguing takeaway from Fagbenle's statements is the fact that he may have hinted that Mason and Romanoff had been in contact for a while, even before the events of Black Widow. It's possible that Mason helped Romanoff before and after the events of The Avengers, Age of Ultron, and even Iron Man 2, especially considering the previous tease from Marvel Studios CCO Kevin Feige that Black Widow will explore "surprising" events in-between MCU films.
On the flip side, Marvel can throw a curveball to fans by revealing that Mason is Taskmaster all along, and helping Romanoff is his way of getting close to the hero. In conjunction with that, given the character's connection to the underworld, there's also a chance that Mason works for Taskmaster.
Whatever the case, O.T. Fagbenle's Mason is a notable addition to Black Widow. The character should help to further flesh out Romanoff's MCU backstory, which may provide clues on how the Avenger evolved to be the hero that is willing to sacrifice her life for the sake of the universe.