'Black Widow': Marvel Prepped to Reveal A-List Actor as Taskmaster With the Film's Release?

During San Diego Comic-Con, Marvel, in orthodox fashion, utterly stole the show. The Russo Brothers looked back on Endgame, spilling details concerning alternate fallouts (some involving gory beheadings) and the various accomplishments they have seen thus far. Feige, on the other hand, looked forward, dropping information concerning Phase 4, as well as some juicy details about the upcoming Black Widow movie.

During San Diego Comic-Con, fans learned that David Harbour is set to play the Soviet version of Captain America, Red Guardian, and Rachel Weisz is set to star as the seasoned spy Melina who — in comic book iterations — becomes the Iron Maiden. 

Many Marvel enthusiasts jumped to one conclusion: The MCU plans to turn Melina into the Taskmaster, altering comic book plot trajectory and gender-swapping a lead, as the MCU often does. However, there’s another possibility that has been lurking around various fan forums and online discussions. What if the MCU plans to introduce another A-lister as the Taskmaster? 

Why Rachel Weisz may not be the Taskmaster in upcoming ‘Black Widow’ movie

Recently leaked photos from the set of Black Widow reveal the Taskmaster sitting atop a tank in the street. However, the Taskmaster’s physicality does not seem to match Weisz’s slender shape or height. 

Though the costume could have easily been adjusted — adding musculature and width to the shoulders, waist and arms for deceptive purposes — many feel that Weisz, at 5’6”, simply cannot be behind the mask. However, the photos are only one piece of evidence pointing away from Weisz. 

Marvel Studios always has a trick up its sleeve, and Melina becoming the Taskmaster in ‘Black Widow’ is too obvious 

Marvel enjoys defying fans’ expectations — setting up a connect-the-dots exercise for fans to indulge in, and then placing the “real” final dot on a different page of the book. Melina presents the perfect counterpart to Natasha: she excels in hand-to-hand combat, stealth takedowns, and investigation. Thus, if Melina becomes the Taskmaster, it will feel lazy on the MCU’s part, for it’s not quite inspired enough. 

If considering the MCU’s past tendencies and typifying qualities, setting up Melina as Taskmaster seems like a prophecy the studio wants us to believe will be fulfilled. However, introducing a different actor down the line would prove more fascinating. Revealing an A-lister behind the mask (during the premiere) would retain the shock value MCU fans have come to expect. 

Just imagine it now: The Taskmaster removes his mask and, standing in the flesh, is Keanu Reeves! Maybe Keanu Reeves will, at last, make his MCU debut. While this seems like a stretch, revealing another, likely less desirable A-lister (who beats Reeves?) may not be.

Keep your eye on the IMDb casting page as the movie approaches, as a familiar face may secretly make its way onto the list. However, considering Katherine Langford never appeared in Avengers: Endgame, try not to get your hopes up if you see a big name.

Think about all the actors who want to be in the MCU, who have been rumored to be joining the MCU, who have discussed plans to enter the MCU. The list is endless. 

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