The much-awaited Marvel Studios film ‘Black Widow‘ opened to positive reviews and plenty of fan-fare. It is the first film solely focusing on the eponymous character as compared to her much-hyped male Avengers counterparts. Director Cate Shortland directed the superhero drama, which amidst all its explosive action sequences, has a very emotional and heartwarming story.
The movie explores Natasha Romanoff/ Black Widow’s (Scarlett Johansson) history in a way that introduces us to new characters and opens the door for them to take center stage in future ‘MCU‘ installments. One new character that has caught the eye of viewers is the villainous Taskmaster, who is relentlessly pursuing Natasha. Who is this mysterious figure, and whose face is under the mask? Allow us to put to rest all your queries regarding the move-mimicking Taskmaster.
Who is the Taskmaster in Black Widow? Is She a Woman?
Taskmaster is the principal antagonist of ‘Black Widow’ and comes after Natasha who is unknowingly carrying the substance known as Red Dust, which can free the Black Widows from their brainwashing. The Red Room, operated by the ruthless General Dreykov, is a program that brainwashes young women and trains them to become deadly assassins/ spies. In a flashback, we learn that in order for Natasha to join SHIELD, she was supposed to kill Dreykov. She detonated a building with Dreykov inside. However, Dreykov’s daughter, Antonia, was also inside and died with him.
In the present, Natasha learns that Dreykov somehow survived the bombing and is still running the Red Room. She also learns that Antonia is the Taskmaster. She suffered horrific injuries in the blast and was implanted with a chip that gives her the various abilities seen in the film. In the end, she is freed from the mind control afflicted by her father.
Taskmaster is a popular character appearing in the pages of Marvel Comics and has the ability to copy and perform the fighting styles and moves of various heroes. This aspect of the character is carried over to the on-screen adaptation with a notable change. In the comics, Taskmaster is depicted as a man named Anthony “Tony” Masters, but the movie version is a woman, the aforementioned Antonia Dreykov.
Who Plays Taskmaster?
Actress Olga Kurylenko essays the role of Antonia Dreykov/ Taskmaster in ‘Black Widow.’ The character’s real identity is a major plot point and was a carefully guarded secret during production. Therefore, even though fans knew for months that the actress is a part of the film’s cast, her exact role remained a mystery. Her character’s real identity and Kurylenko’s face remain covered with the Taskmaster mask, which has a grim and menacing design. Therefore, it is a pleasant surprise to see the actress underneath the mask.
The Ukrainian-French actress is a prominent face in French films and has also appeared in multiple high-profile Hollywood projects. Kurylenko’s acting career took off with her role as Nika Boronina in 2007’s ‘Hitman,’ an adaptation of the videogame of the same name. The actress is arguably best-known for her role as Bond Girl Camille Montes opposite Daniel Craig in 2008’s ‘Quantum of Solace.’ She also stars in the recent Netflix film ‘Sentinelle.’ We hope this is the first of many appearances of Kurylenko in the popular franchise.
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