David Harbour’s Red Guardian may be a brand new addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, having debuted in Black Widow, but a huge amount of his dialogue is dedicated to one of the franchise’s most famous figures. As Russia’s sole super soldier, it was to be expected that Alexei Shostakov would harbor more than a little resentment towards Steve Rogers, but he can’t seem to stop talking about him.
As well as asking Natasha Romanoff if his name was ever mentioned during her conversations with the star-spangled Avenger, Alexei breaks the wrist of a fellow prison inmate who questions the veracity of his stories, even though the doubts are completely understandable. Red Guardian claims to have tangled with Captain America in the early 1980s, but as we all know, Steve was frozen in ice until he was thawed out in 2011.
In a new interview, Harbour addressed if Red Guardian believes his own tall tales, or whether they actually happened. Unsurprisingly, the actor remained equal parts coy and vague, but it’s definitely an avenue worth exploring should he end up returning to the MCU in the future.
“I will say they are absolutely true, 100%. Part of the fun thing about Alexei is that I wasn’t interested in reality. He doesn’t even know that he’s lying. Sometimes as an actor, I’ll have to know the reality because I’ll know if the character is lying. But Alexei simply believes this stuff is true.”
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While it’s very unlikely that he scrapped with Captain America given the discrepancies in the timeline, there’s no reason why he couldn’t have crossed paths with the Winter Soldier at some point. Both were taken in by nefarious organizations and subjected to the super soldier experiments that turned them into valuable assets during the height of the Cold War, and they’ve now found their peace thanks to a timely intervention from one of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. It’s not quite Captain America, but it could yet weave Red Guardian even deeper into the tapestry of the MCU.