Well, we were promised a big cameo in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier this week, and that’s exactly what we got. Episode 5 saw a famous face turn up for a few seconds of screen time to establish themselves as a major new player in the MCU, though their exact allegiance was left shady. Whether they’re good or evil or somewhere in between, it’s clear that we’ll be seeing them again in the franchise. And maybe even as soon as Black Widow.
Of course, the big cameo was Seinfeld and Veep star Julia Louis-Dreyfus debuting in the role of Contessa Valentina Allegra de la Fontaine. The mysterious character visited John Walker after his dishonorable discharge and seemed to know all there was to know about him, encouraging him to fight back against his firing as Captain America. But what is the Contessa up to, and what’s her real interest in Walker?
Well, it’s possible that she’s looking to assemble her own team of antiheroes, as Vanity Fair has shared that Louis-Dreyfus was supposed to make her first Marvel appearance in Black Widow, before the reshuffled schedule changed that. The outlet is unable to confirm at this stage whether she’s still in the movie or if her cameo from that has been removed, but assuming she is in it, then VF suggests the Contessa could turn up in the film’s post-credits scene, showing a similar interest in Florence Pugh’s Yelena Belova as she did Walker.
In the comics, Contessa Valentina was a long-term S.H.I.E.L.D. agent and love interest of Nick Fury who was latterly revealed to be a sleeper Russian operative and the new Madame HYDRA. That’s why it’s hard to work out whether this version is trustworthy or not. Going by Vanity Fair’s intel, though, it seems that she may be reimagined in the MCU as Marvel’s answer to DC’s Amanda Waller and she’s about to bring together the Thunderbolts.
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier concludes next week on Disney Plus. Black Widow, meanwhile, is schedule to finally release in both cinemas and on streaming this July 9th.