What's perhaps so surprising about the Black Widow post-credits scene is how unsurprising the cameo appearance is. The whole thing was seemingly ruined by Falcon and the Winter Soldier, which first introduced Julia Louis-Dreyfus' character Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine.
Before the latest Marvel movie was pushed back due to COVID-induced delays, Black Widow was meant to be released before Falcon and the Winter Soldier, and reports sprang up after Dreyfus' appearance in the show that she was intended to debut in Black Widow. (Before the movie even came out, Kevin Feige – normally master of the non-spoiler answer – almost gave the game away.)
Speaking to GamesRadar+ and Total Film, Black Widow director Cate Shortland briefly spoke about the cameo, with no hard feelings about the Falcon team going first. Shortland had, indeed, spoken with the director of the Disney Plus series, Kari Skogland, about the character's appearance, though said that Dreyfus was the one in command when it came to the Contessa.
"I spoke with the director of the series and we had a conversation," Shortland says. "But really, when Julia came on set, she's the full package. So she had decided a lot of how she was going to play the character. And it was just about us being there and witnessing and me like wanting her autograph. I've got a crush on her. I think she's great. I remember just being on planes and watching the whole four seasons of Veep and crying with laughter. She's a really beautiful woman."
Even blockbuster directors get star-struck around comedy royalty, it seems. And chances are, judging by the fact Yelena is working for the Contessa and they're hunting Hawkeye, we'll be seeing her again in the MCU very soon.
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It's also notable that Black Widow is one of the more violent and visceral Marvel movies, which is something Shortland also spoke about with us before the movie's release. Check out that interview here. Black Widow is in cinemas and on Disney Plus via Premier Access now.
For more on Black Widow from Cate Shortland, be sure to check out our extended feature on the making of the Marvel movie, also featuring interviews with Pugh, Scarlett Johansson, and Rachel Weisz.