O. T. Fagbenle is joining the upcoming Black Widow film, and we have reasons to speculate that he could be playing the big baddie.
Multiple major Hollywood trades, including Deadline, are reporting that Fagbenle, best-recognized for his portrayal of Luke Bankole in Hulu's The Handmaid's Tale, has landed a role in the Black Widow film. He is joining the cast roster that already includes Scarlett Johansson in the titular role and Florence Pugh as a mysterious second lead.
Rachel Weisz and David Harbour are also set to appear in undisclosed roles in the undated Marvel Cinematic Universe installment that kicks off production this June in London. Cate Shortland will sit on the director's chair and call the shots based on a script originally penned by Jac Schaeffer, and then rewritten by Ned Benson.
The only detail concerning O. T. Fagbenle's role that the Hollywood trades can offer is that it's a leading one. But it looks like his character could be the main antagonist of the Black Widow film. Last month, That Hashtag Show reported that the project was in search for either a Black British or African actor, 30-45, to portray a "tough, dangerous and mysterious" villain.
The website later revealed that Andre Holland, who earned widespread notice for his role in Moonlight, had auditioned for the part. Like Holland, Fagbenle too is black British actor in his late 30s. And yes, both are quality actors. So, it doesn't seem far-fetched to conclude that they were in contention for the same role, the role of the big baddie.
It was unclear whether the Black Widow film will be set in the past or in the present. But Deadline's latest report has it that the project will center on the origin story of Johansson's Natasha Romanoff. That means its events would take place prior to those of Iron Man 2, which marked the character's first appearance in the MCU. Even though plot details are under wraps, Harbour recently described the female-driven superhero adventure as a real deep, interesting film.