Movies & TV

Marvel Just Got Its New Big Bad Villain

Here's everything you need to know about the best surprise MCU introduction of all time.
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Back in 2008, at the very end of Iron Man, the superhero genre—and Hollywood, maybe?—was flipped upside-down when Samuel L. Jackson's Nick Fury told Tony Stark that he was assembling a team.

13 years later, it feels like we're living that moment all over again. In Episode Five of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, which debuted on Disney+ this Friday, we got the cameo of a lifetime. After the government sends John Walker packing, he gets a visit from a mysterious character named Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine—played by none other than the legendary Julia Louis-Dreyfus. Walker, looking as dumbfounded as the rest of us, listens to de Fontaine as she sympathizes with his very-public killing of a Flag-Smasher. She knows that Walker took the serum, too. At the end of the whole ordeal? She hands him a blank business card and says she'll call him. Thankfully, John Walker himself, Wyatt Russell, talked to us about the big cameo—so we at least have somewhere to start.

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"I think people are going to think one thing and get a little bit of another because she's such a great actress and you've seen her do feat for the past, however many years," Russell said. "This is a very different type of character for her. In certain ways and then in other ways it totally plays into our strengths, like I feel like every great actor is able to do."

So who exactly is Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine? Well, first of all, she could very well turn out to be the long-teased Power Broker. But that seems too easy. In the comics, the character has ties to Nick Fury, S.H.I.E.L.D, and Hydra. (So much that she even takes the name... Madame Hydra.) But in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, she probably is putting together a team, starting with Walker. Plus, Vanity Fair reported that Louis-Dreyfus was supposed to have her big introduction in Black Widow, so at the very least, we know that Marvel has major plans for the likely villain. And you can bet that anyone and everyone under the Marvel umbrella is dying to work with herRussell included.

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"I just get to listen in our first meeting," Russell added of Walker's first meeting with de Fontaine. "When you have to do that, you're just hoping that whoever's talking is going to be interesting to listen to. Every time she did it, there was always something different and always something different to hear. I'm excited for whatever comes with that. I don't know. I have no idea what's going to come of it, but I hope something does. It would be amazing to work with her."

Let's hope that call happens soon. Or, Walker finds out how to get in touch with someone who owns a blank business card.

This story originally appeared on Esquire.com. Minor edits have been made by Esquiremag.ph editors.

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