Ryan Coogler Says Val's MCU Debut Was Supposed to Happen in Black Panther 2

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Marvel’s villains are just as interesting as their superheroes. One of the most powerful characters in the MCU is Valentina "Val" Allegra de Fontaine, whom fans consider the evil version of Nick Fury. Val first appeared in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, but MCU director Ryan Coogler revealed Val should have appeared later than expected, which is in Black Panther 2.

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To debunk the hearsay that Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ Valentina appearance was forced in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Coogler revealed to The New York Times that the sequel was originally intended to be Val's MCU debut, which justifies that her part in the film was always included in the Wakandan narrative.

He said, “Yeah, nobody was shoehorned in or asked to be put into the movie or anything like that. Actually, in this version, [Louis-Dreyfus’s role] was pared back in order to make space for dealing with T’Challa’s death. And we had Val in there before she even appeared in any of the other movies, before Black Widow and [the series] Falcon and the Winter Soldier. People assume that we were told to put her in, but she was there from the beginning.”

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In the introduction of Val’s character in The Winter Soldier, she enlisted John Walker to be her U.S. Agent, whom she manipulates to be an anti-hero. Valentina showed up again in the end-credit scenes of Black Widow, where it was shown she sends Yelena Belova (Florence Pugh) to take down Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner), aka Hawkeye, and also attempts to get her hands on Wakanda's vibranium after being hired by Eleanor Bishop (Vera Farmiga) in Hawkeye.

Despite her brief appearances, Val became an integral part of Marvel’s Phase 4. In Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, fans have seen that she’s been promoted from sneaky thug for Wilson Fisk to Director of the CIA. Unlike Fury, Val is nonchalant about her motives, and she is only dedicated to achieving her goals, even if it means neglecting her morality.

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Val is expected to become more dangerous than ever in the upcoming Thunderbolts, a movie focused on the team of antiheroes she is putting together. In Phase 5, questions about Val's future and wider participation in the MCU will find answers.

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