Who is Valentina Allegra de Fontaine? Julia Louis-Dreyfus’s Black Panther 2 character explained
Julia Louis-Dreyfus has cameoed as Valentina Allegra de Fontaine in multiple Marvel projects, including new release Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. Here’s everything you need to know about the character, and how she might shape the future of the MCU.
Valentina Allegra de Fontaine – sometimes known as Contessa Allegra del la Fontaine – was created by artist Jim Steranko, and first appeared in Issue #159 of Strange Tales in August 1967.
A rich Italian socialite, her parents were murdered, which inspired de Fontaine to enter S.H.I.E.L.D.’s training programme. While there she met Nick Fury, and while the pair initially clashed, they eventually fell in love.
A brilliant agent, de Fontaine aided international spies all over the globe. Though in the Secret Warriors storyline, she was revealed to be a double-agent working for Hydra.
The character has previously appeared on screen, played by Lisa Rinna – opposite David Hasselhoff – in the 1998 TV movie Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. But now she’s featuring in theatrical releases…
Julia Louis-Dreyfus joins the Marvel Cinematic Universe
Seinfeld and Veep star Julia Louis Dreyfus was cast as Valentina Allegra de Fontaine in the MCU, and was supposed to make her debut in Black Widow. But when that film was delayed by the global shutdown, fans got a first look at this iteration of the character via Falcon and the Winter Soldier.
In the streaming series, de Fontaine approaches John Walker (Wyatt Russell) at a vulnerable moment, having been stripped of the Captain America mantle after killing a member of the Flag Smashers. She says she might have work for him, then at the end of the season, de Fontaine presents Walker with a new suit and christens him US Agent.
The character then cameoed in Black Widow via a post-credit scene, during which she tells Yelena Belova (Florence Pugh) that Clint Barton – aka Hawkeye – is responsible for the death of her sister. She then hires Belova to murder him.
Valentina Allegra de Fontaine in Black Panther 2
Valentina Allegra de Fontaine pops up at regular intervals during Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, in her new role as Director of the CIA.
We learn that she used to be married to Everett Ross (Martin Freeman), and spends most of the movie harassing him. Their first encounter involves de Fontaine insisting he drives her back to Langley, ostensibly so she can ask about Wakanda.
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They initially seem to be on the same side, but later in the movie de Fontaine reveals she’s been listening to his secret conversations with Wakandan Queen Ramonda. She then arrests Ross for treason, and insists he call her Director de Fontaine rather than Val.
As discussed in our Black Panther: Wakanda Forever review, this all seems rather extraneous to the sequel storyline; her sub-plot feeling like it’s there to set stuff up for a future Marvel movie…
What is MCU movie Thunderbolts?
Thunderbolts is a forthcoming MCU movie being written by Eric Pearson (Thor: Ragnarok, Black Widow), and directed by Jake Schreier (Robot & Frank, Paper Towns).
The film will feature Valentina Allegra de Fontaine, with the plot thought to be revolving around her – or the titular Thunderbolt Ross – assembling a team of heroes and anti-heroes to perform missions.
That team – codenamed the Thunderbolts – will consist of the aforementioned John Walker and Yelena Belova, as well as the likes of Bucky Barnes, Red Guardian, Taskmaster, and Ghost.
Harrison Ford is expected to play Thunderbolt Ross, with the film shooting in 2023 for a July 2024 release.
You can check out more of our Black Panther 2 coverage below:
Dexerto’s 3-star review of the movie | How does T’Challa die in the MCU? | Who is the new Black Panther? | Is there a post-credit scene? | Riri Williams explained | Namor explained