Actor Olivier Richters says that his cameo appearance in Marvel’s Black Widow saw him playing the MCU’s first confirmed mutant – Ursa Major.
Speaking on Instagram, Richter said, “Marvel Black Widow is out! After two years I can finally tell who my character is: Ursa Major: the first mutant (X-Men) to appear in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.”
“When production on set told me who I really was in Black Widow I let some tears in my hotel room,” he continued, “because my movie dream became true: being a official comic super Hero [sic]. I can only hope Marvel will bring back Ursa in full form.”
If confirmed, it marks a watershed moment for the MCU – mutants are associated with the X-Men series, which Marvel Studios couldn’t use until Disney acquired Fox in 2019. While comic book characters deemed mutants, such as Wanda Maximoff, have appeared in MCU movies before, their backstories have been rewritten. Marvel Studios’ Kevin Feige has previously hinted at the addition of mutants to the MCU, but we so far haven’t seen them appear. Well, until now, I guess.
As for who Ursa Major is, I’ll let Richter explain: “Ursa is part of the Winter Guard, noted for being ‘Russia’s answer to the Avengers’. His power transforms him into an incredible bear, transcending The Hulk in size. Ursa appears many times in the comics [fighting] Wolverine and The Hulk.”
Ursa appears in a short scene in Black Widow, arm wrestling David Harbour’s Red Guardian. While he doesn’t take on the anthropomorphic bear form he can in the comics, Red Guardian does call him a “big bear” as he walks away.
This could be a simple Easter Egg for fans, but it could mark the beginning of the wider X-Men universe coming to the MCU – we took a few guesses at how Phase 4 could set the stage for mutants last year. We actually thought we might have seen our first X-Men crossover in WandaVision earlier this year, but it actually turned out to be… quite a dumb joke.
If this is the start of Marvel movie mutants, it would probably still be the smaller of two major changes to the cinematic universe, after the finale of Loki introduced a major shift to the MCU.