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If you've read any of my previous pieces about the future of the MCU or my favorite characters in general, then you probably know by now that there is one character that I've been dying to see on screen, Captain Marvel. She's been one of my favorite characters for as long as I can remember, so as you can imagine, when Marvel announced that she would have a solo film, I was a little beside myself with excitement. It was probably something like this:
Ever since the announcement, the rumors, speculations, theories and hopes have been filtering through all the usual places. So I thought that I would bring my thoughts out now that I've had some time to process everything that is out there.
Who Is Captain Marvel?
Before we get into the stuff that you're probably reading this for, let's get a quick refresher as to the comic background of Carol Danvers (aka Captain Marvel). She has been around in the comics since the late '60s where she began her comic career as a supporting character in Marvel Super-Heroes. Carol was an Air Force pilot who moved up in rank, shifted to the CIA and eventually to NASA where she met the original Kree hero, Captain Marvel (Dr. Walter Lawson - his human alias). During her time as the Security Chief on a restricted military base, it is attacked by the alien Yon-Rogg. Carol is concussed and knocked into the Psyche-Magnitron which in essence alters her genetic structure and makes her a half-Kree superhuman, although she was unaware of the change for several months.
Carol is removed from her once-successful career at NASA and demoted to a simple security guard before finally resigning from NASA. This is when her powers start to manifest. She began to develop a dual personality due to the alteration from the Psyche-Magnitron. The dual personality would cause her to black out and become a Kree warrior that instantaneously put her in the iconic, barely there, red costume. This costume was created by the Psyche-Magnitron to help Carol's body transition from her pure human form into the new hybrid that she had become.
Over the course of time, Carol's costume changed to match the eras as she shifted from the barely there red costume, to her iconic black with yellow lightning bolt and eventually to the costume that we are most familiar with, the blue body suit that pays homage to the past Captain Marvel uniforms. During this time, Carol went through the standard sci-fi soap-operatics that's typical for many Marvel heroes: new friends, love, loss, foes, gained and lost powers and even ventured into alternate realities/dimensions. She's also had a long list of powers over her 40+ years with Marvel including super strength, stamina, combat skills, flight, psychic abilities, enhanced durability and energy manipulation.
So with all that history, Captain Marvel has quite a deep backstory that Marvel can pull from, and that's really exciting. Like really, really exciting. The next question then becomes; how will she tie into the already developing Phase 3 that Marvel is currently ramping up?
How Will Captain Marvel Appear and Shape the Future of the MCU?
This is probably one of the harder questions to answer, partly because her film is still nearly 3 full years away. The Captain Marvel movie is set to kick off 2019 and will be followed by Avengers: Infinity War Part 2. There is really very little known about how Captain Marvel will tie into the entire story that Marvel is rolling out in Phase Three, but Kevin Feige has said the following (in regards Carol joining the MCU prior to her solo film):
"We're holding onto her."
And actually it makes a lot of sense to not bring her into the fray too early in the MCU, because there really aren't many places where she could be introduced and not have it feel out of place. Considering that over the next 3 years we will see Doctor Strange, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Thor: Ragnarok, Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 and Ant-Man and The Wasp, there really are only a couple places that Carol would 'make sense' to appear: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and Avengers: Infinity War Part 1.
Yet, in my opinion, it could feel forced to introduce a brand new character in either of those films only to have what is expected to be an 'earthbound story' as her solo outing. We will probably hear a reference or two to her backstory in one or two of the preceding films and see her origins in the solo movie. Then ultimately, she'll join the Avengers in Infinity War Part 2 to face off against Thanos and quite possibly become one of the titular characters moving into Phase 4. We already know that moving into Phase 4, Marvel has planned/is planning to change the dynamics of what we've seen so far in terms of the core cast of characters.
With the recent changes to the movie lineup, Captain Marvel is now primed to be the final introductory film leading into the end of Phase 3 with the culmination being Avengers: Infinity Wars Part 2. After removing The Inhumans from Phase 3, they likely will become a part of Phase 4 (hopefully not removed altogether) and that means that Captain Marvel should become one of the turning points for the Cinematic Universe. I don't believe that Marvel is just pushing out these movies in a pick-from-a-hat style mentality, there is definitely a reason why Captain Marvel is being introduced when she is.
I believe that she will, as I stated briefly above, one of the titular characters moving into Phase 4 and become a leader of the Avengers.In the comics Carol has taken a place on both: The Mighty Avengers (after siding with Iron Man during Civil War) and the New Avengers (after the Skrull Invasion) before joining the Alpha Flight Program. Which is what I think Marvel will eventually introduce once Thanos appears and the MCU looks more at the grandiose story outside of Earth and even our own galaxy.
Who could we see in the role of Captain Marvel?
This is where the fun begins, it's all about fan-casting at this point because Marvel isn't saying a word. There have been countless rumors and speculations as to who could portray Carol Danvers, and these are my 5 favorite options:
Katheryn Winnick, 38, (Vikings, The Art of the Steal, Night and Day)
Probably my favorite choice for Captain Marvel is Katheryn Winnick, and that's largely due to her absolutely incredible performance as Lagertha in Vikings (if you haven't seen any of it go watch now and you'll agree that she's stellar). Outside of her performance in Vikings and a few other smaller roles here and there, she's got just enough obscurity that her name wouldn't outshine the character herself. She's got a bad-ass edge to her and that's exactly what I would expect from Captain Marvel.
Genesis Rodriguez, 28, (Run All Night, Yoga Hosers, Tusk, The Last Stand)
Now, if you haven't heard of Genesis Rodriguez, I'm not all that surprised, but hear me out on why I think she would be a solid choice. Even with her Venezuelan/Cuban heritage, I believe that she's got the right amount of presence and wit to bring Carol to life. Genesis could just the actress that Marvel needs, considering the fact that she already has a connection with Disney/Marvel as the voice of Honey Lemon in Big Hero 6. And considering that she's one of the youngest choices, at 28, she's at a prime age to introcude Carol's origin story since filming won't star for another 1-2 years.
Natalie Dormer, 33, (Game of Thrones, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Rush)
Even though she's 'officially' already appeared in an MCU film (Pvt. Lorraine in Captain America: The First Avenger), I think she definitely has the on-screen presence to portray Carol Danvers. She's got the good mix of power and femininity and she's got a quick wit to boot; all characteristics of Captain Marvel. Her appearances in Game of Thrones and The Hunger Games also show that she's no stranger to playing a tough-as-nails character either.
Emily Blunt, 32, (Looper, Edge of Tomorrow, Sicario)
Emily Blunt is one of the more common choices for actress to star as Captain Marvel, and why wouldn't she be? Considering that she's had a string of fantastic action roles in the last few years, it makes sense. Between Sicario and Edge of Tomorrow, she's definitely shown her ability to portray the hard edge side of Carol while still keeping the characteristics that we love about her.
Rachel Nichols, 35, (Continuum, Conan The Barbarian, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra)
Probably my dark horse of the bunch is Rachel Nichols. She may be another name that is less widely known in Hollywood, but that doesn't make her any less of a viable candidate for the role of Captain Marvel. Rachel has slowly been adding film and television roles to her collection of characters, and based on what I've seen in Continuum and G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra I truly believe that she could bring Carol to life.
Other common choices are:
- Melanie Luarent, 33, (Inglorious Bastards, Now You See Me)
- Katee Sackoff, 37, (Battlestar Galactica, Oculus, Longmire)
- Anna Torv, 38, (Fringe, The Secret Life of Us)
- Yvonne Strahovski, 33, (Chuck, 24: Live Another Day, Killer Elite)
- Gwendoline Christie, 39, (Game of Thrones, Star Wars: Episode VII)
- Charlize Theron, 40, (Hancock, Prometheus, Mad max: Fury Road)
- Gina Carano, 34, (Deadpool, Fast & Furious 6, Haywire)
- Mary Elizabeth Winstead, 31, (10 Cloverfield Lane, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World)
- Tricia Helfer, 41, (Killer Women, Battlestar Galactica)
- Ronda Rousey, 29, (Furious 7, The Expendables 3)
Ultimately, regardless of who we find in the starring role, I believe that Captain Marvel is set to make a lasting impact on the MCU present and future once she arrives, but what do you think?