Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Casting Call: Captain Marvel

Captain Marvel casting

Captain Marvel is a key component of Marvel's third wave of blockbuster films; except, one rather large question hangs over the film - who exactly is going to play her?
The release of Captain America: Civil War on April 28 sees Marvel begin Phase Three of their vast cinematic universe; across 11 films packed between now and July 2019, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is set to get a whole lot bigger, with characters like Doctor Strange, Black Panther, Spider-man and Captain Marvel all receiving solo films before crossing over with the existing Avengers for a mammoth two-part battle, Avengers: Infinity War in 2018 and 2019.

All but one of these four characters have already been cast; Benedict Cumberbatch will play Doctor Strange later this year, Tom Holland is the third actor to play Spider-man whilst Chadwick Boseman is donning Black Panther's menacing cowl for a solo film in February 2018.

The remaining mystery is Captain Marvel a.k.a Carol Danvers. Captain Marvel is a fan favourite character that has been on the schedule for a long time (Joss Whedon had plans to include her in Age of Ultron), before Kevin Feige and Marvel Studios decided that she would ultimately suit a solo film all to herself, which has been scheduled to arrive in cinemas in March 2019.

To date, no-one has been cast in the role, so I thought I'd put my meagre knowledge of the character to good use by delving into the depths of Internet speculation and rumour to discuss the candidates who're currently circulating.

Emily Blunt

Emily Blunt Edge of Tomorrow
Emily Blunt in Edge of Tomorrow
Blunt has flirted with the MCU for a long, long time; she famously missed on the chance to play Black Widow after a scheduling conflict handed the role to Scarlett Johansson. Plus, she also passed on the role of Peggy Carter. 

Both of these aren't huge loss in hindsight (Johansson and Atwell are both perfect in their respective roles), but Blunt's name has once again cropped up in recent times regarding Carol Danvers. 

We've seen Blunt flex her action muscles in the past in movies like Looper and Edge of Tomorrow, which is exactly what puts her on the shortlist for Danvers. But whether or not she's actually keen on the role is another questions entirely, as this interview with IndieWire from last September shows. It's possible that Blunt is just keeping coy about her chances at wants to divert attention whilst Marvel decide who they want to approach - but I think we can all agree that she'd be perfect, right?

Brie Larson

Brie Larson Golden Globes
Larson collecting her Golden Globe for Room
back in January
Brie Larson was one of those talented actresses who had flown under the radar for a while - until Trainwreck and an Oscar for her role in Room saw that talent recognised and appreciated by the wider public.

What better way to capitalise on this than signing up as the first female Marvel superhero to get her own solo film?

It's pretty clear that Larson has the acting chops to take the lead in a film - take Room for example - but does she have the wry comedic wit that actors like Chris Hemsworth and Robert Downey Jnr have utilised so perfectly in their respective Marvel roles? Absolutely. From shining bright alongside Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum in 21 Jump Street to stealing the show as Envy Adams in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, Larson has the comedy aspect down to a tee - and would suit the fun, quippy MCU down to the ground. If Marvel are looking for an actress with little baggage who could make the role her own, they need look no further than Larson.

Rebecca Ferguson

Rebecca Ferguson Mission Impossible Rogue Nation
Getting a leg-up on the competition: Rebecca Ferguson
in Mission Impossible - Rogue Nation
Okay, so everyone and their mother is gunning to get Rebecca Ferguson in a movie right now, but c'mon - can you really blame them? Her scene-stealing supporting role in Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation certainly saw audiences sit up and take notice, so what better role to catapult the Swedish beauty into the definitive A-list than Carol Danvers?

A rumour that did the rounds last September speculated that Ferguson had popped onto Marvel's radar for the role, largely owing to how much butt she kicked in Rogue Nation. But could she carry a film all by herself? My only issue with this choice is that we haven't really seen much from Ferguson in the past to prove that she can, but since when has that stopped Marvel in the past? Chris Hemsworth was thrust straight to the forefront of the Thor series without much to go on and look how that turned out.

Ferguson has a few films on the slate in the next 12 months, from The Girl on the Train to a rumoured appearance in Mission Impossible 6 (making her the first returning female character). If Marvel strike while the iron is hot, they could nab themselves a future superstar - but

Katee Sackhoff

Katee Sackhoff Battlestar Galactica
Frackin' hell: Katee Sackhoff in Battlestar Galactica
Alright, let's get this one over with. Katee Sackhoff skyrocketed to the top of every Marvel fans wishlist the instant that Captain Marvel's solo film was announced, so she has to factor into this article somewhere. Sackhoff (36) is something of a cult icon among science-fiction fans for her uncompromising portrayal of Kara "Starbuck" Thrace on Battlestar Galactica - a role that has plonked her front and centre in this discussion.

A hard liquor drinking and smoking ace fighter pilot with a blatant disregard for the chain of command, Starbuck was one of the best characters Battlestar Galactica ever produced, with much of her likeability stemming from Sackhoff's fantastic performance. Further appearances in cult horror films like Oculus and more sci-fi in the form of Riddick have earned the actress a diehard following - but is she the right fit for Captain Marvel?

Carol Danvers certainly has ties with outer space, so that's a check in that box. She's also a brilliant fighter pilot, so that's another box ticked. Sackhoff certainly looks the part also. Whether or not all these elements work in tandem to win her role is another question entirely - she certainly doesn't have the same star power as someone like Emily Blunt or Brie Larson. Still, if Marvel were going to introduce someone a little different to their shared universe, they could do a lot worse.

Honourable mentions

Since dominating Mad Max: Fury Road last May, Charlize Theron's name has been attached to a number of high-profile action properties, Captain Marvel included. She recently signed on to the next Fast and Furious film, but a leading role in a solo Marvel would be the icing on the cake.

Natalie Dormer has appeared in the Marvel Cinematic Universe before (she played the sultry war room aide who snogged Captain America in The First Avenger), but why should that stop her from scooping the role of a lifetime?

Lastly, Olivia Wilde. She's been circling the project, even if she downplayed her chances during a recent appearance on The Late Late Show with James Corden. But, she did go on to say that "it would be amazing".

Who is your ideal casting choice for Captain Marvel? Let me know in the comments section down below! 

This article forms part of my annual Marvel Month series. Throughout April I'm celebrating everything Marvel from movies and TV in the lead up to the release of Captain America: Civil War on April 28. To find past entries in the series, click this link - and remember to check back later for more musings on all things Marvel throughout the month of April. Thanks for reading.

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