Captain America: Civil War just kicked off Phase 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe with serious aplomb. A solid opening day, combined with positive reviews, will keep the momentum strong for the next round of films on Marvel’s docket, leading up to Avengers: Infinity War. In addition to adding a number of new voices to the multiverse, Phase 3 will also launch Marvel’s first solo female superhero film, Captain Marvel.

So far, little has been revealed about Carol Danvers’ role in the MCU, although Civil War directors Anthony and Joe Russo did hint that we could see Danvers during Infinity War. However, there have been some very curious hints as to the identity of the director and star of the upcoming film.

A fan wrote in to Screen Geek after gathering an intriguing batch of rumors suggesting one possible direction Marvel is heading. The first clue came from The Wrap’s Jeff Sneider, who suggested the star of the film will share the same name as its director. So far, the only remotely “reliable sources” have also pointed to English actress Emily Blunt as a front-runner for the Captain Marvel lead. The dual-name rumor led to a great deal of hypothesizing over Emily-based helmers, including the possibility of indie auteur Emily Carmichael.

The detective game of connect-the-dots grew even more tantalizing when the fan noticed that Carmichael has a new Twitter follower – none other than Captain Marvel screenwriter Nicole Perlman (Guardians of the Galaxy). Maybe she just enjoys the animator and short-film director’s work. However, a couple of weeks ago, Carmichael also dropped a photo on Instagram (below) which was initially accompanied by the caption “on my way to a Disney meeting.” Though the caption was later altered, it does pique the curiosity.

I look a way

A photo posted by Emily Carmichael (@kidcandrive) on

Unfortunately, these are all the clues we have to go on so far. But they do offer some intriguing circumstantial evidence. Traditionally, Marvel tends to hire directors who have a strong artistic sensibility and an independent spirit (see Joss Whedon, Jon Favreau, Kenneth Branagh, James Gunn, etc.). Although Carmichael doesn’t have the film pedigree of Branagh or Whedon, her short films have received several awards and high critical marks. Her films were also lauded for their sense of humor and style, and she was named one of Filmmaker Magazine’s “25 New Faces of Independent Film” in 2013.

In the long run, no matter how compelling, the latest batch of clues is only speculation until Marvel announces its creative decisions for Captain Marvel. Nonetheless, in the oft-secretive superhero world, Carmichael is one of our best leads so far. The selection of Emily Blunt as Carol Danvers would make a lot of fans happy, while disappointing others hoping for Charlize Theron, Rebecca Ferguson, or another actress. And Emily Carmichael, while untested in the feature film realm, does embody the style and humor Marvel  prefers for its cinematic universe. It will be interesting to see if there’s any accuracy to these rumors.

Captain America: Civil War will release on May 6, 2016, followed by Doctor Strange – November 4, 2016; Guardians of the Galaxy 2 – May 5, 2017; Spider-Man – July 7, 2017; Thor: Ragnarok – November 3, 2017; Black Panther – February 16, 2018; The Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 – May 4, 2018; Ant-Man and the Wasp – July 6, 2018; Captain Marvel – March 8, 2019; The Avengers: Infinity War Part 2 – May 3, 2019; Inhumans – July 12, 2019; and as-yet untitled Marvel movies on May 1, July 10 and November 6, 2020.

Source: Screen Geek (via CBM)