With Captain Marvel being the first female-led movie of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the pressure is on Marvel to get it right. A big part of its success will depend on the casting, and for a while it was unknown who would step into the role of Carol Danvers, a.k.a. Captain Marvel, for her big screen debut. Rumors started swirling recently that Room‘s Brie Larson was the top contender for the role, but for a while those rumors went unconfirmed.
That changed with Marvel’s panel at San Diego Comic-Con, where Larson was officially confirmed as Captain Marvel. This was good news for fans of Larson’s work, including Captain America: Civil War star Chris Evans, who was a vocal supporter of choosing Larson for the role. Despite Evans’ high profile role in the MCU, though, casting decisions are outside of his job description. Larson still needed support from the higher-ups at Marvel, such as Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige.
Luckily, Feige was on board, and in speaking to Cinemablend after Marvel’s SDCC panel, he explained why. Feige is keenly aware that Marvel’s track record of good casting decisions is a big part of the MCU’s success, so the casting for Captain Marvel was not taken lightly. With Larson’s profile on the rise after her award-winning role in Room, though, she was an ideal addition to the MCU’s roster:
“Listen, we set the bar very high with the first casting decision we ever made with Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark. Since then, every single choice we’ve made, we have asked, ‘Could it meet that bar?’ Because that is what people expect of us, and that is what … it’s a very high bar. Carol Danvers needs to be as rich and textured and real as the best of our characters. Maybe even more so. And we got very lucky that Brie — who has all of those attributes, and an Academy Award now — was still very interested in signing up and joining us to bring this character to life.”
In addition to Room, Larson has showed her acting range by appearing in comedies such as Phil Lord and Chris Miller’s 21 Jump Street and Amy Schumer’s Trainwreck. Her ability to do both drama and comedy was no doubt a big part of the decision to cast her as Captain Marvel, given Marvel’s trademark blend of humor and superhero drama. It also helps that she has previous comic book movie experience, having played the role of Envy Adams in Edgar Wright’s big screen adaptation of Scott Pilgrim vs. the World.
With all the big-name, award-winning actors Marvel has added to its roster over the years, Larson is certainly in good company. With her broad range as an actor and the fanbase she has been growing over the last few years, her casting as Captain Marvel benefits the studio as much as it benefits her. Fans may not have to wait until her solo movie to see her in action, either, as it is rumored that she may make an appearance in Avengers: Infinity War Part 1. Given the movie’s cosmic focus, her appearance in it would certainly make sense. With that movie still two years away, though, it will be a while before Captain Marvel makes her way to the big screen.
Captain America: Civil War is in theaters now. Doctor Strange opens November 4, 2016; Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 – May 5, 2017; Spider-Man: Homecoming – July 7, 2017; Thor: Ragnarok – November 3, 2017; Black Panther – February 16, 2018; Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 – May 4, 2018; Ant-Man and the Wasp – July 6, 2018; Captain Marvel– March 8, 2019; Avengers: Infinity War Part 2– May 3, 2019; and as-yet untitled Marvel movies on July 12, 2019, and on May 1, July 10, and November 6 in 2020.