[This article contains potential SPOILERS for a character cameo in The Avengers: Age of Ultron.]
With Vision, Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch all being introduced to Earth's finest superhero team in Marvel Studios' upcoming movie The Avengers: Age of Ultron, writer and director Joss Whedon has quite a challenge on his hands when it comes to careful management of all the characters' screen time and story arcs. Everyone wants their favorite comic book character to join the Avengers, but too many new additions could end up weighing down the Quinjet.
There are also, of course, plenty of demands from comic book fans who want to see their favorite superhero get their own standalone movie - whether it's Captain Marvel, Black Panther or even Squirrel Girl. Messages from Marvel on how likely these characters are to appear have been very mixed, with studio president Kevin Feige promising that Marvel is paying attention to the "groundswell" of fan enthusiasm, but also that current franchise commitments make it difficult to find room for new introductions.
Now an intriguing new report has emerged, suggesting that Marvel might actually have been secretly planning to introduce Captain Marvel - along with other characters - in The Avengers: Age of Ultron. Badass Digest claims that previous drafts of the script featured an ending (or possibly a post-credits scene) in which Captain America assembles a new team of Avengers, with a mix of old and new faces. The report states that, despite the final make-up of the team varying between drafts, one character that has always been featured is Carol Danvers - named as Ms. Marvel in the script.
This would be a logical move to set up Ms. Marvel/Captain Marvel as a central player in Phase Three, which will begin with the release of Ant-Man in 2015. Before Carol Danvers fans get too excited about seeing her as early as next summer, however, there's a second part to the report. While Badass Digest's sources give their assurances that the character definitely is coming and may well be part of the team in The Avengers 3, the studio is also apparently getting cold feet with regards to the idea of just dropping her fully-formed into the ending of The Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Is this good news or bad news? Well, if Marvel has decided against simply throwing Carol Danvers into the end of The Avengers: Age of Ultron, it could be because the studio is instead making plans for a standalone movie, to release as one of the as-yet unannounced titles in the five Marvel release dates currently locked down for 2017 and 2018. Our current best guess for the release date of The Avengers 3 is May 2018, so there's definitely potential for Captain Marvel to sneak in before then.
This would certainly be a smart move for Marvel to placate growing dissatisfaction over the lack of superhero movies led by anyone other than white dudes, which has indirectly led to the studio having a really disproportionate number of lead actors called Chris. It may well be the case that public pressure has pushed Captain Marvel over the edge from getting a simple cameo role to getting her own movie. We can dream, can't we?
Unfortunately for Black Panther fans who were hoping to see him pop up in The Avengers: Age of Ultron, Badass Digest claims that the character will not appear in the movie despite Ultron travelling to Wakanda in order to obtain Vibranium. Perhaps Marvel is saving him for another day as well.
The Avengers: Age of Ultron is set for release on May 1st, 2015.
Source: Badass Digest