Ben Mendelsohn's role in Captain Marvel has finally been confirmed: He'll be playing the part of Talos, leader of an alien invasion of Earth.
At last year's San Diego Comic-Con, Marvel confirmed that Captain Marvel would draw inspiration from a popular comic book story, "The Kree-Skrull War." This was one of the most significant comic book stories of the Silver Age, a sprawling narrative that saw Earth caught in the crossfire between a millennia-long war between two alien empires. When Mendelsohn joined the cast of Captain Marvel, most assumed he was playing a member of the shapeshifting Skrulls; Mendelsohn, however, seemed to have real fun avoiding answering questions about his character.
EW has at last confirmed that Mendelsohn will play the part of Talos. In the comics, Talos is an unusual villain, a Skrull who was born without the ability to shapeshift. Desperate to gain honor in spite of this, Talos trained to become one of the most feared warriors in his entire race, earning the nickname "Talos the Untamed." Unfortunately for Talos, he lost that reputation after he was captured by the Kree during the Kree-Skrull War. Talos proved unwilling to commit ritual suicide in order to avoid capture.
Talos has been a recurring Marvel villain ever since, desperate to regain his honor. This has even led him into one-on-one combat with the Hulk, as he hoped death at the hands of such a powerful foe would redeem him. Assuming Marvel reproduce Talos faithfully for the big screen, he'll be a tremendously skillful warrior, one powerful enough to give a challenge to Marvel's "strongest hero" yet.
Curiously enough, on occasion Talos has allied with Ronan the Accuser, a renegade Kree warlord. Lee Pace is confirmed to be reprising the role of Ronan in Captain Marvel, and it's possible the two will be unlikely allies. In the comics, the Kree-Skrull War included one arc in which Ronan launched an assassination attempt upon the Supreme Intelligence, the ruler of the Kree, who he believed had abandoned the Kree's ancient and warlike roots. Perhaps the MCU will see Ronan and Talos work together in an attempt to reignite the war between their two races.
Of course, it's impossible to say how comic book-accurate Captain Marvel will be in terms of adapting Talos for the big screen. Certainly the film is taking dramatic liberties with the concept of the Kree-Skrull War, given that arc originally saw the entire team of Avengers plunged into the galactic conflict. In the MCU, Carol Danvers will stand alongside the Kree Starforce instead. EW has promised further details over the next few days, so hopefully they'll give us more information about the MCU version. It will be particularly interesting to see if Marvel stick with the idea of Talos as a Skrull who is unable to shapeshift, given his "disability" was his main motivation in the comics.
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 05, 2019