Ronan the Accuser, one-and-done villain of Guardians of the Galaxy, can get a redemption with his upcoming appearance in 2019’s Captain Marvel. Ever since the announcement that Carol Danvers' origin would be set in the 1990s, many fans speculated that old faces would return to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It was already confirmed that Samuel L. Jackson's Nick Fury would appear in the movie with both eyes intact, although he was just the first.
The start of production brought with it a full Captain Marvel cast list, confirming that Clark Gregg's Agent Phil Coulson, Lee Pace's Ronan the Accuser and Djimon Hounsou’s Korath will all also appear. There's been much hype for Coulson's return to the Marvel movies, yet comparatively little about Pace's Ronan. However, he really should be the most anticipated: Ronan is sure to have a key role to play given Captain Marvel's Kree-Skrull war backdrop, which may finally help audiences turn around on this underrated character.
Ronan’s Biggest Problem Was Screen Time
Ronan the Accuser was the main villain in 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy, but due to a large ensemble of characters in the film he was widely overshadowed. His henchman-esque depiction made him almost forgettable, another stooge looking for an Infinity Stone before Thanos takes center stage in Avengers: Infinity War. This is a problem with Ronan that even director James Gunn has highlighted in the past.
However, that really is a presentation issue. Pace's performance was all-in - his promise to "unfurl one thousand years of Kree justice on Xandar" is so ferocious even Thanos took notice - and he looked the part (like everyone else in the film). Had his motives been given more breathing room and not suffocated under other plot threads, he could have left a real impact. That promise was wasted, but means Ronan is a villain worth returning to - especially since there’s plenty to draw off from the comics.
Ronan Could Be One Of The MCU’s Best
In the comics, Ronan is an ambiguous character; he's sometimes a villain, other times a hero. In essence, he is more of an antihero and has even aided the Inhumans and the Avengers in several adventures; in the Infinity storyline, Ronan helped the Avengers fight off Black Dwarf (Cull Obsidian in this year’s Avengers: Infinity War) and eventually killed him. There's a greater inherent complexity to the character that was lost in his anger during Guardians Vol. 1, and as we're seeing him pre-warlord, there's a chance for retroactive redemption.
Plainly, we only ever saw Ronan after the death of his loved ones, driven crazy. There was little arc because his journey had happened before Guardians of the Galaxy. Now we're going backward, there's a hope Captain Marvel will fill in the gap and flesh out Ronan in a way that wasn't possible the first time. If Captain Marvel does play up the anti-hero aspect, we could end up with a companion piece to Loki. Both are villains on paper yet have an underlying sense of right and wrong, with their actions the result of circumstance. It's unlikely Pace could match the levels of acclaim Tom Hiddleston has received, but there's a potential for something big.
Ronan the Accuser still has a lot to give in the MCU and it seems that, with Captain Marvel, the studio has noticed.
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
- Ant-Man & The Wasp (2018) release date: Jul 06, 2018
- Avengers: Infinity War / The Avengers 3 (2018) release date: Apr 27, 2018
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019