Ben Mendelsohn is reportedly lining up to play the villainous Yon-Rogg in Marvel Studios' Captain Marvel movie. The Marvel Comics character shares a significant history on the printed page with both Mar-Vell and Carol Danvers, the cosmic superheroes that Jude Law and Brie Larson will be playing, respectively, in the latter's solo Marvel Cinematic Universe vehicle.
Mendelsohn has been acting since the mid-1980s, but has found himself in the spotlight in recent years thanks to his attention-grabbing supporting roles in films like The Dark Knight Rises and The Place Beyond the Pines (as well as TV shows like HBO's Girls and Netflix's Bloodline), culminating with his performance as the villainous Galactic Empire officer Orson Krennic in last year's Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. The actor, who will also play the evil Sheriff of Nottingham in next year's Robin Hood re-imagining and has a key role in Steven Spielberg's upcoming Ready Player One adaptation, entered talks to play Captain Marvel's villain back in October and is believed to have all but secured the role at this stage.
THS is reporting that Mendelsohn is lined up to play Colonel Yon-Rogg in Captain Marvel. Although the site cautions that the movie's screenplay still has a lot of "moving parts" right now ahead of the project's planned February 2018 production start date, Mendelsohn has agreed to play Yon-Rogg and the character's inclusion in the film appears to be set in stone, at this point. That also means that Captain Marvel will indeed serve as a reunion for Mendelsohn and directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, who previously collaborated on the poker dramedy Mississippi Grind.
The Yon-Rogg character debuted in comic book form in Marvel Super Heroes #12 and has since appeared in other mediums, including video games (Lego Marvel's Avengers) and animated TV shows (The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes). A Kree commander, Yon-Rogg used his own position of authority against Mar-Vell when he grew jealous of the latter and hoped to romance his lover, the Kree medic Una. This chain of events was what drove Mar-Vell to then go undercover on Earth as the human Doctor Walter Lawson.
Yon-Rogg's ongoing efforts to kill Mar-Vell also played a role in Carol Danvers' origin story as Captain Marvel in the comics, as he inadvertently helped cause the accident that ultimately gave Carol her cosmic super-powers. The Captain Marvel movie will no doubt deviate from the title character's traditional comic book backstory to some degree, but the script (which isn't starting over from scratch, but is currently getting a rewrite by Geneva Robertson-Dworet) is still expected to include key element of Carol Danvers' comic origins narrative. In that respect, Yon-Rogg's inclusion in the film makes all the more sense.
Mendelsohn, for his part, has demonstrated both a knack and fondness for playing evil-doers with a vulnerable side and the Yon-Rogg character certainly fits that description. Yon-Rogg might be a far cry from Mendelsohn's dream Marvel villain role of Doctor Doom, but the character could certainly make for one of the MCU's more fully-rounded antagonists on the big screen, if handled right. As for how Yon-Rogg will fit into Captain Marvel's version of the Kree-Skrull War storyline, it sounds like that's very much up in the air at the moment, assuming that THS' report is accurate when it comes to the film's larger narrative being in-flux.
- Black Panther (2018) release date: Feb 16, 2018
- Avengers: Infinity War / The Avengers 3 (2018) release date: Apr 27, 2018
- Ant-Man & The Wasp (2018) release date: Jul 06, 2018
- 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 02, 2019