As Marvel Studios begins putting together its upcoming Captain Marvel film, Brie Larson has emerged as the front-runner for the role in what would be Marvel’s first female-led superhero pic, Deadline has confirmed. The Room Oscar winner has been a rumored contender for months and now flies ahead of Emily Blunt and Olivia Wilde, who have been fan favorites for the role. The film is scheduled for release March 8, 2019, with a script by Guardians of the Galaxy co-writer Nicole Perlman & Inside Out co-writer Meg LeFauve. No director has been announced.
The alter ego of Air Force pilot Carol Danvers, she’s actually the sixth Marvel character to use the name. She debuted in 1968 as a human ally to the space alien Mar-Vell, who operated on Earth as Captain Marvel. Eventually exposed to some fairly weird comic book science magic, in 1977 she was given her own comic book under the superhero name Ms. Marvel. Danvers continued to appear in Marvel comics over the years under that name until 2012, when she officially assumed the name Captain Marvel in tribute to the original, who was killed off via inoperable cancer in a 1982 story, The Death of Captain Marvel, Marvel Comics’ first graphic novel. (Since assuming the name, the Ms. Marvel moniker has been given to Kamala Khan, the first Muslim character to headline a Marvel Comics title.)
Possessing superhuman strength and other abilities along with flight and energy projection, Danvers generally has been associated with Marvel’s “cosmic” line of heroes, which also includes the Guardians of the Galaxy and others. Rumor has it Captain Marvel will be making her film debut prior to her stand-alone film in another Marvel franchise, possibly Avengers 3 (formerly Avengers: Infinity War Part One) or Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Similar, in other words, to how the studio unveiled Black Panther and the rebooted Spider-Man in Captain America: Civil War.
A little trivia about the name: The first Captain Marvel in comics was Fawcett Comics’ Superman-influenced hero first introduced in 1939 and better known today as Shazam. The character was a big seller during the golden age of comics but was taken off shelves in 1954 after Fawcett settled a bitter copyright infringement lawsuit with DC Comics (then called National Comics) out of court. DC later purchased the character from Fawcett, but by that time Marvel Comics had debuted its own Captain Marvel and trademarked the name, leading to DC’s use of Shazam.
Variety first reported the Brie Larson news.