As Marvel enters Phase 3, one of the biggest questions is who will play Captain Marvel, the first superheroine to headline a Marvel movie. Variety may have the answer, as they’re reporting that reigning Best Actress Brie Larson is in “early talks” for the role. (Worth noting that this smacks of agent maneuvering to me, and could be the kind of on-purpose leak meant to push producers into making a decision.) This is…not exciting. Sure, she’s a good actress. And she’ll probably look great in Captain Marvel’s costume. But I’ve heard more interesting names passing through the halls of Marvel’s casting office for this part. And more importantly, I’ve heard older names.
Carol Danvers (aka Captain Marvel) is a veteran Air Force pilot. By the time she gains superpowers, she’s already had quite a career in the military. If any female hero ought to be portrayed by an older actress, it’s Carol, a woman who has enough authority to tell Captain America to take a seat. I was really hoping they’d go for a mid-thirties or older actress here. Marvel’s casting is usually on point, so if they’re into Larson, they’re probably seeing something worth investing in. And undoubtedly part of their thinking is that if they cast a little young now, they can keep her around longer.
But that didn’t seem to matter when casting Chadwick Boseman as Black Panther at 37. Or Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye at 39. Or RDJ as Tony Stark at 41. Many of Marvel’s heroes are in their forties, or older. But both lady Avengers (Elizabeth Olsen and Scarlett Johansson) were cast as twenty-somethings. And now they’re casting another twenty-something. I’m sure this will work out, because it always does for Marvel, but I’m not doing cartwheels for Brie Larson.