We know there’s something of a race happening between Warner Brothers and Disney, a challenge to see who can grow their shared universe and spread across the globe the fastest. Disney, of course, has an enormous head start with its numerous successes, while WB is taking great strides to bring together its heavy hitters in the Man of Steel sequel.
But there’s another race happening that’s a little less publicized; the race to the first female-led superhero flick in this new era of comic book blockbusters. Logic would suggest that even from just a business standpoint, WB should fast-track a Wonder Woman movie based solely on the fact that she’s one of the most iconic characters in pop culture – not just in comic books – and that’d give them at least one advantage over Disney. Save from arguably Black Widow (thanks to the movies), Marvel really doesn’t have a female hero that’s part of pop culture in the same way that Wonder Woman is.
Yet whereas Marvel has seemingly mastered the concept of a badass talking raccoon, Warner Brothers has balked on taking advantage of the Wonder Woman property time and again. Despite this, Marvel doesn’t have any confirmed plans for a female-led superhero movie, either. “Confirmed” being the key word; that’s looking like it will be changing quickly.
In an interview with Marvel Studios co-president Louis D’Esposito, IGN found out that the studio is definitely investigating the idea. He mentions the obvious characters like Black Widow and Peggy Carter – already established in the movie universe – but also Carol Danvers, currently known as Captain Marvel.
On top of D’Esposito’s comments, Battlestar Galactica’s Katee Sackhoff mentioned that Marvel has indeed approached her about a possible role in an upcoming flick. It could be pure conjecture/wish-fulfillment, but if anyone is going to play Carol Danvers – a skilled pilot and officer in the US Air Force (the rank of Captain is legit) – who better than Starbuck herself?
Even if the casting speculation is untrue, if there’s one Marvel character that’s going to beat Wonder Woman to the punch, it should be Carol Danvers. For one thing, the nature of her origin makes for an easy fit into the Marvel Universe as it currently exists on screen. In the comics, she’s caught in an explosion of Kree technology that effectively makes her a Kree/human hybrid and gives her incredible powers.
We haven’t met the Kree in the films yet, but Ronan the Accusor is the villain in Guardians of the Galaxy, so the race clearly exists. That said, it’s unclear if he’ll actually be called Kree, considering the race debuted in Fantastic Four (which FOX owns). Whatever the case, it’s possible that Carol’s origins could be adjusted to fit the parameters of Disney’s properties.
Perhaps in Guardians of the Galaxy we see that the Air Force is running support for the Guardians in a battle with Ronan and his forces. And then, perhaps, it’s revealed in Avengers 2 that one of those pilots was caught in the blast that resulted in Ronan’s ultimate defeat (the good guys are gonna win, spoiler), and Captain Marvel is introduced.
If Captain Marvel were to debut in Avengers 2, then you’ve got a starting point for a solo movie in Phase 3. Better yet, she’s a character that acts as something of a bridge between the Earth-bound Avengers and the far-out cosmic elements that Guardians of the Galaxy will be introducing. It’d be a great way to give a throughline to those two elements that doesn’t necessarily need to rely on Marvel’s highest-paid actors.
There are more immediate, possibly more obvious, choices for Marvel’s first female-led flick (Black Widow), but I think Captain Marvel could prove to be a boon both for the audience that’s waiting to see a movie like this and for the studio looking to tie all of their threads together in a nice and neat little bow.