With all the rumors circulating lately about the potential casting for Marvel's soon-to-be-introduced superheroes, it's fair to say that everyone here at Moviepilot has been pretty darn engrossed in trying to work out just who'll be playing our favorite heroes.
Now, Chadwick Boseman and Benedict Cumberbatch are now officially The Black Panther and Doctor Strange, and Krysten Ritter is set to take on the role of Jessica Jones - but there're a whole lot of roles still out there, waiting to find their leading lady or gentleman.
And, of those, none have them have managed to create more excitement here at Moviepilot than Carol Danvers, a.k.a. Captain Marvel. In particular, a whole lot of us are pretty darned intrigued by the prospect of the hero being played by Game of Thrones' own Natalie Dormer...
What if, though, Marvel has already found its Carol Danvers - and secretly introduced her - without us even knowing?
Well, that's the subject of our latest epic (and only moderately insane) fan theory...
Has Marvel Already Introduced Captain Marvel?
Now - don't worry - Carol Danvers hasn't been introduced by name in an obscure Thor spin-off that we somehow all missed, and - as far as we can tell - there are no plans for Dr. Erik Selvig to suddenly have a sex-change operation and become a super-heroine.
Instead, there might just be a clue lying in one of the very first Marvel movies.
Or, rather, that fan theory title just above is slightly off. Instead, it should read...
Has Marvel Already Introduced Captain Marvel - As Played by Natalie Dormer?
Yup, that's right.
The theory goes a little something like this...
Remember That Minor Role Natalie Dormer Played in Captain America?
Specifically, the character - known only as Private Lorraine - who, you'll remember, totally tries to seduce Cap. And who, when Peggy Carter catches the two together, inadvertently drives a wedge between Cap and Agent Carter.
Well, what if that character doesn't turn out to be quite as minor as she initially seemed? Specifically...
What If Private Lorraine Turns Up in Agent Carter?
After all, Marvel are clearly very much in need of a TV hit after the mixed reception to Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., as demonstrated by the substantial number of actors from the original Captain America movie who're heading to the small screen. A guest appearance from an already-established MCU character, played by a star very much on the rise - which Natalie Dormer very much is - would be a logical step.
What If She Got a Promotion?
To, say, Captain? After all, she'd have been serving with Tommy Lee Jones' General Phillips for long enough to earn a promotion or two - and her involvement in the early days of S.H.I.E.L.D. would, by itself, suggest she was good at her job.
Could she even have been hiding a secret from Agent Carter - and us - all along? Could she have been an agent for, say, Howard Stark - the whole time?
And, if so...
What If Lorraine Wasn't Her Real Name?
After all, if she was an agent, odds are that she'd be using a codename.
In which case, could she reveal her name to actually be...Carol Danvers?
Now, that'd be a pretty huge twist, in and of itself - but surely that'd just make her the mother, or grandmother, of the MCU's new Captain Marvel - right?
What If Howard Stark Has Replicated the Super Soldier Serum?
And, of course - it needed testing.
Who's likely to volunteer - other than Agent Carter?
How about a top agent who just happens to have met - and have a soft spot for - Captain America himself. After all, Private Lorraine kissed him in the first place to thank him for his heroism. Could she - as Carol Danvers - decide to emulate his sacrifice?
And, if so...
What If Something Went Wrong?
After all - if the serum had worked way back then, there'd be hundreds of Cap's running around the MCU as we speak.
Could the procedure have gone awry somehow - leading to Danvers' new powers becoming unstable, and forcing Stark to cryogenically freeze her for her own (and their) safety?
And then? Well...
Flash Forward to the Present Day
And, say, the end of Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Now, a whole lot of rumors doing the rounds are suggesting that the movie will end with Captain America heading off to form his own team of Avengers, and taking some of the existing team with him. After all, Civil War is coming - and the post-credits scene has long been rumored to be our first look at Cap's team.
What If We Saw Another Post-Credits Scene, Though?
This time one starring Tony Stark.
Who, it turns out, has been keeping a secret from the rest of the Avengers this whole time. Say, a secretly frozen experiment from the early days of S.H.I.E.L.D? One who he's recently worked out a way of reviving, and of helping to get her powers stabilized, perhaps?
Now, with Cap having left the team, could Stark decide that he needs a super soldier of his own, and wake this experiment up - only to discover that her powers are far more advanced than he could ever have dreamed?
She'd be a miracle - a marvel - and a perfect public figurehead to oppose a 'rogue' Cap.
And she just so happens to be a Captain, too. Captain Carol Danvers.
And so, before the screen cuts to black, Tony Stark turns to, say, Maria Hill, and says...
"I think we've found our Captain Marvel..."
And Then the Internet Explodes...
Now, it's important to note that this is about as much of a long shot as fan theories get - but if Marvel decides they do want to go with Dormer as their new Captain Marvel, it's not too out there to imagine that they'll have to address her earlier presence in the franchise.
The fundamental changes to Carol Danvers' backstory would probably be a major problem for some - but a whole lot of it involves the X-Men's Rogue (who Marvel doesn't have the rights to) and will have to be changed anyway, so that's possibly an inevitable issue no matter what.
Could that change be making her an already existing Marvel character?