ByKit Simpson Browne, writer at
Writer-at-large. Bad jokes aplenty. Can be gently prodded on Twitter at @kitsb1
Kit Simpson Browne

Now, when it comes to the cinematic casting of iconic Marvel superheroes, it's perhaps not too surprising that we all take it pretty personally. After all, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has, up to this point, done a borderline astonishing job of hiring actors seemingly born to play its leading roles. Now, sure, Terrence Howard and Edward Norton may not have worked out in the long run, but with the unlikely likes of Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans and Scarlett Johansson slipping into their iconic comic book roles with such ease, it's hardly been noticed.

With the folks at Marvel Studios already wading into the next round of key castings, though (with our cinematic Black Panther, Spider-Man and Doctor Strange already confirmed), one particular still un-cast role stands out from the crowd as being both the most potentially bad-ass, and the most potentially problematic: Captain Marvel.

Y'see, while Carol 'Captain Marvel' Danvers was for decades something of a 'B-list' superhero, one rarely in possession of her own solo series, she has in recent years become one of Marvel's most beloved (and commercially successful) heroes, as well as a figurehead for the comic book industry's shift towards more equal gender representation.

In other words, when a major Hollywood star is heavily linked with the role, it isn't just worthy of note -- it matters. And, so, we ask the question:

Could Olivia Wilde Really Be Our New Captain Marvel?

Well, if the good denizens of Twitter have anything to do with it, she just might be. It all started with an innocent enough question to Wilde's director on the recently released Meadowland, Reed Morano, who was asked by a fan whether she'd be interested in directing Captain Marvel, and responded in predictably emphatic fashion:

To which Wilde, in turn, responded...enthusiastically:

Even joking that she was beginning to prepare for the role, just in case:

A few days later, though, things took a turn for the even more intriguing when Wilde spoke to CinemaBlend about potentially playing a superhero, and successfully combined a 'come get me' plea with a distinctly pertinent critique of the one-sided female superheroes we've often seen in comic books and movies:

"I'm a big fan of superhero films, and I have so much respect for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The thing with female superheroes is that, in order to be powerful, they are flawless. The idea of kick-ass power lacks a certain nuance, at times. There is something to be said for a female director working to create a female superhero that perhaps [has] a little more complexity."

At which point she doubled down (and geeked out) with an even more detailed discussion of exactly what Marvel does right (and how it could continue to do so):

"Marvel has been so smart about casting unexpected people for these roles. Look at what Robert Downey brought to Iron Man. A real, dry sense of humor and a complexity to his hero balance. I think that the way these Marvel heroes are written, the female superheroes included, do have complexity and flaws. But I think when they are translated into film, the women can become these ultimate goddesses of perfection and I would love to create a female Marvel character who is just as unexpected and complex as some of the male characters as Iron Man. I think that would be really cool!"

Now, on the one hand, there's a distinct possibility that Wilde is simply being intelligent and articulate, and that we're reading a whole lot into the substance of her comments. After all, there's nothing stopping her from having complex, well thought through opinions about superheroes with no ulterior motive whatsoever.


On the other hand, though, there's something about anyone explicitly arguing for a complex, flawed form of female superheroism that can't help but evoke Captain Marvel. After all, when it comes to flawed yet utterly endearing female superheroes, there's no-one better than Carol Danvers, what with her history of alcoholism and that whole 'being kind of an asshole a lot of the time' thing and all. In fact, she's basically Iron Man, but with actual powers (and no history of arms-dealing).

Combine that apparent evocation of Captain Marvel with the Twitter campaign a few days earlier, which Wilde is absolutely keeping alive through posts like this...

...and you have a pretty compelling argument that Wilde would be down like a clown to play Captain Marvel.

The big question, then?

Could It Actually Happen?

After all, there's already a pretty darned lengthy list of ridiculously talented actresses who seem more than a little interested in playing Captain Marvel. With apparent front-runner Emily Blunt seemingly putting herself out of the running a few months back, however, and the majority of the other fan-favorites suffering a little from a lack of profile, there might just be a reason Wilde seems to be campaigning for the role.

That reason? She might just be the perfect candidate.

Combine Wilde's proven experience with big-budget, CGI-heavy action (Tron: Legacy, Cowboys and Aliens), her audience recognition ensuring time on prime-time television (House), and her substantial indie credibility (Meadowland is far from her first acclaimed indie performance), and you have a seemingly ideal candidate from a studio perspective -- especially since, unlike, say, Emily Blunt, she'd be unlikely to require a substantial initial paycheck.

Add in Wilde's obvious enthusiasm (and apparent independent interest in the genre), age appropriateness (she's 31) and general bad-assery, and she might just be the most obvious (and perfectly RDJ-style 'outside the box') choice going.

Anyone else have their fingers crossed?

What do you reckon, though?

via CinemaBlend


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