There are few debates more heated in Hollywood right now than "who should be Captain Marvel/Carol Danvers?" Whichever actress gets chosen, they will shoulder the responsibility of being the first female superhero to get her own blockbuster in the hugely popular MCU.
This role has been hotly contested, with many actresses and personalities throwing their hats into the ring. Olivia Wilde has expressed interest, as well as world-famous UFC fighter Ronda Rousey, and multiple others. In my opinion, though, only three women should still be considered. Three who have proven they have both the physicality and the acting chops to believably pull off the role. Those three women are Academy Award winner Charlize Theron, Golden Globe winner Emily Blunt and Academy Award nominee (and Golden Globe winner) Jessica Chastain.
Why did I include their award history in their titles? Because Captain Marvel is an incredibly important role for both the MCU and women in action films. As much as I love the idea that a young actresses with stars in her eyes could defy the odds and win the part, I would much rather the role be entrusted to an actress who has already proven her worth and I know will not disappoint. So, lets take a look at their individual credentials...
Charlize Theron, 40, is a menacing beauty at 5'10. She wowed audiences this summer in the visual spectacle that was Mad Max: Fury Road, giving an inspired portrayal of arguably the protagonist, Imperator Furiosa.
Furiosa was a one-armed road warrior who defied the orders of her leader and led a runaway convoy containing the society's "breeders" into the desert in search of the family that she had been taken from as a child. Theron proved that she was not only a good shot, but also was deadly in hand-to-hand combat...or chain to bolt-cutter combat, more accurately. Her performance was raw, gritty, and ade it evident that every scene was another desperate grab for survival. She did everything in her power to live until the next moment.
Mad Max: Fury Road was not Theron's first venture into an action movies, though. In 2005, she starred in Aeon Flux, the film adaption of an MTV original short. She played the title character, a deadly assassin working for a group of rebels trying to overthrow the government. Theron was also in the Alien prequel, Prometheus (2012) as the space excursion's captain, AKA the extremely self-important Meredith Vickers.
If you need further proof of her survival skills, she also starred alongside Viggo Mortensen in the post-apocalyptic adventure The Road.
Theron is no stranger to superhero movies either. In 2008 she played Will Smith's unconventional love interest and mutual bad-ass in Hancock. These films proved that she had the physicality of an action star, while movies like her Oscar award winning role in Monster, nominated role in North Country, dark comedic role in Young Adult, tortured soul routine in Dark Places, and powerful psychopath in Snow White and The Huntsman, prove that she has nearly unparalleled depth and range. She even looks the Captain Marvel part without augmentation!
Emily Blunt, 32, would also be an excellent addition to the MCU. Although her career has not been as prolific as Theron's just yet, she's still one of the greatest action stars Hollywood as ever seen. She wowed audiences with her acrobatic performance in the sci-fi action masterpiece Edge of Tomorrow, undoubtedly living up to the title 'The Full Medal Bitch'. Blunt a.k.a Rita was the leader and poster child for the world's resistance army against the alien colonists. She had been specially trained and engineered as a ruthlessly effective super soldier.
Blunt spent months preparing physically for the role, achieving an elite level of fitness. She did all her own stunts for the film. Edge of Tomorrow proved that she could carry her own, physically, in a man's world. She also proved her action chops in 2015's Sicario, which showed that she is able to balance bad-assery with humanity, which is unfortunately an important lesson for women in action films - you must have the conviction to survive to succeed.
Other films that prove her action-star ability include Looper (2012), and the action-comedy Wild Target (2010). In the latter she is able to stretch her comedic wings as well, the possession of which is essential for the MCU. Iron Man would not be Iron Man without Downey Jr.'s witty quips. Blunt does the same in the sci-fi romance The Adjustment Bureau. Although she plays second fiddle to Matt Damon, she certainly adds a unique "oomph" to the film that carries the love story.
Blunt was in talks to play Black Widow before they cast Scarlett Johansson, so we know that Marvel is already interested in her.
My third and final nominee for the Captain Marvel job is Jessica Chastain, 38. Jessica, although less experienced in the action film department than Theron or Blunt, has proved herself as an incredibly versatile actress capable of tackling any genre. She did show some promising combat skills in The Debt (2010), where she played a Mossad agent tasked with capturing a suspected Nazi still at large.
Although less physically menacing than the other two candidates, Chastain has proved time and time again that she is more than capable of commanding a room. In Zero Dark Thirty (2013), she played an unrelenting CIA agent committed to catching Osama Bin Laden.
In The Martian (2015) she was the officer in charge of the Ares 3 manned mission to Mars. I won't spoil the ending of the film if you haven't seen it, but she is forced to take some pretty extreme measures in its conclusion in order to save Matt Damon. Chastain also proved her propensity for being the woman in charge in Interstellar, where she played genius scientist Murphy Cooper.
...And lets not forget her ability to let loose and go absolutely ape-sh*t when pissed off in Crimson Peak (2015).
The fact that she's capable of camouflaging so well into any given role makes her a unique candidate for the MCU, and her elite yet rising star status is perfect for joining the ranks of The Avengers. She may not look the part as easily as Blunt or Theron, but she was born with a superhero's chin, and that has to count for something.
So, Who Should Get the Part?
These three women are the only ones who I believe could do the role the proper degree of justice. In my opinion, Chastain would make the best Carol Danvers, Theron would make the best Captain Marvel, and Blunt would be the best complete package. But any of them would soar as the first lead female hero in an MCU blockbuster, the choice depends on the direction that they want to go with the film.
I look forward to seeing all three of these women duke it out in 2016's The Huntsman Winter's War! Now, its time for you to cast your vote...
More of a DC fan than Marvel? Check out my DC Universe fan casting!