The San Diego Comic Con held many pleasant surprises for Marvel fans. In an addition to announcing trailers, concept art, sizzle reels for a range of films and TV shows starting from Black Panther to Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2; Kevin Feige, king of the Marvel Studios, announced that Brie Larson will be playing Captain Marvel in the upcoming movie in 2019.
The Oscar winning actress, who was reportedly in negotiations for the role a month ago, also made the news official with a tweet, which Chris Evans (Captain America for Marvel fans) later re-tweeted with glee.
Call me Captain Marvel. pic.twitter.com/IgqRIb9ijM
— Brie Larson (@brielarson) July 24, 2016
— Chris Evans (@ChrisEvans) July 24, 2016
Larson will play Carol Danvers, a pilot who gains supernatural powers after absorbing alien DNA. The character is the first female superhero to have her own superhero movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and will compete with rival DC comics' Wonder Woman movie franchise, which also happens to be DC's first attempt at a female superhero movie.
Captain Marvel is slated to hit theaters on Women's Day in 2019, and will be based on a screenplay by Nicole Perlman (of Guardians of the Galaxy fame) and Meg LeFauve (of Inside Out fame). No director has been named, but rumour has it that the director will be female, much like DC's Wonder Woman franchise, which is also being directed by Penny Jenkins, who directed the Charlize Theron starer Monster (2003).
This is one of the Marvel Comic Universe (MCU)'s moves (along with it's arch rival DC comics) to counter its majority all white, all male superhero line up. Marvel soon realised that along with its growing fan base, they had to have more relatable superheroes that would cater to the global comic book aficionados.
Characters of diverse races have started integrating into the mainstream Marvel Universe: A 15 year old African-American teenager is going to dawn the Iron Man costume after Tony Stark and an Asian prodigy is taking over the role of playing 'The Hulk'.
Female superheroes like Ms Marvel, Storm (from the X-Men universe) and Black Widow (from The Avengers universe) started coming more and more into the spotlight because the MCU bosses found that the audience wanted more of these characters.
However, the blatant sexualisation of their portrayal needs to be highlighted. It's true that a stable gender ratio need to be maintained in the comic books, but why is the portrayal of women done in an overtly-sexualised manner? An online Tumblr, The Hawkeye Initiative, highlights the portrayal of the female characters in the comic books and movies.
Is it really necessary for Psylocke to show so much skin? Would the same thing be done for a male character? The fanmade image of Deadpool posing in the same way points to the absurdity of the situation.
That's where Brie Larson and Captain Marvel come in. The actress is known for doing unconventional roles that are meaty and have some substance to them other than just being the eye candy on screen. If you consider Scarlet Johnson's role in The Avengers, it consists mainly of wearing her body hugging leather outfit and pouting at people.
Brie Larson, on the other hand, has always believed in embracing feminism and bringing diversity onto the big screen, like she mentions in this 2014 interview with Bustle. Her recent tweet about taking on the role of Captain Marvel follows her feminist line of thought:
My inspiration. Girls rule💪 https://t.co/6NClQGh3Lg
— Brie Larson (@brielarson) July 25, 2016
Along with this, one of the main forces writing the Captain Marvel comics is Kelly Sue DeConnick, who is another champion for the cause of feminism and gender issues. Her version of Carol Danvers is a control freak with a big temper, and is unapologetic about her strong masculine personality. In her interview with TIME magazine she stated,
"….I don’t want all of our female characters to be good or to be role models. I just want them to have an interior life. If you can’t answer for me what does this character want in this scene, you’re not writing a woman, you’re writing a lamp. Start over."
We hope the movie will live up to this lineage.