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Marvel’s planned Captain Marvel movie may be coming together much quicker than we anticipated. Even though the movie isn’t due to hit theaters until 2019, news just broke that Oscar winner Brie Larson (Room) is circling the lead role of Carol Danvers, a member of the U.S. Air Force who is granted superhuman powers when she’s exposed to an explosion created by alien forces. Now, we might have an idea who’ll direct the picture for Marvel.
Buried in its report that Larson is the frontrunner for the Captain Marvel project, The Hollywood Reporter notes that two names have surfaced as contenders to direct: Niki Caro (Whale Rider, McFarland, USA) and Jennifer Kent (The Babadook). Naturally, these choices stand out because both women come from the indie film world, though Caro now has a relationship with Disney through her helming of Kevin Costner’s cross-country track drama McFarland (which is actually a solid little family drama). And, of course, they are two female directors being looked at to helm Marvel’s first female-driven superhero tentpole.
Across town, DC and Warner Bros. took a similar approach to Wonder Woman, seeking out a female director when they attempted to bring the Amazonian warrior to the big screen for the first time. Initially, Michelle MacLaren (Breaking Bad) was tapped to helm the period piece, but left the project over creative differences. She was replaced by another female director in Patty Jenkins. It’s interesting and refreshing that Marvel appears to want to reserve the Captain Marvel gig for a female voice. Now we’ll see if either of these women emerge as the frontrunner to land the movie.
We’re not sure yet what type of movie Captain Marvel will be. Marvel Studios recently pushed the film back to March 8, 2019, meaning that the film will fall in between two Avengers movies. This could mean that Carol is introduced in Avengers: Infinity War Part 1, or her origin story movie could explain how the Avengers are eventually going to learn how to defeat Thanos (Josh Brolin).
I’m not sure that I have a preference between either director at this moment. Jennifer Kent showed she could build suspense in the indie horror The Babadook, and Marvel proved – with the hiring of James Gunn – that they easily could convert a horror director into a sci-fi/comedy force through the Guardians films. However, the character work that Niki Caro has done in both Whale Rider and McFarland is impressive, and would be a welcome addition to a Captain Marvel project.
So, we know that Marvel is vetting candidates. And we think we know that they are zeroing in on hiring Brie Larson to play Captain Marvel. Could we get a Hall H reveal at San Diego Comic-Con? That’s starting to feel likely.