With the Marvel Cinematic Universe entering its ninth year, it's easier than ever for the franchise to recruit well-known talent into these comic book adventures. 2017 alone will see appearances from Kurt Russell, Michael Keaton and Cate Blanchett, to name just some of the new actors debuting. However, occasionally there's opportunities for actors not nearly as experienced or well-known to get a boost through an MCU appearance. That may be happening in the future for Malaysian actress Raja Ilya.
The Malaysian website Star 2 was at a press event earlier this month where Raja Ilya was plugging her new movie, Soulmate Hingga Jannah, and during the event, she mentioned that she's coming to the United States before 2017 is up to learn about a Marvel movie she'll appear in. In her words:
I can't get any accurate shooting location for now. I've just been informed to fly to Hollywood by the end of the year for role selection and for which Marvel title (I would be involved in). ... The offer came from someone I know from Indonesia who has already acted in a few Marvel and Disney movies... Now I just have to get prepared for the moment of my life.
Raja Ilya is by no means a household name in the United States, but she has appeared in a number of international projects, including the Malaysian TV dramas Gerak Khas 2016 and Tuan Anas Mikael, while her movie appearances include Appalam and Suamiku, Encik Perfect 10. During the press event, Ilya also mentioned she'll be training with martial artist Yayan Ruhian (who appeared in The Raid movies and Star Wars: The Force Awakens) before heading to Hollywood. Here's a picture of Llya from her Instagram page for those wondering what she looks like.
Since Raja Ilya didn't provide any information about this Marvel role, it's difficult to even begin to guess who she'll be playing in the MCU. However, it's much easier to narrow down where she'll be appearing. Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War are both currently shooting, and the latter is also sharing principal photography with Avengers 4. Unless Ilya is a late addition to any of these projects, it's doubtful she's involved with them. That leaves three movies: Ant-Man and the Wasp, Captain Marvel and Spider-Man: Homecoming 2. The Ant-Man sequel will start shooting in July, meaning Ilya would need to make it stateside soon. The latter two are slated for release in 2019, leaving plenty of time for the actress to travel to the United States, meet with the studio about the role and be good to go once production starts.
Of course, these are just the Marvel movies that have been announced. There are a lot of blockbusters planned that Marvel hasn't announced to the public yet for Phase Four, so it's possible that Raja Ilya is meeting for a project as mysterious as the character she'll be playing. We'll keep you updated on her involvement in the MCU when more news arrives.