It's been three and a half years since the Marvel Cinematic Universe's Phase Three slate of movies was announced, and we're finally entering the home stretch. Avengers 4 will conclude this era of the franchise, but before that, we'll be winding the clock back to the 1990s (approximately a decade before Iron Man launched the modern MCU) and meet Carol Danvers for the first time in Captain Marvel.
Because of its setting, Captain Marvel will be one of the more standalone entries in the MCU, but, not to worry, because there will be plenty of characters from the Marvel Comics universe who will be stopping by, some of whom we've already seen on the big screen. Here are all the heroes and villains who are confirmed to appear in Captain Marvel, as well as some of the actors who are definitely showing up, but their characters haven't been identified yet.
Introduced in 1968, Carol Danvers' previous superhero monikers included Ms. Marvel, Binary and Warbird, but since 2012, she's been serving as the current Captain Marvel, making her the seventh individual to have that title in the Marvel Comics universe (let's not forget that DC Comics' Shazam was called that for decades). For the Captain Marvel movie, she will be played by Brie Larson, who was officially confirmed for the role at the 2016 San Diego Comic-Con. So far the only official details about the MCU's Carol that have been revealed are that, like her comic book counterpart, she is an Air Force pilot who gains special abilities (super strength, flight, energy projection) after her body is infused with alien DNA during an accident.
Leaked set photos showed Larson wearing a costume that looked just like what she wears in the comics, only it had a green color scheme. However, the concept art shown at last year's San Diego Comic-Con revealed that eventually Carol will don her traditional red, blue and yellow colors. And like the other MCU superheroes, Brie Larson's Carol has a bright future ahead of her, as it's been confirmed that she will participate in Avengers 4, which comes out two months after Captain Marvel. Since there's a two decade gap between Captain Marvel and Avengers 4, it will be interesting to learn why Carol hasn't aged at all.
In the Marvel Comics universe, the first individual to go by Captain Marvel was Mar-Vell, a Kree agent who was sent by his superiors to spy on Earth and see if it posed any threat to the Kree Empire. Mar-Vell adopted the identity of a recently deceased scientist named Walter Lawson for his civilian cover, but he also started protecting Earth's citizens as Captain Marvel (which came about from someone misunderstanding his Kree name), using his natural strength and a device called the "universal beam" that can project energy. Down the line, Mar-Vell met Carol Danvers, and Mar-Vell's arch-nemesis, Yon-Rogg, kidnapped her to force Mar-Vell into battling him. During the fight, a Kree Psyche-Magnetron device detonated, and that resulted in his DNA being fused with Carol's, thus giving her powers. Eventually Mar-Vell joined the Avengers and turned his back on the Kree empire, but exposure to a nerve gas gave him cancer, and he soon died.
Mar-Vell will be played in the Captain Marvel movie by Jude Law, though all we know about his role so far is that he will serve as Carol Danvers' mentor and train her to use her new powers. Since he's using the Walter Lawson guise as well, one would imagine that like his comic book counterpart, he was sent to Earth to spy on us. Law is no stranger to major motion pictures, with his credits including the Sherlock Holmes movies, Road to Perdition, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword and the upcoming Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.
Warning: SPOILERS for Avengers: Infinity War are ahead!
Samuel L. Jackson's Nick Fury has been part of the MCU since the beginning. If it wasn't for him going to Tony Stark's mansion in the Iron Man post-credits scene to talk about the Avengers Initiative, we wouldn't have known that a "much larger world" was being set up. We most recently saw Fury in Avengers: Infinity War's post-credits scene, where he faded away along with half of life in the universe after Thanos obtained the six Infinity Stones. But, before disappearing, Fury managed to transmit a distress signal from a pager-looking device, and while it wasn't outright stated who he was contacting, the device featured Captain Marvel's insignia, thus serving as a nice tease for her upcoming movie.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. briefly touched on Nick Fury's pre-Iron Man life, but Captain Marvel will show us how his first encounter with a superhero went down. In other words, Carol Danvers' origin story will somehow see Fury being drawn in, and that experience will set him on the path that leads to the creation of the Avengers Initiative. The younger Nick Fury in Captain Marvel also still has two eyes, so expect to see him lose one of them before the movie is over. Fury commented in The Winter Soldier about how he lost an eye the last time he trusted someone, and since the shapeshifting Skrulls (more on them later) are appearing in Captain Marvel, I wouldn't be surprised if one of those aliens is responsible for the S.H.I.E.L.D. agent becoming his cycloptic self.
Even though Nick Fury popped up in Iron Man's final minute, Phil Coulson served as the movie's main S.H.I.E.L.D. representative. What was originally written as a small part morphed into something much bigger, and Clark Gregg reprised Coulson for supporting roles in Iron Man 2, Thor and The Avengers. That last movie saw Coulson being fatally stabbed by Loki, but just a year later, the everyman agent was brought back to life for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., the ABC series that he still leads. However, none of the Marvel movies have mentioned that Coulson is still alive. Fingers crossed Avengers 4 remedies that, but for now, it will be nice to see a younger version of Coulson in Captain Marvel. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has dedicated a few episodes to Phil Coulson's exploits before Iron Man, but this will be the earliest we've gone back in his S.H.I.E.L.D. career. Perhaps the events of Captain Marvel are where Coulson proves himself to Fury and becomes one of the spy organization's more valued agents.
Ronan The Accuser
When we met Lee Pace's Ronan the Accuser in Guardians of the Galaxy, he was enraged that, after centuries of conflict, the Kree Empire and Xandar signed a peace treaty to end the war. Determined to see the Xandarians wiped out, Ronan made a deal with Thanos: Ronan would track down the Orb, a.k.a. the Power Stone, and deliver it to Thanos, and in exchange, the Mad Titan would help the Kree antagonist destroy Xandar. However, when Ronan finally obtained the Orb, he decided to use its power himself and reneged on his arrangement with Thanos. He nearly succeeded in his genocidal campaign, but he was destroyed when Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax and Rocket redirected the Orb's energy back at him. Thus ended Ronan's reign of terror, but Captain Marvel will show us what he was up to approximately 20 years before his demise.
Given that the Kree will play a big role in Carol Danvers' transformation into a superhero just like in the comics, it makes sense that Ronan will be involved in the story, although it remains to be seen if he'll actually meet her or will be operating elsewhere. It will also be interesting to learn if Ronan was just as unstable back in the Captain Marvel days or if he was a little bit calmer then. Who knows, maybe something in this movie pushes him on the path to becoming the zealot we saw in Guardians of the Galaxy.
Dijmon Honshu's Korath served as Ronan the Accuser's main flunky in Guardians of the Galaxy, essentially making him the movie's tertiary villain (Nebula occupying the secondary position). Like Ronan, Korath is a Kree (albeit cybernetically altered), but rather than being a fellow radical, Korath was a mercenary that Thanos sent to aid Ronan in finding the Orb. When Ronan finally obtained that prize and kept it for himself, Korath warned him that Thanos was too powerful for him to betray, but after Ronan reassured him that Thanos would no longer be a threat, Korath stuck around and aided in the attack on Xandar. He was killed soon after by Drax the Destroyer. Evidently Korath will be another Kree who is somehow involved in Carol Danvers' origin story, though we haven't learned yet if he and Ronan are already familiar with one another during Captain Marvel or if this movie will mark their first meeting (assuming they even cross paths).
Humans star Gemma Chan has been cast as Minn-Erva, a Kree geneticist. In the comics, Doctor Minerva was keen on mating with Mar-Vell, as she believed the two of them would produce genetically superior offspring, but her plan was foiled. Afterwards, she worked with Captain Atlas (another Kree) and attempted to steal the quantum-bands belonging to Quasar. In addition to her genetic expertise, Minn-Erva was also augmented by the Kree Psyche-Magnetron, which gave her super strength and flight. Her specific role in Captain Marvel hasn't been disclosed yet, but given how antagonistic she's been in the comics, I suspect that she won't be one of Carol Danvers' allies.
When Carol Danvers gains her special abilities in Captain Marvel, it won't be long until she has to put them to good use, as it was announced that the movie's main villains will be the Skrulls. Known for their shapeshifting abilities and penchant for repeatedly invading Earth, the Skrulls have been at war with the Kree for centuries in the comics, and that mythology will play into Captain Marvel, meaning that the two species will be at odds with one another in the MCU. The Skrulls are also notable for being one of the few Marvel properties that both Marvel Studios and 20th Century Fox can use. No specific Skull characters have been confirmed yet for Captain Marvel, but it's rumored that Titannus, Anelle and Dorrek VII will show up.
Now that we've covered Captain Marvel's confirmed characters, let's go over the actors who have been officially announced to appear, but we don't know who they're playing.
Unknown Character Played By Ben Mendelsohn
Over the last half decade, Ben Mendelsohn's fame has slowly been rising thanks to roles like Danny Rayburn in the Netflix series Bloodline, Orson Krennic in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and, most recently, Nolan Sorrento in Ready Player One. Mendelsohn was rumored to be joining Captain Marvel back in October 2017, and his casting was finally confirmed five months later. As for who his character is, while some suspected he might be playing the lead Skull baddie, it was rumored late last November that he was actually brought on to play Yon-Rogg, a Kree villain who was Mar-Vell's nemesis in the comics and is responsible for the accident that gave Carol Danvers her powers. While it looks like the Skrulls will be Carol's initial opponents in her theatrical debut, if Mendelsohn is indeed playing Yon-Rogg, I wouldn't be surprised if he and Minn-Erva are scheming behind the scenes, requiring Carol and Mar-Vell to face them in the climax. We also can't rule out that Mendelsohn's Yon-Rogg could be a Skrull in disguise.
Unknown Character Played By Lashana Lynch
Originally, She's Gotta Have It star DeWanda Wise was cast in Captain Marvel, but due to a scheduling conflict with Season 2 of the Netflix series, she was forced to drop out in March. Days later, Lashana Lynch was cast as Wise's replacement, and her credits include Atlantis, Doctors and Still Star-Crossed. Back when Wise was still attached to Captain Marvel, I suspected she was playing Monica Rambeau, the second individual to go by Captain Marvel in the comics (her other superhero identities have included Photon, Pulsar and, most recently, Spectrum). However, after Lynch joined the Captain Marvel cast, it was reported that she is playing a "contemporary" of Carol's who also has a young child. This report also mentioned that the original actress who was eyed for this mystery role (i.e. before Wise and Lynch) bears an uncanny resemblance to Monica, so that may lend support to the character showing up. However, it might also be interesting if this daughter mentioned is actually Monica, and she'll become a superhero in the present day MCU.
Unknown Character Played By Algenis Perez Soto
Algenis Perez Soto made his film debut in 2008's Sugar, which was directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, the duo that's also helming Captain Marvel. Evidently, Soto made a good impression with them, because Boden and Fleck brought him back for their Marvel movie, and I suspect that Soto will be playing a Kree or Skrull subordinate in Captain Marvel.
Unknown Character Played By Rune Temte
To American audiences, Rune Temte is best known for playing Bjorn in the Hugh Jackman and Taron Egerton-led movie Eddie the Eagle, but Captain Marvel will introduce him to a lot more people stateside. Like Algenis Perez Soto, I'm guessing that Temte is playing either a Kree or Skull, although with his large build, I could see Temte specifically playing a Skrull bruiser who puts up a good fight with Carol Danvers and/or Mar-Vell.
Unknown Character Played By Mckenna Grace
At only 11 years old, Mckenna Grace has already assembled quite the acting resume, appearing in The Angry Birds Movie, Independence Day: Resurgence, Gifted, I, Tonya, Once Upon a Time, Fuller House and Designated Survivor, to name just a few. Captain Marvel will be another impressive credit to add to the list, but rather than play a role in the main storyline, it's a good bet that she's playing Carol Danvers either in a prologue sequence or during some flashbacks.
Unknown Character Played By Robert Kazinsky
Robert Kazinsky is known in the U.K. for his roles in Dream Team and the long-running soap opera EastEnders, but his notable U.S. credits include True Blood, Pacific Rim, Warcraft and Mute. For Captain Marvel, while it's also plausible that he could be playing a Kree or Skrull, given that we'll see Carol Danvers serving in the Air Force, perhaps Kazinsky is playing one of her fellow pilots or a superior officer. Nick Fury's presence in the movie could also mean that Kazinsky is playing a fellow S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, although if that's the case, I worry about his chances of survival.
Unknown Character Played By Annette Bening
Annette Bening isn't exactly known for taking roles in big blockbuster productions... but that could now be said about a few actors who have joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Bening has officially signed on for a part in Captain Marvel, though the exact specifics of her character have not yet been revealed. The casting story announcing her involvement with the project said that she is playing a scientist, but unfortunately we have no clue if she's even playing a human or a member of the Kree/Skrulls. Regardless of who she is playing, however, it doesn't really matter because the most important thing is that Captain Marvel has signed one of the most talented actresses around.