A key Captain Marvel character was almost played by a male actor


Marvel Studios was originally considering a male actor for one of Captain Marvel’s key roles. Major spoilers lie ahead.

Captain Marvel had a number of twists that were sure to surprise both general audiences and hardcore comic book fans. Some of these include the film’s true antagonist and the circumstances behind Nick Fury losing his eye. But the biggest surprise was arguably the reveal of Annette Bening’s role as Mar-Vell. While the character was ultimately gender bent, this wasn’t always the plan.

In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige discussed the reveal and confirmed that the studio was trying hard to keep it a secret. He also revealed that the original plan was to have Mar-Vell be a male character, as he was in the comics. However, late in the film’s production cycle, plans changed after co-director Anna Boden made the suggestion:

"“It was late in the development of the movie. Frankly, as we were approaching shooting, we were casting male — We were looking for a male Mar-Vell and developing the script at the same time, as we often do. We spoke to a few people, but as you’ve now seen in the movie, it’s a limited role, because of the nature of the structure of the story. It was, I believe, Anna who came up with the suggestion in a script meeting that, ‘Why don’t make the S.I., the vision that she sees, Mar-Vell?'”"

Feige went on to explain that the idea was received well, and as a result, they halted their search for a male actor:

"“The idea was just before we brought Annette on. So, it was relatively late in the development process and one of a handful of things that happened as the script was taking on its final form, that was an epiphany that Anna had, and it was like, “Oh, of course! That’s perfect!” And we stopped looking for another actor.”"

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The Marvel Cinematic Universe’s version of Mar-Vell was a Kree operative, who went undercover on Earth as a scientist named Dr. Wendy Lawson. Having opposed the war between the Kree and Skrulls, Mar-Vell sought to build a lightspeed engine that could help find a new home for the latter. It was during her time on Earth that she met Carol Danvers, who unknowingly helped her test the new engine. Not long after crashing during the field test, Mar-Vell revealed her true self to Danvers, before being fatally shot by Yon-Rogg. Danvers shooting the engine and causing it to explode would ultimately be the way in which she acquires her abilities.

As mentioned, Mar-Vell, who was created by Stan Lee and Gene Colan, was originally male. He was a Kree agent who was sent to Earth to spy on humans, and while on the planet, he assumed the alias of Dr. Walter Lawson. Eventually, he grew to care for humanity and became a hero for the planet. In time, he met Carol Danvers, who later gained powers after getting caught in the explosion of a Kree device.

Next. Captain Marvel rises to a massive opening weekend. dark

The MCU’s change was a surprise, but one that seems to have been welcomed by most viewers. And while there are certainly differences, Captain Marvel’s creatives did manage to maintain the essence of the character.