UPDATE: Brie Larson is confirmed to play Captain Marvel, in the studio's first female-led superhero movie. The news came out of the San Diego Comic Con (where else), with Larson appearing on stage with studio head Kevin Fiege to announce the casting.
Marvel is finally coming to the kickass female action heroine party. Their first ever female-led action film is in the works, revolving around Carol Danvers, an airforce pilot who ends up with super powers after her DNA is accidentally fused with that of alien invaders unknown (of course), as is a standalone film starring the real hero of the Avengers series: Scarlett Johansson's Black Widow.
And not a moment too soon, considering their comic book arch nemesis DC has a spate of female-led films in the works, from next year's highly anticipated Wonder Woman flick to an ensemble piece helmed by Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn.
Who could stand up against these starry, much-vaunted superhero films? Well, Marvel is willing to put it all on red with a major bet that Brie Larson could be their Next Big Thing. The Oscar-winning actress (The Room, Trainwreck) has emerged as the frontrunner to take on the role of Captain Marvel in the series. As of now, no director or supporting cast have attached to the film, but there is a script being penned by the hilarious, female writers of Inside Out (Nicole Perlman and Meg LeFauve). There's also rumours that Captain Marvel could make her first appearance in another film in the Marvel franchise, before launching with her own set of movies in 2018 or 2019.
The casting news is cause for celebration in the marie claire office, where the award-winning actress can do no wrong. She's packing her dance card to the brim at the moment with excellent film choices that range from big budget, popcorn-perfect fare (Kong: Skull Island with your boyfriend Tom Hiddleston) to awards-bait material like the adaptation of cult memoir The Glass Castle. A superhero movie where she was the undisputed, kickass lead would sit pretty well alongside these films on her resume.
Also, this is totally in keeping with Marvel's end-game, which values seeking out incredible acting talent over settling for tried-and-tested movie stars. Think of some of their most recent casting choices: Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Paul Rudd, Mark Ruffalo, Tessa Thompson... Could you have imagined the internet's boyfriend Cumberbatch in an all-action role? With thespian Ejiofor as his sidekick and Tilda Swinton as the bad guy? Exactly. And that's what we're going to get when Doctor Strange hits cinemas in November.
Just thank Jennifer Lawrence, who paved the way for actresses to grasp their Oscars in one hand, and blockbuster success in the other (Lawrence's Katniss Everdeen in the Hunger Games is still the highest-grossing action heroine of all time). Here's hoping that Brie Larson is next.