Captain Marvel 2 has found its big bad. According to Deadline, British actress Zawe Ashton has been cast as the main villain in the second standalone movie based around the superhero also known as Carol Danvers. Neither Marvel Studios nor Disney had any official comments on the news, and of course the identity of the character Ashton is playing remains a secret for now.
Ashton's big breakthrough in her home country came on the comedy-drama series Fresh Meat, where she was a main cast member from 2011 through 2016. Her other credits include the films Nocturnal Animals, Greta and Velvet Buzzsaw, where she played opposite the Marvel Cinematic Universe's Mysterio, Jake Gyllenhaal. She also made her Broadway debut in 2019 in a revival of the play Betrayal, where she starred with Tom Hiddleston (the MCU's Loki). So, she's no stranger to the MCU elite.
Brie Larson will once again play Captain Marvel/Carol Danvers in the sequel, with WandaVision's Teyonah Parris continuing her run as Monica Rambeau and Ms. Marvel star Iman Vellani also set to appear. It is not known yet whether Jude Law (Yon-Rogg), Ben Mendelsohn (Talos) or Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury) will reprise their roles from 2019's Captain Marvel.
Speculation is sure to ramp up in the weeks and months ahead about who Ashton is playing. Danvers' list of enemies isn't as star-studded as those of some of her MCU colleagues, and we've already been introduced to several of her best-known ones — Yon-Rogg, the Supreme Intelligence, Ronan the Accuser — previously.
One possible candidate is Moonstone, a.k.a. Karla Sofen, a former psychologist who is, like Carol, imbued with superpowers after coming in contact with Kree technology. A member at various times of the Masters of Evil and Baron Zemo's Thunderbolts, she actually took the identity of Ms. Marvel (Danvers' former moniker) in Norman Osborne's Dark Avengers.
Another possibility is Deathbird, a.k.a. Cal'syee Neramani-Summers, who has been associated with the X-Men over the years but started out as a Captain Marvel enemy. She is an outcast member of the alien Shi'ar race, which could be an intriguing way for the MCU to introduce that species unless her background is extensively revamped.
The movie could also introduce a villain that is gender-swapped — since the first film changed Carol's predecessor Mar-Vell from a man into a woman (played by Annette Bening), that remains a potential avenue as well.
We'll likely find out soon enough who Captain Marvel will face in her film, but for now let the guessing games begin! Captain Marvel 2 arrives on November 11, 2022.