The writer who helped usher in a new era for Captain Marvel in the comics has some thoughts on the screen version of the character.
Kelly Sue DeConnick wrote the ongoing saga of the former Ms. Marvel for three years after she was upgraded to Captain Marvel and a less embarrassing costume in a successful book launched by Marvel Comics in 2012, and it was that designation that Marvel Studios used when announcing a Captain Marvel movie as part of its Phase 3 slate of movies. Now that Brie Larson has been announced for the role of Carol Danvers, DeConnick was asked by Vanity Fair (via Comic Book Resources) what she thought of the choice after staying mum about the casting process ever since the movie was announced two years ago:
"I was very careful about not wanting to cheer for anyone in particular. I’m in a position where so many of the fans will look to me for a cue. I didn’t want anyone who was cast to feel unsupported or second choice...(Brie) has a gravitas and she has a power to her. But you can see she also has a sense of humor and playfulness there. I’m psyched.”
While Larson's casting was met with largely positive buzz online, there were some criticisms. Some fans felt that Larson, at 26, was too young to play the somewhat older and more experienced Danvers, while others noted that Danvers is 5'11" in the comics and Larson is only 5'7". DeConnick agreed that her version of the character was older, since she was already a colonel in the Air Force, and was hoping for a tall version onscreen as well. Nevertheless, DeConnick added that despite any differences between the version she wrote and the one in the movie, she is throwing her complete support behind Larson:
"I don’t want that to undermine my support of a young woman who has a billion-dollar franchise on her shoulders. I am emphatically on her team no matter how old she is, because she’s the one who got it. She’s publicly had this role for 24 hours. I have a lot people following my lead, and I’m not going to tell the choir that she’s not right."
Fan criticism of the actors cast in popular comic book parts for the movies is nothing new: Michael Keaton (Batman), Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man), Heath Ledger (The Joker) and Ben Affleck (Batman again) were all at the receiving end of it, and look how those turned out. But women often fall under more intense scrutiny, and DeConnick emphasized the importance of supporting a female-led superhero film in an industry that has been leery of them:
"When we cast women as leads in an action film we saddle them with a responsibility of representing the possible success or failure of all women-led films for the next five years. When a man leads a film that fails, that film fails. We don’t say, ‘Well, clearly men can’t carry a genre feature.'"
Do you think the criticisms of Larson's height and age are valid, or is any criticism pointless until we see her onscreen? Do you support her getting the role?
Captain Marvel opens on July 6, 2018 -- but don't be surprised if we meet Carol in a Marvel movie before then.