Dialect coach Erik Singer went viral in November 2016 after he joined Wired to judge memorable movie accents, including Brad Pitt in “Inglourious Basterds.” Two years later, Singer and Wired have reunited to put the likes of Jennifer Lawrence, Daniel Kaluuya, Sam Rockwell, and recent Emmy winner Matthew Rhys to the ultimate movie accent test.
Unfortunately for Lawrence in her Russian spy thriller “Red Sparrow,” Singer says there’s something that “doesn’t fully cohere” about her accent work. Singer claims “the logic of the Russian accent is missing,” noting the back of her tongue is loose and soft and the front of her tongue is bunched and doing most of the heavy lifting. The dialect coach claims Lawrence would’ve had a more organic accent had she switched her approach and been more loose up front.
As for Daniel Kaluuya’s American accent in “Get Out,” Singer has nothing but praise. “It’s so good, there’s nothing not to like about this accent,” the coach raves. Singer has similar praise for Margot Robbie in “I, Tonya,” Hong Chau in “Downsizing,” and Lucas HEdges in “Manchester by the Sea.”
Watch Wired and Singer’s latest movie accent breakdown in the video below.
Movie Accent Expert Breaks Down 28 More Actors' Accents | WIRED - YouTube
Netflix has announced it is reviving the popular Nickelodeon animated show “Avatar: The Last Airbender” as a live-action series. Original creators Michael DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko will serve as showrunners and executive producers of the live-action program, which is set to begin production in 2019.
“Avatar: The Last Airbender” debuted on Nickelodeon in February 2005 and ran for three seasons, ending in July 2008. The series follows the adventures of Aang, an “airbender” who is capable of manipulating all four elements. Aang teams up with two friends, Katara and Sokka, on a mission to defeat the Fire Nation.
“We can’t wait to realize Aang’s world as cinematically as we always imagined it to be, and with a culturally appropriate, non-whitewashed cast,” DiMartino and Konietzko said in a statement. “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime chance to build upon everyone’s great work on the original animated series and go even deeper into the characters, story, action, and world-building. Netflix is wholly dedicated to manifesting our vision for this retelling, and we’re incredibly grateful to be partnering with them.”
The showrunners’ promise not to whitewash the live-action cast comes eight years after M. Night Shyamalan’s 2010 movie adaptation infamously cast white actors such as Nicola Peltz and Jackson Rathbone as characters of Asian descent. Shyamalan’s “The Last Airbender” is commonly referenced in discussions of Hollywood’s whitewashing problem.
Netflix’s “Avatar” is being produced in partnership with Nickelodeon. The series kicks off production next year. Check out concept art for the series below.
Netflix Concept Art for “Avatar: The Last Airbender”
Fans of the burgeoning movie ticket subscription industry have heard it all before: promises of “unlimited” ticket plans for one flat monthly fee, best exemplified by the meteoric rise (and steady fall) of MoviePass, which finally did away with their own dirt-cheap unlimited plan last month. While MoviePass is now offering a limited selection of just three movies a month for a flat $9.95 monthly rate, other competitors are eager to capture the affection and attention of a market still hungry for unlimited picks. Meet Sinemia.
The movie ticket subscription company has already unveiled its services in Australia, Canada, and parts of Europe, but now they’re coming for America. Wired reports that Sinemia is now touting its own unlimited plan, with a much bigger price tag than earlier incarnations from its chief rival. As the outlet notes, the new plan “closely resembles the plan that made MoviePass famous: see a movie a day, every day — not including 3-D or IMAX formats — at whatever theater you want. You can even reserve seats ahead of time. Instead of $10, though, you’ll pay $30.”
Sinemia CEO Rifat Oguz explained to the outlet that he’s not banking on Sinemia taking over the entire MoviePass crowd, saying, “It’s not for everyone. There’s no one type of moviegoer. We’re all moviegoers. If you want to target all those segments, which is all the population, I think you need to have every option, even if they want to go every day.”
Wired also shares that the company has offered a similar unlimited plan in its other territories for years, though “it’s not the most popular plan in any of those countries, but it appeals to the most rabid movie fans, and has become a go-to lazy gift.”
While Sinemia is hoping to fill the void left by MoviePass’ lack of an unlimited plan, they are hardly the only company in the ticket subscription game. MoviePass and AMC, which has launched its own service, are currently are the biggest players in discount movie ticket subscriptions, they aren’t the only ones. Alamo Drafthouse recently revealed that it will beta test Alamo Season this summer at its Yonkers, NY location, and there are also competitors like Atom Tickets and Cinemark Movie Club to consider.
But things are already looking bright for the new market player, as Wired notes that while “Sinemia has seen a significant subscriber uptick in the wake of MoviePass’s retreat even before the introduction of unlimited. Whereas Sinemia’s US business had been growing at 50 percent each month for its first year or so since it launched here, it saw a 50 percent increase over the course of just one three-day stretch in August.”
Mabel is a movie star looking for something daring, and when she signs on for an outré art-horror film set to film in a semi-abandoned hospital (fun, right?), it seems as if things are finally about to get markedly different in her professional career. She has no idea. In “Chained for Life,” filmmaker Aaron Schimberg toys with one hot button Hollywood issue after another, from on-screen representation to true diversity, and wraps it all together in a trippy, inventive new spin on smart satire.
The film also stars “Under the Skin” breakout Adam Pearson alongside indie mainstay Jess Weixler (as Mabel), as the gentle-natured Rosenthal, set to star alongside Mabel in an increasingly gonzo new film. Like his character, Pearson has a severe facial deformity, and his looks — and what they mean for both the film and Mabel — serve as a compelling entry point for the film. That’s something very close to Schimberg’s own heart.
In an official director’s statement, Schimberg shared, “As a filmmaker with a facial difference, I have never seen my experience accurately represented on screen. … ‘Chained for Life’ is my response to the way people with disfigurements have been portrayed in films (for instance, in ‘Freaks,’ ‘The Elephant Man,’ ‘Wonder’) throughout cinema’s history. It asks whether the sum of these portrayals has adversely affected the way we are regarded in real life. I consider it a comedy, but if you think it’s a tragedy, I wouldn’t argue with you.”
Earlier this year, IndieWire’s Eric Kohn wrote of the film that “as questions of representation swirl around modern cinema with a greater intensity than ever before, Aaron Schimberg’s fascinating, enigmatic ‘Chained For Life’ provides a remarkable new angle on the discussion. … There’s an extraordinary uncertainty to many scenes that call into question the nature of filmmaking itself, and the degree to which physical exhibition can lead to exploitative extremes, but Schimberg manages to pose more tantalizing questions than firm answers.”
He added, “In other words, a truly mesmerizing mind trip of a movie sure to leave audiences reeling and pondering its mysteries long after the credits roll.”
Netflix has released a brand new teaser for “Maniac,” a new psychological drama starring Emma Stone and Jonah Hill from “True Detective” creator Cary Fukunaga. The teaser takes the form of an informercial for a depression treatment facility, and offers a fuller picture of Justin Theroux’s character, Dr. James K. Mantleray. From the official trailers, we know that Stone and Hill play two people undergoing an experimental treatment for mental illness, where they explore alternate universes, showing off a wide range of costumes.
Mantleray, along with Dr. Robert Muramoto (Rome Kanda) and Dr. Fujita (Sonoya Mizuno), strike an odd trio int his informercial for Neberdine Pharmaceutical Biotech. They promise to cure all sorts of mental ills in just three days with their newly discovered and very much not FDA-approved drug: The U.L.P.
“The human brain. As vast as the cosmos. And equally unexplored,” reads the slightly ominous introduction to the teaser. “We here at Neberdine Pharmaceutical Biotech are pioneering a revolutionary procedure, one that will unlock the secret miseries of the mind…”
“Maniac” comes from the mind of creator/writer Patrick Somerville, with all ten episodes directed by Cary Fukunaga. The series also features Julia Garner and Billy Magnussen, with an appearance by Gabriel Byrne.
Rumors of a Harriet Tubman biopic have persisted for years — in 2015, Viola Davis was reportedly set to produce and star in a feature about the seminal civil rights crusader — and the dearly departed WGN America series “Underground” included a major plot centered on Tubman, as played by Aisha Hinds, but the news that Focus Features is set to start production on their very own “Harriet” still came as a bit of a surprise when it was announced last week. While it was initially announced that Tony-winning actress Cynthia Erivo (who is just one Oscar away from joining the ranks of fellow EGOT recipients) was set to star as Tubman last year, that incarnation was an “independent” feature set to be helmed by Seith Mann.
On Thursday, the project got a major boost, when Focus Features announced that their “Harriet” was now set to be directed by “Eve’s Bayou” helmer Kasi Lemmons with a script by Lemmons and “Ali” screenwriter Gregory Allen Howard. Erivo, who will be seen later this season in Steve McQueen’s “Widows,” is still on deck to play the American abolitionist, and while that’s not new news, the renewed interest in the film sparked something familiar: backlash.
Erivo herself tweeted out the news about the film, which was soon met with backlash over the casting of Erivo, a British actress of Nigerian heritage, as one of America’s most important civil rights figures. As The Root reports, “some Twitter users said the choice to cast a non-American, non-descendant of slavery was disrespectful to black Americans. Part of that criticism was levied at Erivo herself, while others cast blame on the film’s African American director, Kasi Lemmons.”
The actress soon responded to the news via her social media channels, including a long Instagram post in which she addressed the backlash and offered her own take on why the role is so important to her and how hard she worked to win it.
“I struggled a little with whether or not to post anything about this role, because even though there is so much celebration and encouragement coming through, there’s also anger and offense spurred on by my being from the UK,” she wrote. “I guess there is a bigger conversation to be had about heritage and experience, also about who Harriet really was. That can not be had in an Instagram post, what I will say is that my journey to this woman has been long and detailed and one I have not taken lightly.”
She added, “People speak of foreign privilege and truthfully life would be unbelievably easy if that were applied to me but that is not my portion. … I cannot tell how protective I am of this woman and her story.”
As The Root notes, while the question of if non-American actors should be able to play black American roles is not a new one — last year, “Get Out” star Daniel Kaluuya received his own share of backlash for starring in Jordan Peele’s film — “others [fans] wondered where that energy was when black American actors were cast to play African roles, as with Forest Whitaker playing Ugandan dictator Idi Amin, or Don Cheadle playing the lead in ‘Hotel Rwanda.’ Still others noted that white British actors and American actors took roles representing opposing sides of the pond all the time.”
Per Focus’ official synopsis, the film “follows Tubman on her escape from slavery and subsequent missions to free dozens of slaves through the Underground Railroad in the face of growing pre-Civil War adversity.”
Production on “Harriet” will begin next month in Virginia. Leslie Odom Jr., Joe Alwyn, Jennifer Nettles, and Clarke Peters are set to co-star. You can read Erivo’s full response, via Instagram, below.
Ethan Hawke has been open about turning down the Will Smith role in Roland Emmerich’s “Independence Day,” but he went into some hilarious new details while reliving this career oversight during an interview with Conan O’Brien. While Hawke previously admitted to making fun of some of the dialogue in the film, he revealed to Conan he thought the script was so bad that he ended up throwing it out of his car window.
“I’m reading [the script] to my buddy in the car. I’m like, ‘Isn’t this a bad line. “E.T. phone home.” That’s stupid.’ You know what I mean?” Hawke said. “And I’m going through it to the point where I literally throw it out onto the Texas highway.”
Hawke was reading the script during a road trip with a friend from Texas to New York. The actor explained that he considered himself the “bee’s knees” following the popularity of “Reality Bites,” which is one of the reasons he got his hands on the screenplay for a studio blockbuster in the first place.
Hawke ended up seeing “Independence Day” in theaters and knew immediately he was going to regret throwing the script out the window. Emmerich’s alien invasion movie went on to become a box office powerhouse and launched Will Smith straight into the A list.
Fortunately, Hawke’s career survived just fine and he built himself one of the most varied and acclaimed careers in indie cinema. The actor most recently starred in “First Reformed,” which is expected to land him in the awards conversation later this year. Watch Hawke relive turning down “Independence Day” in the video below.
Ethan Hawke Turned Down "Independence Day" - CONAN on TBS - YouTube
Prickly, disgruntled, bitingly witty — these aren’t traits you typically find in female film characters, who are most often written to be sympathetic and inviting. Yet this is exactly the type of character that Nicole Holofcener, the writer-director behind favorites like “Friends with Money” and “Enough Said,” has devoted her career to creating. Generally off-putting yet still strangely alluring, Holofcener’s characters are real and multidimensional, the type of person prone to lying and stealing and lashing out. But even when the rest of these characters’ worlds are crumbling around them, they often cling to their friendships with fierce loyalty and love.
Holofcener’s newest, “The Land of Steady Habits,” now available on Netflix, finds her turning her perceptive lens for the first time ever onto a male character: a divorced ex-banker named Anders Hill (Ben Mendelsohn). Like many of her previous protagonists, Anders is irritable and aimless, having recently quit his job in finance and left his wife and son to live out his middle age on his own. But when he shows up at his ex-wife’s friend’s dinner party one night and strikes up an odd friendship with the couple’s troubled teenage son Charlie, things start to get messy.
Following a long career of depicting female friendship, “The Land of Steady Habits” finds Holofcener foregrounding the complexity and power of male relationships: between Anders and his son, Anders and Charlie, and even Anders and his wife’s new boyfriend. But unlike other male-driven stories, Holofcener’s take benefits from a discerning female perspective, and she also manages to carve out ample screen time for the bond between Anders’ ex Helene (Edie Falco) and her best friend Sophie (Elizabeth Marvel). With a unique female gaze and her familiar brand of deadpan wit and spunk, the movie represents both a fresh new direction for Holofcener and an excellent addition to her expanding body of work.
With the release of “The Land of Steady Habits” on Netflix, we’ve assembled five of Holofcener’s best films below to get you up to speed on her unique cinematic voice.
“Walking and Talking” (1996)
Walking and Talking (4/12) Movie CLIP - I Know You Think I'm Ugly (1996) HD - YouTube
Holofcener’s beloved writing and directing debut “Walking and Talking” set the stage for a long career of droll, female-driven work to follow. The movie centers around childhood best friends Amelia (Catherine Keener) and Laura (Anne Heche), whose closeness is threatened when Laura gets engaged to her longtime boyfriend. Left lonely and listless, Amelia’s only solace is the video store she rents from every night, but things get complicated when she decides to go out with the store’s nerdy, schlubby video clerk. The female friendship comedy was a perfect launchpad for Holofcener, commencing a years-long collaboration with Keener (who was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award) and cementing Holofcener as a bold and clever female voice to follow.
“Lovely and Amazing” (2001)
LOVELY & AMAZING (2001) Trailer - YouTube
Five years later, Holofcener returned with “Lovely and Amazing,” another story of female relationships — this time among a mother (Jane Marks), her two grown-up daughters Michelle (Catherine Keener) and Elizabeth (Emily Mortimer), and an adopted 8-year-old named Annie (Raven Goodwin). The women are bright and charismatic, but dysfunction stems from societal pressures, such as Elizabeth’s insecurity about her looks, and relationships with men, like Michelle’s resentful husband whom she accuses of stomping on her art sculpture. The result is a discerning comic take on modern womanhood, exposing the real trials faced by mothers and daughters at all stages of life.
“Friends with Money” (2006)
Friends With Money - Trailer - YouTube
A few other familiar faces joined the mix in “Friends with Money,” which stars Jennifer Aniston as Olivia, a single, disaffected, marijuana-smoking maid whose group of longtime best friends (Joan Cusack, Frances McDormand, and Keener) are all comfortably married. Each of the friends has their own private problems — McDormand plays a grouchy nut, Keener quarrels with her husband as they cowrite screenplays — but Olivia seems to be the one who’s got it worst, floundering with money problems as she searches for a suitable boyfriend. Like a less polished, more true-to-life version of “Bridesmaids,” the ensemble comedy might not be Holofcener’s best-known work, but the bittersweet story is notable for its bold subversion of female tropes and its sublimely realistic take on female solidarity.
“Please Give” (2010)
Please Give | Official Trailer (2010) - YouTube
This dark comedy, which won the Robert Altman Award at the Indie Spirits, finds Keener on stabler ground: she plays a furniture dealer with a guilty conscience who lives with her husband (Oliver Platt) and teen daughter, who are all waiting for the elderly woman next door (Ann Guilbert) to pass away so they can absorb her apartment into theirs. Some of the film’s best acerbic humor derives from interactions with the old woman’s granddaughters, who represent two ends of a spectrum: Rebecca (Rebecca Hall) is attentive and loving, while Mary (Amanda Peet) is a crabby alcoholic. Once again, Holofcener assembles a band of real, difficult women — as irritating as they are irresistibly relatable.
“Enough Said” (2013)
ENOUGH SAID Trailer (James Gandolfini - Julia Louis-Dreyfus ) - YouTube
Holofcener’s most popular film to date, “Enough Said” follows Julia Louis-Dreyfus as a divorced masseuse named Eva who double-crosses her new boyfriend (James Gandolfini, in one of his final roles) by befriending his ex-wife (Keener, of course) and milking her for relationship dirt. Sharply written and genuinely hilarious, the movie is also more upbeat than some of Holofcener’s other, more deadpan comedies. But that’s not to say that she sugarcoats this one — Eva is just as real and alive as the rest, striving to make her new relationship work despite the less-than-appealing info she gleans from his ex. Beloved by fans and critics alike, the movie is a worthy last hit before Gandolofini’s untimely death (he received a posthumous Screen Actors Guild Award nomination), as well as a delightful addition to Holofcener’s oeuvre, leaving everyone excited for whatever would come next.
HDF Kino, the biggest cinema association in Germany, has spoken out against Netflix and its day-and-date release policy, in which the company’s original films open in select theaters on the same day they become available to stream for subscribers online. The group exclusively told Deadline that it agrees with the Italian theater owners who criticized Netflix’s presence at the Venice Film Festival.
“It should be clear that we wouldn’t be pleased if Berlin were to be misused through day and date cinema,” HDF Kino CEO Thomas Negele told Deadline. “We represent the same position as the Italian associations.”
Two of Italy’s cinema exhibitor organizations, ANEC (National Association of Cinema Exhibitors) and ANEM (National Association of Multiplex Exhibitors), issued a joint statement in July speaking out against Netflix’s day-and-date releases. The groups claimed this release strategy benefits “exclusively the short-term interests of only one party, to the detriment of other actors,” and they declared they will “oppose this proposal [day-and-date releasing of big movies] by any means necessary if the issue of shortening windows is disregarded without the approval of Italian Cinema.”
Germany’s theater association is now following in the footsteps of ANEC and ANEM, telling Deadline that Netflix movies are not welcome at the Berlin Film Festival early next year. Berlin has been in line with Cannes on the Netflix debate, not allowing streaming movies to debut in its official main competition. Cannes and Netflix famously feuded in May after Netflix pulled out of the entire festival following a ban on day-and-date releases in the main competition.
HDF Kino allying with Italy’s cinema owners follows Netflix’s major victory at the Venice Film Festival, where Alfonso Cuarón’s “Roma” took home the Golden Lion. The Netflix-backed “Ballad of Buster Scruggs,” directed by Joel and Ethan Coen, also won the Venice prize for best screenplay.
Italian trade organizations such as NAC (National Association of Film Authors), which represents directors and screenwriters, FICE (Italian Federation of Cinema of Essai), and ACEC (Catholic Cinema Exhibitors Association) slammed the Venice jury for awarding Netflix the top honor. The group said the decision turned the publicly-backed event into a “marketing vehicle” for the Netflix.
“The Golden Lion, a symbol of the International Film Festival, which has always been financed with public resources is a patrimony of Italian spectators,” Italy’s trade bodies said in a statement released by Deadline. “The film that bears its name should be within everyone’s reach, in cinemas, and not exclusively for the subscribers of the American platform.”
The Berlin Film Festival takes place each February. Only one Netflix movie has ever screened at the international event, Liz Garbus’s 2015 documentary “What Happened, Miss Simone?” The festival welcomed Amazon’s “Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far On Foot” earlier this year since the company commits to having theatrical only releases.
IndieWire has reached out to Netflix for further comment.
For the past decade, Marvel has successfully launched franchises for Captain America and Iron Man while turning smaller characters like Ant-Man and Falcon into fan favorites. But one glaring omission from Marvel’s on-screen dominance has been the lack of a female-led superhero movie.
Finally, in 2016, at San Diego Comic-Con day, Marvel surprised fans by announcing that Carol Danvers, a.k.a Captain Marvel, would be headed to the big screen. It would be Marvel’s first female-led superhero movie, and Academy Award winner Brie Larson would be stepping into the role.
Technically, Captain Marvel isn’t the first female superhero in the series. “Ant-Man and the Wasp” star Evangeline Lily’s Hope van Dyne shares the screen and film’s title with Paul Rudd’s Scott Lang, but she’s technically the first female Marvel character to have her own film. Likewise, earlier this year, Marvel announced that Black Widow would finally receive her own spin-off movie, although Johansson’s involvement has not yet been confirmed.
As it stands, however, “Captain Marvel” is Marvel’s first female superhero to get her own solo film, which hits theaters in 2019. It’s still unclear if Captain Marvel make a surprise appearance in “Avengers: Infinity War,” which opens a month ahead of “Captain Marvel,” but the introduction of Carol Danvers to the MCU is highly anticipated.
With “Captain Marvel” hitting theaters in March 2019, here’s everything you need to know about Carol Danvers and her big screen debut.
Who Is Carol Danvers?
Carol Danvers made her comics debut in the ’60s, and the character has gone through several changes over the years. In her original backstory, Danvers is as a U.S. Air Force officer on a restricted military base. Carol meets Dr. Walter Lawson, a Kree who has assumed a human form. The Kree, first introduced in 2014’s “The Guardians of the Galaxy,” are a technologically advanced and militaristic alien species, and Lawson is known as Captain Marvel (or Mar-Vell).
When a Kree device explodes on the base, Carol is caught in the explosion. Mar-Vell is able to save her life, but the accident fuses her human DNA with Kree DNA, turning her into a hybrid, and Captain Marvel is born. During the ’70s, Captain Marvel became Ms. Marvel, in a nod to the era’s feminist movement, while in the 1980s, during an adventure in space with the X-Men, Carol is experimented on by aliens and changed into Binary. Danvers also picked up another alias, Warbird, during her run with the Avengers in the 1990s.
According to Entertainment Weekly, “Captain Marvel” won’t exactly be an origin story, as the film will pick up after Carol has received her powers. Carol will already have left Earth behind to join an elite Kree military team called Starforce, led by Jude Law’s yet-to-be-revealed character. However, Carol soon finds herself back on Earth.
Larson described Danvers as someone who “can’t help but be herself. She can be aggressive, and she can have a temper, and she can be a little invasive and in your face.”
“Captain Marvel” serves as a prequel of sorts for the MCU, much like “Captain America: The First Avengers” when it was released in 2011. It has been confirmed that “Captain Marvel” will take place in the mid-’90s, which is more than just an excuse for Carol Danvers to wear a Nine Inch Nails t-shirt. The time period means two big things — first, Captain America is still on ice, and hasn’t been even discovered yet. Second, Tony Stark hasn’t even built his famous Iron Man suit. The birth of The Avengers as we now know it is still a long way off.
Still, S.H.I.E.L.D is around, and the film will introduce audiences to a much younger version of Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), who isn’t heading up the agency just yet but instead is confined to desk work. Fury is also missing one famous accessory, his eye patch. Both of Fury’s eyes are intact in the film’s first look photos, and it’s not yet clear if Fury will lose his eye in “Captain Marvel.” In the comics, Fury’s left eye is injured in a grenade blast during World War II, and he wears the patch to prevent depth distortion.
With Fury and Danvers set to make a name for themselves in “Captain Marvel,” the film seems poised to fill in the blanks on what happened between Captain America going into the ice and the formation of The Avengers years later. And this knowledge could prove to be a key in defeating Thanos later on in “Avengers 4.” At the end of “Avengers: Infinity War,” Nick Fury sends out a distress call before disappearing in the wake of that infamous Thanos snap. The logo that pops up on screen, as diehard fans knew, belonged to Captain Marvel.
Kree Vs. Skrulls
“Captain Marvel” hinges on the Kree-Skrull War, a massive story arc from the “Avengers” comics in the ’70s, which detail an intergalactic war between the two alien races. The comic introduced two key elements to the Marvel universe, the Inhumans, a group of superhumans initially created by the Kree to help destroy the Skrulls, as well as the romance between Scarlet Witch and Vision.
The Kree were initially featured in 2014’s “The Guardians of the Galaxy,” where it is revealed that the alien race has signed a peace treaty with the Nova Corps of Xandar, ending a centuries-long war. The treaty prompts Ronan the Accuser (Lee Pace), a high-ranking Kree official, to embark on a campaign of genocide against Xandarians.
The film’s antagonists are the Skrulls, shapeshifting aliens who stage an invasion on Earth and are led by Talos (Ben Mendelsohn), who is currently working undercover as Nick Fury’s boss at S.H.I.E.L.D. As Talos, Mendelsohn will keep his Australian accent, while his S.H.I.E.L.D. cover speaks in an American accent.
Mendelsohn explained the process in detail to EW. “There’s a certain kind of earthy correctness to an Australian delivery,” Mendelsohn said. “So I think that’s probably what tipped it in favor of me. And then my other guy sounds like Don Rumsfeld. Don Rumsfeld’s a good kind of read for my other guy.”
Some Familiar Faces Will Be Popping Up
With “Captain Marvel” tackling the Kree-Skrull War, and Danvers herself possessing hybrid human-Kree DNA, it was inevitable that some of the MCU’s familiar Kree faces would pop back up. Lee Pace’s Ronan the Accuser is set to return, although the film will provide a snapshot of the character during his Starforce years, long before his more murderous turn in “Guardians.”
Djimon Hounsou is also set to return as Korath the Pursuer, a Kree mercenary and member of Starforce, the elite military team that also counts Danvers among its members. In “Guardians,” Korath is a subordinate of Ronan the Accuser, and he is sent to the planet Morag to retrieve an orb that Star-Lord (Chris Pratt) has stolen. It is later revealed that the orb contains one of the Infinity Stones. Korath is later killed by Drax the Destroyer during a battle with the Guardians.
Also returning is fan favorite Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg), the S.H.I.E.L.D. agent who has been a mainstay of the MCU films and TV’s “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” In an interview with EW, Gregg said that “Captain Marvel” will feature a younger Coulson, one audiences have never seen before. “It’s the earliest we will have seen him [in the MCU],” Gregg said. “So when he says, ‘Mr. Stark, this isn’t my first rodeo’ in ‘Iron Man,’ this is maybe the rodeo he’s talking about.”
But “Captain Marvel” isn’t just introducing younger version of familiar characters. Some key new players are also in the mix.
Although his role has not been confirmed, Jude Law is expected to play Walter Lawson, Danvers’ mentor in Starforce, who trains her on how to use her new powers. In the comics, Lawson is a Kree who has taken on a human form, and is also known as Mar-Vell. While he declined to name the character, Law spoke about it in detail to EW, saying he is “driven by a belief in the divine leadership of the Kree people. So he’s almost a devout warrior — unquestioning, conservative, but inspirational.”
One of Danvers’ oldest friends is fellow Air Force pilot, Maria Rambeau (Lashana Lynch), who goes by the call sign “Photon.” Rambeau is a single mother to daughter Monica. If the name Monica Rambeau doesn’t ring a bell, it should. In the comics, it was Rambeau who originally took up the mantle of Captain Marvel, while Danvers was known as Ms. Marvel. Rambeau became the leader of the Avengers for a time, and later went by the names Photon (a nod to her mother) and Pulsar before settling on Spectrum.
“Crazy Rich Asians” star Gemma Chan also joins the cast as Minn-Erva, a Kree sniper and member of Starforce. In the comics, Minn-Erva is also known as Doctor Minerva, a Kree geneticist who is an enemy of Mar-Vell. Chan’s Minn-Erva is a hot shot at Starforce before Danvers shows up, which suggests the two might be anything but friends at first.
More Captain Marvel Going Forward?
It seems likely that audiences are going to see much more of Carol Danvers in the future, even beyond an appearance in “Avengers 4.” As Ben Mendelsohn pointed out in his EW interview, Danvers is a compelling hero and a formidable opponent for the Skrulls, but things might not tip in her favor in the film — at least, not this time.
“I mean, you want her to win,” Mendelsohn said. “Now, unfortunately, not every fairytale turns out that well. Sometimes you meet a Skrull. But Carol’s resourceful. She’s going to have a few films to get over this and maybe come back from this. We’ll see.”