Can Brie Larson Really Bring The Comic-Book Captain Marvel To The Screen?

(Warning: The following contains plot SPOILERS for a handful of Marvel comic-book story-lines, some of which could theoretically have some bearing on the future of the MCU. Proceed with whatever level of caution that suggests to you is wise…)

Now, when Academy Award-winning actors are announced to be playing beloved superheroes, you might expect the general response to be one of mild joy, or a grinning recognition that comic-book movies can now attract the highest caliber talent that Hollywood has to offer. And, for the most part, you would be absolutely correct to do so, with the vast majority of fans seeing the arrival of ridiculously talented actors as one of those very good things we hear so little about these days.

And yet, when the Oscar-winning (and generally absurdly talented) Brie Larson was announced to be playing Captain Marvel at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con, some fans seemed a little less than thrilled at the prospect of her imminent portrayal of Carol ‘Captain Marvel’ Danvers – with many questioning whether or not she would be able to translate the comic-book Danvers’ inherent bad-assery to the big screen. And so, it seems worth asking the question:

Can Brie Larson Really Bring The ‘Comic-Book’ Captain Marvel To The Screen?

Paramount/The Gambler

Paramount/The Gambler

Well, let’s take a look…

If you want to learn more about Captain Marvel first, though, check out:

First up for us, though?

5. Can Larson Translate Captain Marvel’s Physical Badassery To The Big Screen?

Captain Marvel/Marvel Comics

Captain Marvel/Marvel Comics

After all, Carol Danvers has in recent years become one of Marvel’s most iconic heavy-hitters, bringing a level of physical toughness and sheer cosmic scale to her crime-fighting rarely seen outside of a Thor or Superman comic-book. As such, one of the most frequently raised concerns about Larson has been that she may lack the action experience needed to bring Captain Marvel to the screen.

Has Larson Got It Covered? Well, just ask Envy Adams:

And if Larson’s ass-kicking role as Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World‘s resident bad-ass (and taker of precisely no crap) can’t persuade you, then rest assured that Larson’s role in next year’s Kong: Skull Island will be providing her with plenty of practice while she waits to begin filming Captain Marvel.

Next up?

4. Can Larson Bring Captain Marvel’s Character-Defining Flaws To Life?

Civil War II/Marvel Comics

Civil War II/Marvel Comics

Carol Danvers, of course, is far more than just a superhero. More than most Marvel heroes, she’s also a complex, contradictory and engagingly flawed figure – a recovering alcoholic whose obsession with helping others often comes across as arrogance, and has occasionally led to superhero-on-superhero conflict, as in the recent Civil War II event.

Has Larson Got It Covered? Well, have you seen Room? Or Short Term 12? Or, heck, The Spectacular Now, Scott Pilgrim, or The United States of Tara? Larson has made a career of playing emotionally complex, flawed and yet utterly engaging characters. You’d almost have to think it’s why Marvel hired her to play (perhaps) the company’s most engagingly complex and flawed hero.

Conversely, though?

3. Can Larson Capture Captain Marvel’s Light-Hearted Side?

Marvel Comics
Marvel Comics

For all that Danvers is known for her complexity and – especially back when she was Ms. Marvel – ‘dark side, the character has also long been known for her quick wit and penchant for scathing, laugh-out-loud retorts. Could Larson be too much of a ‘serious’ actor to bring that side of Captain Marvel to the screen?

Has Larson Got It Covered? Well, Larson may well have spent much of 21 Jump Street and Trainwreck in largely thankless ‘straight-woman’ roles, but that doesn’t mean she hasn’t shone comedically whenever the opportunity has arisen – both in those comedies and the dramas with which she made her name. Plus, she starred alongside comedic legend Bob Saget in the short-lived sitcom Raising Dad, which is the sort of apprenticeship most screen comedians would kill for.


2. Can Larson Stay True To Captain Marvel’s Comic-Book Roots?

Marvel Comics

Marvel Comics

Roots which, while complicated – and likely to be largely rewritten for the screen – have evolved over the years into the character described above, and beloved by millions. In short, does Larson have it in her to tie together the competing demands of adaptation and authenticity, and in so doing keep a whole lot of fans happy?

Does Larson Have It Covered? Well, she’s certainly off to a good start:

And, honestly, if Captain America approves, then who are we to judge?

Finally, then?

1. Can Larson Bring The Star Power, And Carry A Solo Movie?

Captain Marvel/Marvel Comics

Captain Marvel/Marvel Comics

After all, while Larson has certainly carried several smaller projects (she very much deserved the Oscar for Room, and her performance in Short Term 12 is arguably even more powerful), and is already taking the lead in the big-budget Kong: Skull Island, she remains unproven as a big-budget lead, and especially as the eponymous star of a mega-budget Marvel Studios movie.

Does Larson Have It Covered? Well, that ones hard to know. After all, there’s really no telling whether or not someone will have that certain something that major Hollywood movie stars seem to need in order to carry a franchise. Though, that being said, the very fact that Marvel Studios chose Larson would seem to suggest that she’ll be just fine, seeing as the company has made several billion dollars from movies starring actors like Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth and Robert Downey Jr, none of whom were seen as safe bets before their respective movies came out and tore apart the box office.

In other words?

Brie Larson Doesn’t Look Likely To Have Too Much Trouble Playing Captain Marvel At All

Marvel Comics

Marvel Comics

And, what’s more, she’s going to be in good company…

What do you reckon, though?

Will Brie Larson make for a good, ‘comic-book-y’ Captain Marvel?0 Votes


Staff Writer, Superheroes, Star Wars and such. Bad jokes aplenty. Can be gently prodded on Twitter at @kitsb1