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This Is Why You Recognize The Cast Of Captain Marvel

A few early hiccups aside, Marvel's casting game has been pretty much on point this past decade. All of the original Avengers managed to make their respective roles their own, and newer additions to the team have been met positively — even Stan Lee himself said that Tom Holland was a great Spider-Man. Casting Spidey was a big one, though finding the right person to play Captain Marvel was also absolutely essential.

The studio ultimately put its faith in Brie Larson, who was unveiled as Captain Marvel back in 2016. What's become abundantly clear since then is that the character is going to play a huge part in the overarching MCU plot going forward, as Kevin Feige confirmed in a 2019 featurette. "Now Captain Marvel is about to take the lead, and be at the forefront of the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe," the studio head said. It looks like Carol Danvers is being set up as a future leader of the Avengers, but that may depend on how well Captain Marvel actually does in cinemas.

Larson is an Oscar-winning actress and should have no trouble bringing Marvel's latest big screen recruit to life, but what about the rest of the cast? There are some truly talented actors in supporting roles here, most of whom you've probably seen on several occasions without even knowing it. From her allies in Starforce to the villains of the piece, here's why you recognize the cast of Captain Marvel.

Gemma Chan is Minn-Erva

Gemma Chan plays Minn-Erva, a Kree scientist and loyalist who once traveled to Earth to seek out Mar-Vell (the original Captain Marvel), hoping to mate with him and unlock the untapped potential of their species in the process. The Kree are a fiercely proud race, and this drives Minn-Erva as a character. In the comics, she was part of a Thanos-esque plot to eliminate 90 percent of the Kree empire, which would have forced the remaining 10 percent to evolve at a quicker rate.

Chan turned down a job with an international law firm to pursue a career in acting, which began in earnest when she was cast in the critically acclaimed sci-fi series Humans. She then scored a variety of minor roles in Hollywood (the Brit popped up in Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and Transformers: The Last Knight) but Tinseltown didn't really start paying attention to Chan until 2018's Crazy Rich Asians blew up.

She played glamorous socialite Astrid in the smash-hit rom-com, the first Hollywood movie to feature an all-Asian cast since 1993's The Joy Luck Club. Commentators called it a watershed moment for diversity, and Chan is proud of that. "I feel really lucky and really grateful that I am part of this change that's going on," she told Deadline in 2019.

Algenis Pérez Soto is Att-Lass

In the comics, Minn-Erva worked closely with fellow Starforce member Att-Lass. They teamed-up during the Kree's conflict with the Shi'ar, but unlike Minn-Erva, Att-Lass was unaware that the troubles were secretly being orchestrated by the Kree Supreme Intelligence. When he discovered that she wanted to eradicate the vast majority of their race, he committed suicide using his suit's self-destruct feature, taking Minn-Erva with him.

Att-Lass is played by Algenis Pérez Soto, a relatively inexperienced actor with just two film credits to his name. One of those films was helmed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, co-directors of Captain Marvel. They've known Soto for a long time, having plucked him from obscurity to star in their 2008 baseball drama, Sugar. He fell off the radar following Sugar, but in 2017 Soto made an unexpected return to film with Dominican boxing drama Samba

You might also recognize Soto from Instagram, where he's been promoting Captain Marvel like crazy. Playing Att-Lass is clearly a big deal for the Dominican actor, who admits that he loves pulling on the Starforce uniform. "It feels great to be part of a film this big," he told Hip Latina. "I really hope they continue to give us Latinos the opportunity to demonstrate that yes, we can do it too."

Rune Temte is Bron-Char

When Rune Temte confirmed that he was going to be appearing in Captain Marvel, he could barely contain his excitement. "Finally it's public that I will play Bron-Char, one of the fierce warriors of the Starforce," the actor said (via his official website). "We are Kree, and we are badass as they come and are ready to throw Skrulls out into the next galaxy." The actor was quite clearly fired up for his Marvel debut, but what does his character have to offer?

Bron-Char is a minor player in the comics (you can count his total appearances on one hand), though he belongs to a small group of Marvel characters who've been able to destroy Captain America's shield in battle, so he's no pushover. If you've ever watched Temte in The Last Kingdom, you'll know that the big Norwegian is already well-versed in battle sequences. He's best known for playing bearded warlord Ubba in the historical fiction series, for which he trained in ancient viking martial arts.

Temte has also been seen in Sky Atlantic's Fortitude, canceled Netlfix drama Lilyhammerand sports biopic Eddie The Eagle, in which he got to punch Wolverine in the face. Temte admitted that meeting "the generous Hugh Jackman and of course hitting him — the one and only Wolverine — and surviving" was a big moment for him.

Djimon Hounsou is Korath

Marvel fans will no doubt recognize Djimon Hounsou from his supporting role in 2014's Guardians of the Galaxy. He played the MCU incarnation of Korath-Thak, also known as Korath the Pursuer, head of the Pursuer Project. In the comics, he was a cyber-geneticist charged with engineering cybernetic warriors for the Kree military. He wound up using the tech that he invented on himself, gaining superhuman (or superkree, rather) powers in the process.

Hounsou made his breakthrough in Stephen Spielberg's Amistad, but he's perhaps best known for his turn as enslaved Numidian tribesman Juba in Ridley Scott's Gladiator, providing a foil for leading man Russell Crowe. The Benin-born actor went on to work with some of the industry's biggest names, including Angelina Jolie (Lara Croft: Tomb Raider – The Cradle of Life), Leonardo DiCaprio (Blood Diamond), and Keanu Reeves (Constantine). What many people don't know is that he actually beat Chadwick Boseman to the part of King T'Challa — Hounsou voiced the Wakandan leader in BET's six-part animated Black Panther series.

When he spoke to Slashfilm at a February 2019 presser, Hounsou revealed that Captain Marvel has "nothing to do with Guardians other than the fact that some of those characters interact with each other later," but he confirmed that Korath is "still the same killing machine."

Lee Pace is Ronan the Accuser

Another dead Guardians of the Galaxy character who pops up in the '90s-set Captain Marvel is Kree zealot Ronan the Accuser, played by Lee Pace. In the comics, Ronan joined the Public Accuser Corps at a young age and rose through the ranks, eventually being named Supreme Accuser. He has joined them on missions in the past, but Starforce work has historically been below Ronan's pay grade, and that seems to be the case in the Captain Marvel movie. According to Pace, we're going to see a slightly more chilled-out version of Ronan.

"This isn't the same Ronan that we saw in Guardians of the Galaxy, this is before he's become a fundamentalist about the Kree way of living," the actor confirmed. "But he's still true Kree." The opportunity to reprise the role of Ronan was welcomed by Pace, who thoroughly enjoyed working on Guardians. "I loved that film," he told IGN. "I found the character very, very interesting... this kind of charismatic space terrorist."

For most actors, "space terrorist" would be the weirdest role on their résumé by some distance, but Pace was both a vampire and an elf before he was a Kree — the 6'4" actor played Garrett in the final installment of the Twilight franchise and appeared in every film in Peter Jackson's Hobbit trilogy as Thranduil, the Elven king of the Woodland Realm.

Jude Law is Yon-Rogg

The identity of Jude Law's character was one of the biggest mysteries surrounding Captain Marvel during its production. The studio seemingly confirmed that the Brit was playing Mar-Vell (the original Captain Marvel in the comics) in December 2018, but a few months later, a featurette proving Law was actually playing Yon-Rogg dropped on Marvel's YouTube channel. He had to wear colored contact lenses to play the Kree commander, but most film fans will still have recognized Law from his many Hollywood roles over the years.

He came to the attention of international audiences at the turn of millennium when he starred alongside Matt Damon and a number of other big names in The Talented Mr. Ripley. Law went on to work with many of the industry's top directors (Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, Steven Soderbergh, and Wes Anderson, to name but a few) and in 2018, he took on the iconic role Albus Dumbledore in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, playing a younger version of the future Hogwarts headmaster.

It appears as though Captain Marvel was the most physically demanding role that Law has taken in a long while. When Slashfilm asked him how many action sequences he had in the movie, the actor confirmed that there were three in total. "One of them's been really fun, which we already shot," he said. "There are some other fantastic battle sequences."

Brie Larson is Captain Marvel

Brie Larson officially arrived on the Hollywood A-list with 2015's Room, putting in an Oscar-winning performance as a woman held captive for seven years. Everyone knew her name after the Academy named her Best Actress, but people already knew her face. Before her star-making turn as Joy "Ma" Newsome, Larson was becoming one of those actors that you're sure you've seen somewhere before, even if you can't put your finger on it.

After some scene-stealing roles in comedy hits like Scott Pilgrim vs. the World and the reboot of 21 Jump Street, she made waves on the indie scene with a powerful performance in Short Term 12. She worked with Mark Wahlberg in The Gambler and supported Amy Schumer in Trainwreck, but as soon as she laid her hands on that coveted statuette, bigger offers started to come her way.

After Room, Larson booked the co-lead in Kong: Skull Island, playing an anti-war photojournalist. In Kong, she got to work with Marvel veteran Samuel L. Jackson, who plays a major role in Captain Marvel. Larson also cast Jackson in her feature directorial debut, Unicorn Store, which was shot in 2017 and is set to debut on Netflix later this year. After their years of collaborating, Jackson has confirmed that Larson's fitness regime for Skull Island was nowhere near as strenuous as what she's been doing to get in shape for her big MCU debut. "The girl that I did Kong and Unicorn Store with is not this person," Jackson told Collider. "She's like five percent body fat now."

Ben Mendelsohn is Talos

The supremely talented Ben Mendelsohn seemed to appear from out of nowhere, but the Australian has quietly been putting in outstanding performances for years now. He came to the attention of international audiences with his starring role in the Aussie drama Animal Kingdom, a Melbourne-set crime flick that wowed critics the world over. The movie was his Hollywood calling card, and in recent years the character actor has become Tinseltown's new go-to villain.

You'll probably recognize Mendelsohn from his turn as Imperial Military director Orson Krennic in 2016's Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, or perhaps you saw him in 2018's Ready Player One. He played Nolan Sorrento (CEO of the shady company seeking full control over the movie's virtual reality haven, the OASIS) in Steven Spielberg's love letter to '80s pop culture. He's gained a reputation as something of a chameleon, a description that just so happens to fit his Captain Marvel character perfectly.

The Emmy-winner plays shape-shifting villain Talos (known as Talos the Untamed in the comics) in the twenty-first MCU movie. Mendelsohn explained a little about his character in typically comical fashion when he spoke to reporters during a set visit. "I'm the battle commander of the Skrulls," he said (via Screen Rant). "We kind of rule the s***. Most of the rest of the Marvel comic universe are punks, basically."

Lashana Lynch is Maria Rambeau

Captain Marvel is undoubtedly the biggest gig of her career to date, but English actress Lashana Lynch isn't exactly a newcomer. If you're British (or you watch a lot of British TV), there's a good chance you've seen Lynch before. She appeared in everything from police procedurals and crime dramas to murder mysteries and adventure fantasies while earning her stripes in the UK. In 2016, her hard work was rewarded when she won the lead role in ABC's Still Star-Crossed.

The show was a sequel to Romeo & Juliet, taking place after the events of Shakespeare's tragedy. Sadly for Lynch, it wasn't well-received. Still Star-Crossed received middling reviews, and the ratings were not good. ABC shifted the show from its primetime slot and later canceled it altogether, scrapping a planned second season.

Lynch was given the chance to bounce back with Captain Marvel, in which she plays Carol Danvers' Air Force buddy, Maria Rambeau. She was a minor character in the comics, but the MCU version will be far more important to the titular hero. "They're best friends," Lynch said (via Collider). "She had to go through a lot of grief when Carol disappeared and then suddenly she's back, and she has to kind of reverse that grief and make it work for this picking up of a friendship."

Akira Akbar is Monica Rambeau

This Is Us fans aside, nobody knew who Akira Akbar was when she was added to the cast of Captain Marvel. Akbar played a young version of Beth in NBC's hit dramedy show, only her third career appearance (she'd previously popped up in Criminal Minds and Grey's Anatomy). Without a doubt her biggest role to date is Monica Rambeau, the 11-year-old daughter of Carol Danvers' friend and former colleague, Maria Rambeau.

Unlike her mother, Monica was more than just a minor character in the comics. She gained superpowers after being bombarded with extradimensional energy and went on to take over the Captain Marvel mantle. She led the Avengers under that name until she was forced to concede it, at which point she changed her superhero alias to Photon, the name emblazoned across her mother's aircraft in Captain Marvel set photos.

Lashana Lynch seemed to indicate that Akbar might not actually become Captain Marvel in the MCU when she spoke with Rotten Tomatoes, revealing that the studio isn't planning on sticking to the source material religiously when it comes to Monica Rambeau. "They also switch things up sometimes to keep us on our toes, to keep us excited," she said (via Inverse). "And as a Marvel fan, I'm always excited why they didn't go by the comics with that particular detail, and then how it unravels down the line."

Samuel L. Jackson is young Nick Fury

If you don't recognize Samuel L. Jackson, you must have avoided movies your entire life. From cult classics to tentpole blockbusters, Jackson has been around the block more than a few times, becoming Hollywood's most bankable star in the process. His face is one that the majority of Americans would know in an instant, but his physical appearance in Captain Marvel is likely to confuse anyone unfamiliar with the setting of the movie. 

You might be wondering why (and how) Jackson looks so young in this film. The answer is simple: it's set in the 1990s, and Jackson (who is now in his 70s) has been de-aged a few decades by the special effects wizards at Lola VFX. It's a technique that Marvel has been experimenting with in recent years (the studio used the technology in 2015's Ant-Man, 2016's Captain America: Civil War, and 2017's Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2), but Captain Marvel is the first time it's been used for the entirety of a movie.

Jackson gave the technique his full approval on his official Instagram account, posting a photo of himself as the young Nick Fury along with the caption: "Wow, this Marvel de-aging thing is doper than I thought!" The '90s setting means fans will get to see the S.H.I.E.L.D. boss minus his famous eye patch, though judging from Jackson's comments, he'll be down to one eye again by the time the credits roll.

Clark Gregg is young Agent Coulson

Clark Gregg's Phil Coulson is a rookie agent during the time Captain Marvel is set. Speaking to Den of Geek, Gregg revealed that the S.H.I.E.L.D stalwart will be a total newbie when he meets Carol Danvers. "He's a bit of a new guy in S.H.I.E.L.D.," Gregg said. "He's a lot younger. It's the earliest we will have seen him, so when he says, 'Mr. Stark, this isn't my first rodeo' in Iron Man, this is maybe the rodeo he's talking about."

Like Samuel L. Jackson, Gregg was digitally de-aged. He denied any effects had been used when the first trailer for the movie debuted. "Didn't use any," Gregg said after people started discussing the visual effects on Twitter. "Just took a four day nap." He was joking, but in truth, Gregg's face hasn't really changed all that much over the years, which is why you'll probably still recognize him from his pre-Marvel roles.

He managed to book minor movie parts throughout the '90s, later finding a home on TV. After landing one-off parts in Sex and the City and Will and Grace, Gregg joined the cast of The West Wing, sporadically appearing as FBI Special Agent Michael Casper between 2001 and 2004. In 2008 (the same year he joined the MCU), he directed and acted in Choke, an adaptation of Chuck Palahniuk's book of the same name.

Annette Bening is the Supreme Intelligence

Ancient, all-knowing, and a big green floating head, the Supreme Intelligence is a collection of the smartest Kree minds, merged over a million years in the past to create the ultimate weapon to defeat the Skrulls.

Who better to step into that role than acclaimed actress Annette Bening?

Bening has been acting steadily for decades, appearing in everything from American Beauty to Tim Burton's cult classic comedy Mars Attacks. More recently, she was nominated for an Oscar for her leading role in The Kids Are Alright.

Fans got a glimpse of Bening as the ancient megamind in a recent Captain Marvel trailer. Although there are some differences in her appearance — she has a body, for one — it's clear that this acting powerhouse is a good fit for the role.