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Captain Marvel 2 release date, cast and story

In the eternal struggle between comic book giants Marvel and DC, it's generally agreed that the former are currently winning the battle of the big screen. However, the DCEU did beat the MCU to the punch on one thing: they were the first of the two to release a movie led by a female superhero. Smashing onto screens in 2017, Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman became the highest grossing DCEU hit to that point, and whipped up a conversation about the need for more female-led superhero movies. Finally, in March 2019, Marvel delivered Captain Marvel

The titular character's out-of-this-world superpowers, the spectacular action sequences, and the chemistry between the cast earned an impressive worldwide box office take of $1.1 billion. We next saw Captain Marvel in 2019's Avengers: Endgame, but fans were already anticipating her second solo adventure. While news about Phase 4 of the MCU has started coming fast and furious, fans of Carol Danvers were disappointed to learn that the wait for Captain Marvel 2 might be longer than expected. We're here to help ease that wait with all the news and rumors about her second solo flight, including the cast, the story, and when you can expect to see it.

What will be the release date for Captain Marvel 2?

After getting two glimpses of Captain Marvel at work in 2019, fans are eager to find out when we'll be able to catch up with her again. Well, it's going to be a while. On July 20th 2019, studios president Kevin Feige presented Marvel Studios' Hall H panel at San Diego Comic-Con, where he announced what's on the slate for Phase 4 of the MCU

Since Phase 3 had just wrapped up with Spider-Man: Far from Home, Feige focused on the new era of 2020 and 2021, which will be largely defined by movies featuring major female characters: Scarlett Johansson's Black Widow on May 1st, 2020; Eternals starring Angelina Jolie on November 6th, 2020; and Thor: Love and Thunder on November 6th, 2021, which will star Natalie Portman as Thor (alongside OG Thor Chris Hemsworth). 

However, while Feige confirmed that Captain Marvel 2 is definitely in the works, it won't be part of this fourth phase. Feige's timeline, combined with a schedule Disney released in May of 2019, suggests that the very earliest possible release date would be February 18th, 2022, but there are also slots open for as-yet untitled Marvel films that May and July — and it could even be the following year.

Brie Larson will be saving the world again, whether you like it or not

Before Captain Marvel, Brie Larson was most famous for her Oscar-winning role in Room, a drama that does not immediately scream superhero franchise. But Kevin Feige could see her potential from the start: in 2016, he told Variety, "With Captain Marvel, who has powers that approach a level that we haven't seen before in our films, you need to counterbalance that by finding somebody who is also very human and very relatable…  Brie is a person you're going to want to go on this journey with." He was right: the film excelled at the box office and received widely positive reviews. Marvel is so confident in Larson that she has reportedly signed on for at least five more films in the MCU post-Endgame.

However, not everyone was pleased to see Larson in the title role — for a couple of very different reasons. One petition, launched on Change.org by someone who hadn't seen the movie, decided she was too boring. They only received around 2,800 signatures. A second petition with nearly 25,000 signatures called for Larson to step down because the organizers felt that her casting whitewashed the hero. In the comics, the character of Carol Danvers was first known as Ms. Marvel, while the first female Captain Marvel was Monica Rambeau, a black cop from New Orleans. However, the Captain Marvel movie introduced a young version of Rambeau, and we now know that the character will get to tell her own story in the MCU.

Samuel L. Jackson will hopefully return to the cast of Captain Marvel 2

The odds are likely that Samuel L. Jackson's Nick Fury will also return for the sequel. The last time we saw Fury in the context of Captain Marvel, he was post-eye mauling, and starting on a new project which would see him track down more superheroes: i.e. the Avengers. But that was back in 1995. In a post-credits scene at the end of Spider-Man: Far from Home, we learn that Fury is now working with the Skrulls to run an organization in space — which fans think could be S.W.O.R.D, the space equivalent to S.H.I.E.L.D. Given that Far from Home takes place immediately after Avengers: Endgame (that is to say, 2023), there are 28 years of history between Fury's first encounter with the Skrulls in Captain Marvel and his teaming up with them. Given Captain Marvel's links to the Kree-Skrull War, her solo movies would seem like a good place to explore this.

Plot aside, Larson and Jackson's chemistry is too good not to bring back. The two are old friends, thanks to a grueling shoot for 2017's Kong: Skull Island. In 2019, Jackson told IndieWire, "It was a really tough shoot, and we were in a lot of remote locations… You don't have cell reception, you kind of have to interact with each other and talk, and you hang out, and you fight bugs together. We did that and we really enjoyed commiserating and kind of supporting each other."

Will the story of Captain Marvel 2 go back to the future?

We may not see Captain Marvel 2 until Marvel's Phase 5, but the action of the movie could be set before her last appearance in 2019's Avengers: Endgame. In fact, we get a hint of this in Captain Marvel. In a post-credits scene set after the events of Avengers: Infinity War, we see four of the Avengers monitoring the pager that Carol Danvers left with Nick Fury (so very 1995), without fully knowing what it is, only for Danvers to suddenly show up. Given that Infinity War is set in 2018, that leaves 23 years of intergalactic superheroics left untapped.

Before Endgame was released, Kevin Feige addressed this cliffhanger — albeit super vaguely — in an interview with Entertainment Tonight in March of 2019. "What happened in that intervening time, I think, is something that would be a lot of fun to explore at some point," he said. As for whether we'll be going back to the '90s or skipping to the present day, Feige was even more cagey, saying, "We have ideas for both. We'll see." Will the timeline of Danvers' adventures line up with Iron Man's 2008 setting? Feige revealed that it's been worked out "in a general fashion," explaining, "The blanks are filled in as we make the movies, and until it solidifies into an actual film, there are multiple branching timelines." We'll just have to come back in the future.

The secret about the Secret Invasion is out

If you enjoyed the all-heroes-on-deck approach of The Avengers, you'll love the plot of Secret Invasion, an eight-part 2008 comic event with numerous tie-in issues. For fans who came to Marvel at the movies rather than through the comics, the TL;DR version is that the Skrulls slowly infiltrate Earth by shape shifting and replacing people — superheroes included — so that they can one day take over. Cue confusion, paranoia, and hero vs. hero dust-ups.

According to rumors and fan theories, the plot of Captain Marvel 2 could take inspiration from this storyline. The speculation comes in part from a Reddit post by a user who claims to have gotten the inside scoop from someone else who has previously given inside information on Marvel films. In other words take it with a dangerously generous serving of salt. 

One fan theory as to how this could come to pass is tenuous, but nonetheless interesting. In the comics, the Skrull that kicks off the plan for the Secret Invasion is heir to the Skrull throne, Princess Veranke. The theory goes that we've already met her: she's Talos' (Ben Mendelsohn) young daughter, the one who sneaks a glimpse of her father shooting the Kree. Although the movie ends with the Skrulls and Captain Marvel on the same side, the theory suggests that this could change by the next film. Kevin Feige even hinted as much, saying, "I do think to continue fleshing them out and making them these three dimensional actual beings, the Skrulls, you would encounter good ones and bad ones."

Meet the potential cosmic villain of Captain Marvel 2

A different Reddit rumor identifies not one but two potential bad guys, other than the Skrulls (again: add salt). The first of two posts says that Marvel have chosen Norman Osborn (a.k.a. the Green Goblin) as their "ground level" villain, but that Captain Marvel will most likely be facing a "cosmic" villain in the form of Michael Korvac. In the comics, Korvac is a computer technician from an alternative future universe whose body is melded with a machine from the waist down.

In a follow-up post that gets very spoiler-heavy (assuming it's correct), the poster says that Captain Marvel 2 will return to the Kree-Skrull War, which came up in the first movie. Captain Marvel goes on the hunt for a superweapon, and learns that it's Korvac. She sympathizes with him — another superpowered being who is being treated like an experiment in the conflict between the warring alien races — only for him to ultimately betray her. 

The plan, the poster continues, is for Korvac to become the next big villain in Phase 5. Feige has already hinted that Captain Marvel will be leading the next iteration of the Avengers at that time, meaning that her second solo outing could be the place to set up this storyline and rivalry. However, as the poster noted, there's still time for Marvel to throw out this idea and come up with something else, so don't plan your Korvac costume for Halloween 2022 just yet.

Yon-Rogg is gone, but not for long

Far more surprising than Jackson's return is the rumor that Jude Law will be reprising his role as Captain Marvel's mentor-turned-nemesis, Yon-Rogg. By the end of Captain Marvel, the Kree Starforce commander had been thoroughly defeated by his long-time pupil — but instead of killing him, she sent him back to the Supreme Intelligence with the threat that they were now on her hit list. According to rumor, he'll return for the sequel as a villain, but will somehow end up getting back on Captain Marvel's good side.

In the meantime, Yon-Rogg/Jude Law fans can check out a deleted scene on Captain Marvel's home release that reveals something about the character we'd already suspected: he's really only got eyes for himself. In the scene, Yon-Rogg faces the Kree ruler, the Supreme Intelligence, an artificial intelligence that takes the form of the person you most respect. In Captain Marvel's case, that's Dr. Wendy Lawson (Annette Bening). In Yon-Rogg's case, that's… an older Yon-Rogg. Of course, whether we eventually get to see an older Yon-Rogg in action on the big screen depends on when the movie is ultimately set.

Ronan the Accuser may make good on his threat

One villain with a credible claim to a role in Captain Marvel sequels is Ronan the Accuser (Lee Pace). Like his fellow Kree Yon-Rogg, Ronan didn't come out well in the battle with Captain Marvel — or at least, his ships didn't. But Ronan seemed relatively unperturbed by the sight of the energy-emitting superhero, who single-handedly stopped his forces from destroying Earth. In fact, he promised to return for "the weapon," referring to Danvers herself. That's as good a hint as any that this isn't the last we or Captain Marvel have seen of him.

It also isn't the first MCU fans have seen of him. Ronan the Accuser was first featured in Guardians of the Galaxy in 2014, when he promised to deliver the Orb (which was actually holding the Power Stone) to Thanos in exchange for the destruction of the planet of Xandar, only to change his mind and keep the Orb for himself. Ultimately he was killed by the Guardians — so if he is going to come back in future movies, they'll have to be set some time between his 1995 encounter with Captain Marvel and his 2014 demise. Or maybe, given that some fans have found him to be a distinctly undistinguished villain, Marvel will choose to let him renege on his threat of revenge. It wouldn't be the first time he went back on a promise.

Lashana Lynch has plans for the plot

When Captain Marvel was released in March 2019, Lashana Lynch became famous for playing the superhero's fellow fighter pilot and best friend, Maria Rambeau. She's also the mother of Monica Rambeau, which will become more relevant in the future. It's yet to be confirmed whether Lynch will return for the sequel, but she would certainly be up for it. When the film came out, she told Entertainment Tonight, "It would be nice to see Captain Marvel way in the future. Just like with this origin story, we've gone back in time before she had her powers and then as she got her powers and that slight journey just after that, I think it would be nice to see everyone — no matter what characters they are — way in the future. In like, 2050."

In the meantime, Lynch is getting her name in headlines thanks to another big franchise. In July 2019, it was announced that she will appear in the next James Bond film, which is coming to the U.S. on April 8th 2020, but she won't exactly be playing a traditional Bond Girl. While Daniel Craig is reprising his role as supposedly retired secret agent James Bond, Lynch will be playing a character called Nomi — who has reportedly taken over his codename of 007. Whatever that means for the movie, it's a good sign for Lynch's career.

The MCU has a WandaVision for Monica Rambeau

We now know that we'll be seeing more of Monica Rambeau, the first woman to take the title of Captain Marvel in the comics. As part of the Comic-Con Hall H presentation, Kevin Feige announced a few new details regarding the upcoming TV series WandaVision, which centers on Elizabeth Olsen's Scarlet Witch, a.k.a. Wanda Maximoff, and Paul Bettany's Vision. Premiering in spring 2021 on the Disney+ streaming platform, the show will also feature an older Monica Rambeau, played by Teyonah Parris. 

Parris' best known movies to date are 2014's Dear White People and 2018's If Beale Street Could Talk, and she's also had recurring roles in Mad Men and Empire. Monica Rambeau first appeared on the comics page in 1982, in Amazing Spider-Man Annual #16. When Spider-Man first encounters her on the street, his Spidey sense lets him know there's another superpowered being around. But Rambeau's powers don't come from a radioactive arachnid — she's struck by beams of energy, which imbue the New Orleans police officer with the power to transform herself into different energy wavelengths. She names herself Captain Marvel, although the first character to use that name was actually a male Kree named Mar-Vell (in the movie, this is Annette Bening's character, although she doesn't use the title). She and Carol Danvers eventually team up, which would be a nice moment for a movie, given their shared past. But for now, we'll have to see how WandaVision lets Rambeau flex her powers.

Kamala Kahn, the other Ms. Marvel

Here's another Reddit rumor that at first seems easily dismissed. Supposedly we'll be getting a Ms. Marvel spin-off, although there's no telling which phase it would be a part of, or even whether it would be a movie or a TV show. As you know by now (if you didn't already), Ms. Marvel was the original codename of Carol Danvers. In the comics, fighter pilot and NASA security officer/intelligence agent Danvers teamed up with the Kree Mar-Vell to fight Yon-Rogg. Through an interaction with a Kree device that makes things in your imagination real, she was transformed into a Kree/human hybrid, and imbued with some of Mar-Vell's powers. That was when she became Ms. Marvel.

Obviously, that's not the origin story the film went with — but the Ms. Marvel legacy lives on. In 2015, Marvel introduced a new Ms. Marvel: Kamala Khan, a Pakistani American Muslim teenager who lives in Jersey City, has studied the Avengers, and idolizes Carol Danvers' Captain Marvel. Khan's latent superpowers are awakened by an alien mist: her main superpower is her ability to stretch, shrink, or grow her limbs at will, and she often uses it to grow huge fists or squeeze through gaps. She can also heal by returning to her regular form. With Carol Danvers as Captain Marvel, Monica Rambeau is left to choose from her other aliases, and Marvel may have paved the way for a project focused on Khan. Could the young Avenger feature in a future Captain Marvel movie?

Let's hear if for all the single superheroes

We love a superhero romance like Scarlet Witch and Vision, or Ant-Man and the Wasp, or even an are-they-or-aren't-they situation like Gamora and Star-Lord. And the moment Captain Marvel met up with a bunch of fellow world-savers in Avengers: Endgame, everyone was playing matchmaker. 

Even after the trailer, people were already shipping Captain Marvel and Thor (Chris Hemsworth), but a different hot new couple quickly emerged: Carol Danvers and Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson). Brie Larson is firmly in the latter camp, retweeting fan art of her and Thompson's characters with the caption, "We cute." This triangle gets even more complicated when you remember that Thor and Valkyrie also have flirtatious chemistry — which Thompson and Hemsworth noted while doing press for their other joint project, 2019's Men in Black: International.

However, despite all that supposed sexual tension, Kevin Feige has put something of a dampener on Danvers' romantic chances — at least, he did for the first film. He told Screen Rant, "it never even occurred to [us to] have a love interest. That's not what the movie was about. It was about Carol finding herself and growing and making mistakes and being bolstered up by her female mentors and female friends." However, that was then, and this is now. Or in the future. Either way, there could be love in Danvers' later life — could she become the new queen of Asgard? Of course, she could continue to be the most powerful single lady in the MCU. We won't complain either way.