Salutations Body Politic! We received so much sensational feedback on our last canny crossover by Keen Kevin and Judicious Jon that we here at the M6P HQ figured we’d give you that for which you’re all clamoring: another clever collaboration in conceiving and casting an hypothetical Marvel cinematic masterpiece. As before Kevin, will cast Jon’s plot ideas. This time our dutiful duo is drawing inspiration from Jon’s recent ruminations on the importance of a Captain Marvel feature film to contrive a whole series of films about the exciting exploits of Carol Danvers. We’ll turn it over to Jon to set the stage . . .
So you should all know that I think Carol Danvers is delightfully deserving of debuting in her own theatrical feature before being turned over for appearances in the Avengers series and other affiliated films. Now I know an effort is being made to keep away from origin stories nowadays but I think that it would actually be appropriate to take that route in introducing Carol. That’s where we’ll start with Major Carol Danvers, USAF and security chief for a NASA facility driving into town on leave to visit with her friend and former colleague, the honorably discharged Monica Rambeau. The two haven’t seen each other in years and begin to catch up over lunch at a Pakastani restaurant that Carol frequents when she can get off base (insert first cameo by Kamala Khan here). They are interrupted by Dr. Walter Lawson, a sociological researcher who knows Monica due to a present study he’s conducting. They briefly discuss his study of the social dynamics of the region and when it becomes apparent that Lawson hasn’t yet interacted with any of the military personal who live near town, Monica (detecting some chemistry between the two) suggests that he interview Carol. We cut ahead to see Monica and Carol parting ways after their meal when they notice a commotion and gunfire nearby. The two women find themselves in the path of a man fleeing from a bank robbery ahead of police, but manage to stop the thief long enough for the police to arrive. As the off-duty heroes make their report to the police, the camera’s focus shifts to reveal Dr. Lawson in the background intently watching and taking notes on Carol and Monica.
We see Carol a few days later, back on duty. She checks her voice mail and returns a call to Dr. Lawson. She makes arrangements for him to interview her later in the week when she has some down time. When they meet, the pair seem to be connecting, but while Carol takes a moment away to go to the bathroom and text Monica, Lawson seems to receive a text message of his own. When Carol returns from the ladies room Lawson’s demeanor has changed dramatically and he seems dodgy and leaves. Carol is a bit put off by this, but then while driving home herself she notices Lawson’s car abandoned near the side of the road and decides to investigate. Following his trail she finds Lawson in a condemned warehouse arguing with the leader of a group of other men and women. Lawson is shouting that, “they deserve better,” and that he, “just needs a little more time to finish the research”. The other man explains that this is irrelevant, that orders from their high command supersede the original investigation and that events nearby have made eliminated the need for anything beyond initial biological scans. “I’ve got men extracting one of their undesirables as we speak,” says Lawson’s superior; “Una is preparing for a trial run on that little savage, and we’ll have ourselves a worthy weapon. You will cover your tracks and rendezvous with us in one cycle. Do I make myself clear Captain?” “Yes,” Lawson replies, “as you will it Commander Yon-Rogg.” We see a small group enter the police station in town and kidnap Robert Hunter (the thief from earlier) from his cell.
Carol manages to slip away undetected and follows Lawson. When he arrives at his apartment, she ambushes him demanding to know who he’s working for. Lawson tries to calm her down and dodge the question, but when Carol threatens to call the CIA Lawson shuts down her phone with alien technology. He then goes on to reveal his true identity . . . Captain Mar-Vell of the Kree Expeditionary Force. Trying to explain his research mission on Earth as an advanced scout for the Kree Empire, he tells Carol that in spite of his efforts to protect Earth and allow its people to enter the intergalactic community in their own time, his superiors focused only on the planet’s strategic position and humanity’s potential to be genetically modified into soldiers (“like your Hulk or Captain America”) that might tip the balance in the war against the Kree’s enemies and rivals. Carol declares her intention to stop the Kree despite Mar-Vell’s warnings. Mar-Vell agrees to use experimental weapons to help her on the condition that she agrees not to make the Kree’s presence on Earth public and the pair hatch a plan to stop Yon-Rogg.
Unfortunately, Mar-Vell and Carol arrive too late. They encounter Yon-Rogg’s medical officer Una who explains that though she regrets it, the Terrigenesis experiment has already begun and can’t be stopped. Carol refuses to listen and goes ahead with Mar-Vell and Una in tow, and she quickly finds herself in over her head as a firefight erupts between her group and Yon-Rogg and his soldiers. Una knocks Mar-Vell out of the line of fire and is felled by a shot from Yon-Rogg meant for his rival for her affections. The two men engage in a rage fueled duel as Carol dispatches Yon-Rogg’s men. Just as Mar-Vell seems to turn the tide of the battle with his experimental Nega Bands, the Terrigenesis concludes and the chamber containing Robert Hunter explodes with a blast so intense the movie screen briefly flashes white.
As the dazed combatants come to, Carol notices a lone figure shuffling away and finds Mar-Vell, having shielded her from the brunt of the blast and fading fast. Mar-Vell apologizes for not doing more and gives her the Nega Bands. His soliloquy is cut short by a blast from Yon-Rogg’s pistol. Carol struggles with the Nega Bands in a last ditch attempt to stop Yon-Rogg. Just as she seems to have found some success Yon-Rogg shoots the bands which turn to dust in Carol’s hands, the energy enveloping her and she collapses, unconscious beside the road. Yon-Rogg and his surviving soldiers retreat to their headquarters to track down their experiment.
The dust clears and the next morning Carol is discovered by Kamala (the teenage server from the Pakistani restaurant) who goes with her to the hospital as the police arrive. Once revived Carol seems strangely unharmed and checks out with Monica and Kamala who offers to drive them back to Monica’s hotel room. On the drive across town Monica realizes the car is being followed and they lead their tail on a lengthy chase across the city and out into the outskirts of town. The three women abandon the car and lay low until their pursuer, a clean cut man in a suit, leaves his vehicle to search for them on foot. They ambush him and when Carol attempts to lift him off the ground she throws him and herself flying off the ground. After the panic of her new found strength and ability to fly have worked themselves out through awkward conversation, Carol manages to return to the ground. The man readily introduces himself as Agent Wendell Vaughn of SHIELD, Pegasus Division and goes on to explain that he was sent to investigate rumors about alien technologies in the area and that his energy tracking devices had led him to Carol. Carol breaks down and takes the other three into her confidence, getting everybody up to speed on what transpired with Mar-Vell, Yon-Rogg and Hunter.
Now in all this excitement many viewers may have neglected the seemingly bizarre happenstance of law enforcement not being interested in intervening in the high speed car chase that led to the assemblage above. However, the local law enforcement has been more than a little preoccupied by the actions of a man calling himself Nitro. Newly empowered with the Kree sponsored ability to act as a human bomb, Hunter is strolling the streets taking what he pleases and doing what he likes, starting with the destruction of the central police headquarters.
With Nitro holding the city ransom, Carol receives a call to return to the Air Force Base and mobilize a strike team to capture the new super villain. Honoring her promise not to reveal the existence of the Kree to the public she asks Monica, Agent Vaughn and Kamala to help track down Yon-Rogg and to keep her secret. She returns to base and organizes a security detail and leads her own fighter wing to stop Nitro from escaping the city. Monica, Agent Vaughn and Kamala begin to put together clues to track down Yon-Rogg’s base, but the Kree Commander hasn’t been neglecting the news of the day either. As they near his compound, he commands the launch of “the Sentries” to retrieve his experiment Nitro, and orders his soldiers to signal a request to Hala to initiate the colonization of Earth. Three immense robots explode into the sky and fly towards the city, exposing the precise location of Yon-Rogg’s base which Monica, Kamala and Vaughn rush to infiltrate.
As the Sentries near the battlefield, two swiftly land and attempt to subdue Nitro, but the third is fired upon by one of Carol’s wingmen and turns its attention to her squad. Carol attempts to lead them against the Sentry but her plane is damaged. As she begins to go down she realizes that with the Sentries on public display, Yon-Rogg has made the Kree’s presence public and she no longer needs to hide her powers. She flies out and is surrounded by an energy that burns away her flightsuit to reveal a protective suit given to her by Mar-Vell before their initial attempt. Carol saves her fellow pilots and leads the Sentry into a dive, causing it to be damaged as it crashes into one of its counterparts. On the ground, a three-way battle royale ensues between Carol, Nitro and the Sentries. Carol finishes off the damaged Sentry and Nitro finishes another, but then recognizes Carol as the woman who stopped him in his earlier attempt at robbery. Turning his attention to Carol, Nitro decides to see how far he can push his powers to the limit declaring he’ll turn the whole city into a crater. Carol moves to stop him and finds herself luminescent as she absorbs the full force of Nitro’s blast. Nitro collapses, exhausted, and the final Sentry moves in to kill Carol and collect his quarry. Carol turns the energy back on the Sentry and destroys it. The Air Force security team moves in and secures the unconscious Nitro, approaching Carol with apprehension. “You’re some kinda’ Marvel miss.” Remarks one of the soldiers. “That’s Captain Marvel to you, Soldier!” quips Carol as she removes her mask.
Carol finds herself aware that things are coming to a head at Yon-Rogg’s secret headquarters and speeds off to finish the mission she and Mar-Vell began. (Ideally all this climax stuff with Nitro, and the Sentries and Yon-Rogg and all that would be intercut together, but as long as this is, it’s no script and that would read awkwardly in this form. But trust me, in the movie it would be really fast paced and exciting with all the jumping around . . . like the Battle of Endor or something.) Monica and Vaughn are horribly outgunned as they try to stop Yon-Rogg from sending his invasion message to the Kree homeworld and Kamala is in way over her head. Monica makes a move to challenge Yon-Rogg directly to give Vaughn time to break the Kree codes and stop the message, but finds herself woefully outmatched by his unearthly strength. As Carol arrives to save the day, Yon-Rogg tosses Monica into a block of storage containers where Kamala’s been hiding and the opened containers briefly bathe them both in gas of a similar appearance to that which engulfed Nitro earlier. Carol defeats Yon-Rogg who commits suicide rather than be taken in and Vaughn manages to use some alien technology to smash the communicator as the timer runs its course. Carol and Agent Vaughn rush Monica and Kamala to the hospital.
The film ends with Monica, Kamala and Agent Vaughn cheering Carol on as she’s awarded the Air Force Cross and becomes the US Air Force’s first superhero. As they wave to Carol from the audience Kamala does a double-take when her hand briefly seems to double in size. The end . . .
Well, it almost ends there . . . what kind of Marvel Studios film would this be if there wasn’t a post credits scene? First, As Nitro is being taken into custody the armored car he’s in is run off the road and the sound of struggle is heard from outside. The doors are torn off their hinges and the two guards inside with him are quickly dispatched. A figure seen in silhouette stands framed by the doors and with a mild accent asks Nitro if he thinks he has what it takes to be a, “Master among men”.
In post-credits scene two an immense green tube flickers to life and a giant head forms from the ether therein and opens its eyes. “Communication processed. Calculating . . . ,” rumbles the monster head’s cold voice. “Pursuer Tanlath,” it commands a powerfully built women in a style of dress familiar to viewers of Guardians of the Galaxy, “initiate Invasion protocol 658967.” The camera pans out and an immense army of soldiers, star ships and alien weapons fill the screen. THAT’S the end.
Let’s turn things over to Kevin’s inestimable capacity for casting so we can better imagine our comic caper come to life!
Captain Marvel (Carol Danvers) – Emily Blunt
Kathryn Winnick, Katee Sackhoff, and Jennifer Morrison are often thrown around in fandom and fan-casting, so I want to go in a different direction. Blunt’s career has seen her in period piece dramas, quirky comedies, all-age fantasy films, and sci-fi actions. In all of these roles she’s always portrayed a strong and confident character, but added the right amount of femininity and vulnerability to even a tough-as-nails soldier that I think not only could she carry the weight of this role, but she could also stand out as a believable leader if/when her role ties into the Avengers franchise.
Dr. Walter Lawson (Captain Mar-Vell) – Charlie Hunnam
Sure, most are extremely familiar with him in his classic anti-hero role on Sons of Anarchy, but his performance in Pacific Rim shows he has capabilities to portray a purely heroic character. His good looks will also help us married geeks add another layer to the argument as we convince our significant others to watch yet another comic book movie.
Lt. Monica Rambeau – Zoe Kravitz
Yes, Kravitz was already in the X-Men movies, but we don’t care what Fox is doing to ruin our beloved comic characters. She was given a dimensionless role for a character that was at best unnecessary. It’s time to see what she can do with a classic and underutilized character in Marvel comics. She has the ability to create something worth a potential spin-off if she handles it well enough, which she’s capable.
Nitro (Robert Hunter) – Norman Reedus
When I think of Nitro, a grungy man comes to mind. Don’t ask me why, but that’s always been my impression. Like, in a group of supervillains he’s definitely the smelly one. If they teamed up, Hydroman always “accidentally” sprays him hoping that some that dirt and grease would rinse off before they get hauled away together. So when I’m filling this role I’m going for a man that we all know can make that grungy look work.
Commander Yon-Rogg – Gary Oldman
Did you really think you’d get one of these written by me without it containing Gary Oldman? Even the one I wrote in which only Al Pacino is cast has Gary Oldman (go look, I’ll wait… see?). In this cast, it goes without saying that this is the best role for Oldman. Like his Dr Smith role in Lost in Space (not a great movie, but a great performance), this would be another great underhanded character for him to embody.
Una – Alicia Vikander
This young, Swedish actress is a star on the rise and one to look out for in the coming year with several interesting looking films being released, the main one being Ex Machina. While I haven’t seen her in much, I think she would be more than capable of playing a woman with multiple interested suitors.
Kamalea Khan – Malala Yousafzai
Since this is a cameo role, I decided to go not with an actress, but rather with a real life superheroine. If you are unaware of who the courageous young woman is, you owe it to her and yourself to look her up and discover the story behind the youngest recipient of the Noble Peace Prize.
Agent [Wendell] Vaughn of SHIELD – Bradley Cooper
Yes, yes, yes, he is Rocket Raccoon, but Bradley Cooper would look amazing in a golden and shimmering cosmic mullet. So I don’t care. (Editor’s Note: Jon begged like the world’s most desperate panhandler for Luke or Owen Wilson to get this role, but even he has to defer to the superior wisdom of Master Caster McVicker on this one.)
Supreme Intelligence – David Bowie
Bowie is to music as Oldman is to movies. It is a true shame on my part to have not included him previously in a casting (that I can remember). He’s been in several movies before and in the 80s even starred in the cult classic The Man Who Fell To Earth, a subdued and underrated sci-fi/drama that I highly recommend. His songs during the Ziggy Stardust period are strong stories ripe with extraterrestrial flare. Since Brando is no longer around, Bowie has every right and honor to represent the culled intelligence and memory of the best and brightest of the Kree Empire.
Tanalith the Pursuer – Gwendoline Christie
Best known as the towering female knight in Game of Thrones, Gwendoline not only has the stature for this role, but has proven she is capable and formidable in action sequences. She was in the running for Captain Marvel as well, but I’m not sure I’ve been convinced she has the screen presence and charisma to hold up this type of movie.
Baron Zemo – Christopher Waltz
He is an amazing actor who is often most enjoyable to watch in roles that mix equal parts of etiquette, intelligence, and evil. I can’t think of any other actor I’d love to see bring Zemo to life.