Marvel begins production on its first solo female superhero movie next March, and we can expect more and more casting announcements as the start date approaches. Here's one now: Variety has just learned, without confirmation yet from the studio, that Jude Law is in negotiations to play the male lead in Captain Marvel opposite Brie Larson's titular character.
Law's role is said to be that of Dr. Walter Lawson, aka Mar-Vell, described as a mentor to Larson's Air Force pilot-turned-hero, Carol Danvers. He was also once known as Captain Marvel in the comics, where he originated as an alien of the Kree race (you may recall the main villain in Guardians of the Galaxy, Ronan the Accuser, is also Kree) who came to Earth to spy on humans before becoming their protector.
If the movie follows that storyline, we could see Law as Mar-Vell arrive and then fall in love with Danvers, who then becomes Ms. Marvel (and later dons the name Captain Marvel) during an accident involving a Kree device that gives her super powers. But will they then together battle the shapeshifting Skrull enemies, including the main villain played by Ben Mendelsohn? That wouldn't make her enough of a solo hero, would it? The movie isn't titled Captain Marvel and Mar-Vell.
With everyone looking at the huge success of Wonder Woman as a bellwether for female superhero movies now, the idea of a male lead also being a love interest is fine if done well. That movie's title hero has a mortal hero at her side and as the object of her affection, so he's not quite on her level but is still a significant ally in battle. Captain Marvel will either need to be the more powerful of the two super-powered figures in her own movie, or Law's character may have to die of cancer like he did in a 1982 graphic novel.
Even if Law's part is minor or just in this one movie (meaning we wouldn't see him in an Avengers sequel opposite his Sherlock Holmes co-star?), the gig is great for the actor, who years ago seemed to be past his prime as a movie star. In addition to snagging this cool MCU role, he's the new, young Albus Dumbledore in the Harry Potter spin-off series, making his debut there in next year's Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.
In addition to Larson, Law and Mendelsohn, Samuel L. Jackson will make an appearance as a young (two-eyed) Nick Fury. The script is by Geneva Robertson-Dworet (working off earlier drafts by Nicole Perlman and Meg LeFauve), while directing duo Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck (Half Nelson) will be at the helm. Captain Marvel arrives in theaters on March 8, 2019.