Following Deadpool Ban, Disney Already Has Its Captain Marvel Replacement for the MCU

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Captain Marvel (Brie Larson) with shoulder-length blonde hair and wearing a dark suit with red and gold details stands in dramatic lighting. The background features a metallic setting with bright horizontal lights, giving a futuristic ambiance, reminiscent of an MCU film scene.

Credit: Marvel Studios

Marvel Studios already has its new Captain Marvel following the disastrous box office performance of The Marvels in late 2023.

Captain Marvel (Brie Larson) glowing with energy in The Marvels
Credit: Marvel Studios

Is Captain Marvel still in the MCU?

After being bumped from its summer slot, Nia DaCosta’s The Marvels opened in early November 2023 to a below-average box office. As its run continued, it was clear that the stellar success of its predecessor, Captain Marvel (2019), would not be replicated.

Of course, that movie–helmed by duo Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck–was not only released during the height of the comic book genre and prior to the arrival of Disney+ but was also sandwiched between the Russo Brothers’ major Avengers hits, Avengers: Infinity War (2018) and Avengers: Endgame (2019).

Pepper Potts, Valkyrie, Scarlet Witch, Captain Marvel, Mantis, Shuri in 'Avengers: Engame'
Credit: Marvel Studios

Despite its billion-dollar success, a vocal portion of the Marvel Cinematic Universe fandom rejected Brie Larson‘s take on the Marvel Comics legend, Captain Marvel. Appearing as the Carol Danvers iteration of the character, Larson was joined by tenured MCU actor Samuel L. Jackson, who reprised his role as Nick Fury, future director of S.H.I.E.L.D. and leader of S.A.B.E.R.

Ostensibly, Marvel Studios had no fear that Larson’s Captain Marvel could not continue to attract moviegoers, but her last stint as the cosmic character in DaCosta’s The Marvels proved otherwise–even with Teyonah Parris (Monica Rambeau) and Iman Vellani (Kamala Khan/Ms. Marvel) sharing the headline slot.

Monica Rambeau, Captain Marvel, and Kamala Khan on Carol Danvers' ship in 'The Marvels'
Credit: Marvel Studios

Taking just over $200 million globally, The Marvels came in as the worst-performing MCU movie in franchise history, although its arrival on The Walt Disney Company’s Disney+ streaming service gave it a new life.

Will Brie Larson return following the flop of her sequel? Speaking to Extra in February 2024 at the Screen Actors Guild awards, the Academy Award-winning actress said, “I don’t have anything to say about that,” when asked about her potential MCU return.

Captain Marvel giving a look of disbelief in her iconic white tank top
Credit: Marvel Studios

There is still unfinished business after her cameo appearance in the post-credits scene of Destin Daniel Cretton’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021). So much has happened in the fictional and real worlds regarding Kevin Feige’s MCU, though, that things may not get neatly tied up.

Now, with uncertainty growing following Larson’s comments and The Marvels‘ box office performance, the MCU already has its Captain Marvel replacement–just not in the place one may expect.

Captain Marvel (Brie Larson) rocking short hair in an Avengers film
Credit: Marvel Studios

Marvel’s new Captain Marvel arises following Deadpool’s ban

One thing is clear: the MCU is going through it. With The Marvels following the steep downward trajectory that Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023) set in motion, the reputation of the once impenetrable franchise is diminishing.

It’s not just fans who have noticed this decline, either; in fact, both Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige and Disney Chief Executive Officer Bob Iger are actively–and publicly–steering the turbulent ship to less rocky and potentially unchartered waters.

Kevin Feige at D23
Credit: D23

The latest, as announced by Iger, sees Marvel Studios put limits on its releases. No more than three feature films and two television shows per year. To put it into perspective, between 2022 and 2023, Marvel released six movies and six TV shows, plus two projects under the seemingly defunct Marvel Studios Special Presentation banner.

The news of these major MCU changes comes amid the release of Marvel’s most critically acclaimed TV show, X-Men ’97. Under the Marvel Animation banner, X-Men ’97 acts as a direct sequel to the classic X-Men: The Animated Series from the 90s.

The entire ensemble of X-Men '97
Credit: Marvel Studios

Created by Beau DeMayo, the ten-episode season is the first of three coming to the streamer and has been well-received by fans and critics. Existing outside of the Sacred Timeline, like Marvel’s other animated project, What If…?, X-Men ’97 has proven that love for mutants is very much alive.

The show has also proven to have Captain Marvel’s replacement. Spoilers ahead for X-Men ’97.

Cyclops surrounded by Morph, Storm, Gambit, Rogue Wolverine, Bishop and Beast in X-Men '97
Credit: Marvel Studios

In the finale episode, “Tolerance Is Extinction — Part 3,” long-standing X-Men character Rogue (Lenore Zann) is once again brought to the forefront, showcasing her immense strength and power.

During the episode, Rogue’s fight with the show’s big bad, Sebastion Gilberti/Bastion (Theo James), parallels that of Captain Marvel versus Thanos (Josh Brolin) in Avengers: Endgame. Such a display of strength does not go unnoticed, and her conviction in taking down the villain is incredibly similar to Larson’s in the Infinity Saga epic.

Rogue in a green and yellow suit with a black X emblem on the shoulder, flying through the sky with a focused expression. The character, reminiscent of an X-Men hero, has white and red hair. The background features clouds and a golden sky.
Credit: Marvel Studios

Not only are the similarities clear, but the very fact that Rogue’s super strength and flight abilities come from an encounter with Carol Danvers in the original animated series (and the Marvel Comics) is even more telling that Rogue, and thus the X-Men, can usurp certain characters when they inevitably transition into the live-action MCU.

Little is known on the X-Men’s arrival in the main continuity, but sources told Deadline in 2023, that the hunt for a writer was on. Many fans are calling for the now-removed Beau DeMayo to be rehired to scribe the film, but that seems unlikely considering his unusual exit from both X-Men ’97 and the studio overall.

Brie Larson as Captain Marvel in Avengers: Endgame
Credit: Marvel Studios

Related: X-Men’s Professor X Officially Recast With ‘The Walking Dead’ Actor

This cinematic Rogue moment in the finale episode of the series comes just a week after DeMayo confirmed on X (formerly Twitter) that his team was banned from using Deadpool in the show. Despite Deadpool being part of the X-Men franchise, DeMayo told a fan that the Merc with a Mouth was “off limits.”

With Deadpool unable to be used, the upcoming release of Shawn Levy’s Deadpool & Wolverine (2024) seems all the more pertinent.

Wolverine and Deadpool stand in the middle of a deserted street, dressed in their superhero costumes, with a damaged pharmacy and debris in the background.
Credit: Marvel Studios

DeMayo’s show was not without its classic character appearances, however. In the finale episode, the likes of Captain America, Iron Man, Daredevil, Cloak and Dagger, and Psylocke were featured. The upcoming second season was teased with the inclusion of En Sabah Nur, AKA Apocalypse (Ross Marquand).

X-Men ’97 is confirmed for another two seasons but may likely continue if reception remains high. One of Marvel’s big changes last year came with the creative overhaul of Daredevil: Born Again, in which the studio shared it would be moving away from its current format to one similar to traditional TV production.

Rogue with long red and white hair, furrowed brows, and an intense expression is shown in a close-up. Tears run down their face, highlighting an emotional moment reminiscent of the X-Men. The lighting casts deep shadows, accentuating the dramatic scene.
Credit: Marvel Studios

Related: Josh Keaton Takes Over Captain America Role Just Nine Months Before New Movie

All episodes of X-Men ’97 are now streaming on Disney+. The show features the characters Scott Summers/Cyclops (Ray Chase), Jean Grey (Jennifer Hale), Ororo Munroe/Storm (Alison Sealy Smith), Henry McCoy/Beast (George Buza), Morph (J. P. Karliak), Rogue (Lenore Zann), Remy LaBeau/Gambit (A. J. LoCascio), Jubilation Lee/Jubilee (Holly Chou), Logan/Wolverine (Cal Dodd), Erik Lehnsherr/Magneto (Matthew Waterson), Kurt Wagner/Nightcrawler (Adrian Hough), Roberto Da Costa/Sunspot (Gui Agustini), Bishop (Isaac Robinson-Smith), and Professor Charles Xavier/Professor X (Ross Marquand).

What do you think the future of the X-Men and Captain Marvel is? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!

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