Surprise heroes and villains return for Brie Larson’s Captain Marvel

Familiar faces from Guardians of the Galaxy and Agents of SHIELD are coming back to the MCU

Djimon Hounsou, Lee Pace and Clark Gregg as Korath the Pursuer, Ronan the Accuser and Agent Coulson (Marvel, HF)

Brie Larson’s upcoming superhero movie Captain Marvel has just added a collection of former and current Marvel stars to its cast list, with the actors set to portray younger versions of the characters thanks to the new story’s 90s setting.

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While we already knew that Samuel L Jackson was set to reprise his role as super-spy Nick Fury, it’s now been revealed that his fellow SHIELD agent Phil Coulson (played by Clark Gregg), will also be back in the action, after appearing sporadically throughout the first “phase” of Marvel films up until the 2012 Avengers film.

After his character appeared to die in that film, Gregg continued in the role for spin-off TV series Agents of SHIELD (where Coulson was revealed to have survived), but he has not appeared in any of Marvel’s cinema offerings for the last six years.

Given Captain Marvel’s 1990s setting, his appearance is also unlikely to confuse fans of the movies who haven’t seen Agents of SHIELD, and who probably still assume Coulson to be dead.

Coulson is not the only MCU character returning from the grave in Captain Marvel. According to Marvel Studios the film has also added actors Lee Pace and Djimon Hounsou, who played main villain Ronan the Accuser and his sidekick Korath the Pursuer respectively in 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy.

The pair’s inclusion in Captain Marvel is particularly ingenious, as their alien species – the Kree, in case you’ve forgotten – is the source of Captain Marvel’s unexpected powers, which in the film come to her via one of the Kree’s most respected warriors called Mar-Vell (Jude Law).

In other words, Captain Marvel is bringing back the only two Kree characters we’ve previously met in the MCU in order to help cement viewers’ understanding of their society. Given the new film’s earlier setting, we can see what the two men were like decades before they began their (ultimately doomed) war against other species in the first Guardians of the Galaxy.

In the release announcing the new additions to the cast Marvel also included a handy plot summary, as well as a photo of star Brie Larson with Brigadier General Jeannie Leavitt, 57th Wing Commander, who the actor met as part of her research for playing her Air Force-serving character. You can read the synopsis below.

Based on the Marvel comic character first appearing in 1968, the story follows Carol Danvers as she becomes one of the universe’s most powerful heroes when Earth is caught in the middle of a galactic war between two alien races.  Set in the 1990s, “Captain Marvel” is an all-new adventure from a previously unseen period in the history of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

The “two alien races” being referred to here are probably the Kree and shape-shifting aliens the Skrulls, as the Kree/Skrull war was a huge event in the history of Marvel comics that may finally be being adapted for the big screen. Or, you know, the Kree could just be going after the Nova Corps again like in Guardians of the Galaxy. Who knows?

Captain Marvel will also star Ben Mendelson, Lashana Lynch, Gemma Chan, Algenis Perez Soto, Rune Temte and McKenna Grace alongside Larson, Law, Hounsou, Pac, Jackson and Gregg, and will be directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck.

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Captain Marvel will be released in cinemas in March 2019