Captain Marvel, the seminal Doctor Who-like Marvel superhero character that can be argued to have ignited the Marvel/DC comic book rivalry, was announced amongst a slate of films set for release over the next several years by the comic giant and will be the first female led feature from the company. The character of Captain Marvel has been portrayed by seven individuals in the Marvel Comics Universe, many of which have been female -- including its current portrayer, Carol Danvers.
The announcement comes on the heels of Marvel's controversial decision to portray their popular Thor character as a female in the current comic book arc and rival DC's announcement of a stand-alone Wonder Woman feature film.
According to Michael Idato of the Sydney Morning Herald, due largely to the camp nature of their portrayal in 1970's television, studio executives have had less confidence in female led superhero properties, particularly when signing off on multi-million dollar budgets.
Captain Marvel was the most popular character of Golden Era comics publisher Fawcett Publications and the center of a lawsuit brought upon Fawcett by DC which claimed that the Captain Marvel character was too similar to their Superman character. Upon Fawcett's dissolution, the Captain Marvel trademark was bought by Marvel in the late 60's and the character was later licensed back to DC, who then changed the name of the character to Shazam! for trademark purposes.
Jennifer Lawrence, who recently made headlines when nude photos were leaked on the internet after her iCloud was hacked, is rumored by HitFix to be the leading choice to portray Captain Marvel and is already a darling amongst the Comic-Con sect with prominent involvement in the X-Men and Hunger Games franchises. Other top candidates include Looper and Edge of Tomorrow star Emily Blunt and Battlestar Galactica darling Katie Sackhoff.
Captain Marvel joins a slate alongside eight other films announced in what Marvel is calling "Phase Three" of their film universe that includes Black Panther, the first Marvel feature to star an African-American lead (Chadwick Boseman, known primarily for his television roles in such hits as ER, Castle, and Fringe and is most known for his turn as Jackie Robinson in the film 42), two Avengers sequels, Doctor Strange, the third Captain America installment that is set to launch the film adaptation of Marvel's Civil War saga, as well as the sequel to the mega-blockbuster Guardians of the Galaxy. Captain Marvel is set for release July 6, 2018.