Move over, Captain America. The Air Force is about to get its own big-screen superheroine.
Hollywood trade magazine Variety yesterday broke the news that actress Brie Larson, who won an Oscar for last year's drama "Room," is now the favorite to star in the superhero movie "Captain Marvel." The 2019 film will be the latest in Disney's series of big-screen movies based on Marvel Comics characters, which have also included The Avengers, Iron Man and Thor.
In the comic books, Captain Marvel — AKA Carol Danvers — is an Air Force pilot and intelligence officer who gained the powers of flight and super-strength when she was caught in an alien weapon's explosion and had her DNA fused with an alien. Captain Marvel can also shoot blasts of energy from her hands.
Despite the rank implied by her superhero name, in the comics Danvers actually reached the rank of colonel. She retired from the Air Force as an O-6, worked for NASA and SHIELD, led a branch of the Avengers, and is now the commander of a space station that essentially serves as a forward operating base defending Earth from alien invasion.
Captain Marvel won't be the first Air Force superhero in an Avengers-related movie, but she will be the first to star in her own movie. Don Cheadle and Terrence Howard have played Iron Man sidekick Air Force Col. James Rhodes — AKA War Machine — in the Iron Man movies, as well as "Avengers: Age of Ultron" and "Captain America: Civil War." Captain America sidekick Sam Wilson — better known as Falcon — is also an Air Force pararescueman.
(In the 2011 "Green Lantern" movie, Ryan Reynolds does play a test pilot, but one who flies for a private company instead of the Air Force. And the less said about that movie, the better.)
Larson first rose to fame on the Showtime series "United States of Tara." She also appeared in movies such as "21 Jump Street," "Trainwreck" and "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World."
Stephen Losey is the air warfare reporter for Defense News. He previously covered leadership and personnel issues at Air Force Times, and the Pentagon, special operations and air warfare at Military.com. He has traveled to the Middle East to cover U.S. Air Force operations.