After seeing Captain Marvel, we’re ready for Lashana Lynch to go higher, further, and faster.
The British actress portrays Maria Rambeau, an Air Force fighter pilot who is also Carol Danvers’ (Brie Larson) best friend. “Maria’s got a strength that’s undeniable, in that you don’t feel like you need to help her,” Lynch previously told EW. “She is thrown into many a situation in this movie that she’s never been a part of, never seen, never experienced — and she just learns it, immediately. She’s very resilient and very strong.”
While Marvel has tackled romance numerous times, this is the first time the cinematic giant has delved so deeply into female friendship, a point Larson stressed in her recent cover story interview with EW.
“[We wanted] to make that big love— that lost love, that love that’s found again—be with [Carol’s] best friend,” Larson explained. “To show that, that’s incredibly powerful and gripping, and you could go to the ends of the Earth and fight till the end for your best friend. It’s perfect to me and so meaningful.”
Lynch echoed this sentiment when she talked with us last fall. “There’s a certain level of female sisterhood that I haven’t seen in a superhero film before, that we have in abundance,” she said.
Costar Samuel L. Jackson finds their friendship one of the most moving parts of the film, previously telling EW, “[Brie’s] relationship with Lashana is touching and uplifting, the conversations they have about being the only two women that were pilots and flying, and them encouraging each other and supporting each other and that whole thing, it’s one of those things…It’s sorta eye-wetting.”
While she plays a key role in this first entry in the Captain Marvel mythology, Lynch’s future in the Marvel Cinematic Universe remains up in the air. The film is set during the 1990s, while Avengers 4 is poised to pick up in the present-day timeline of the MCU.
However, Lynch’s character is also a single mother to a young daughter named Monica who holds a key place in Marvel comic book lore as the first female Captain Marvel to appear in the comics. Monica debuted in comics in 1982, while Carol Danvers didn’t formally become Captain Marvel on the page until 2012.
Monica went on to become the first African-American woman to join and lead the Avengers and has since shed the Captain Marvel moniker to go by various names, including Pulsar, Spectrum, and Photon. So, it’s quite likely Lynch, or at least her onscreen daughter, will return to the MCU in some capacity á la Peggy Carter’s (Hayley Atwell) return as an older figure in several films.
Either way, it’s a major milestone in Lynch’s career. She was previously best known stateside for her role as Rosaline Capulet (yes, that Capulet) in ABC and Shondaland’s short-lived Still Star-Crossed series, which spun the rich backstory and after-effects of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.
Larson only has kind things to say about her costar, telling EW, “I feel like the movie shifts when Lashana’s on the screen. I feel like my eye goes to her, and I feel this groundedness when she’s on screen. She just commands presence in this way that is so powerful.”
It’s a wonderful twist of fate for the actress who was the last piece of the Captain Marvel casting puzzle to fall into place. DeWanda Wise had signed on to play Maria but dropped out due to scheduling conflicts. While in Los Angeles for the annual round of auditions known as “pilot season,” Lynch got the call to test for the part and ultimately got the news while out to dinner with friends.
“I heard ‘congratulations’ and literally just dropped on the ground, crying in sobs of tears,” Lynch told EW. “My friends were filming me, just jumping up and down.”
And this is only the beginning — regardless of what happens to Maria Rambeau down the road, Lynch already has two more projects in the pipeline. She’ll appear in the UK-produced sci-fi adventure film The Intergalactic Adventures of Max Cloud.
More notably, Lynch will star in another comic book adaptation, the television adaptation of the critically acclaimed comic book series Y: The Last Man by Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra, which has been ordered to series by FX. The series centers on a post-apocalyptic world where scores of survivors don gas masks in the early days after the apocalypse, unsure if a contagion in the air caused the event. The titular Yorick disguises himself with a mask, realizing he might be the only surviving man.
Barry Keoghan stars as Yorick alongside Diane Lane as Yorick’s mother, Imogen Poots, Juliana Canfield, Marin Ireland, Amber Tamblyn, and Lynch. The series is executive produced by Michael Green (Logan, Blade Runner 2049) and Aïda Mashaka Croal (Luke Cage), who also serve as showrunners.
Lynch is attached to portray Agent 355, a shadowy figure from the comics who eventually becomes a love interest for Yorick after serving as his bodyguard. So she’ll likely continue to show the same strength and dynamic complexity that’s endearing her to audiences as Maria Rambeau.
Higher, further, faster indeed.
Additional reporting by Devan Coggan.
- Meet Maria Rambeau: Captain Marvel’s Lashana Lynch introduces her high-flying Air Force pilot
- A guide to the many Captain Marvels over the years
- Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson blast to the past with EW’s Captain Marvel issue