When it comes to casting news, there are a lot of factors at play. First, where did the casting news originate? Was it a rumor posted on reddit, or did one of the major trades—who really don’t like to be wrong—break the news? Second, how was the casting categorized? Is the actor in question “in talks”—meaning there’s interest both from the actor and the studio and a contract may or may not be in process—or is the actor “eyed” for the role, meaning he or she is simply the studio’s first choice but there’s no guarantee it’ll definitely happen?
All of this must be taken under consideration until a studio officially announces casting on a project, but in the case of Ben Mendeslohn and Marvel Studios’ Brie Larson-led superhero film Captain Marvel, it sounds like the Rogue One actor could definitely be joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Last month, Variety first broke the news that Mendeslohn is “in talks” to play the villain in Captain Marvel, which will take place in the 1990s and sees Larson’s superhero battling the alien race known as the Skrulls. The move made sense not only because Mendelsohn’s a great actor and just starred in the Disney-distributed Rogue One, but also because Mendelsohn’s Mississippi Grind directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck are set to helm Captain Marvel.
But no official confirmation has been made regarding Mendelsohn’s involvement just yet, so when Collider’s own Steve Weintraub spoke with the actor at the press day for the upcoming (and terrific) Darkest Hour, he asked Mendelsohn if he might be joining the MCU. The actor tried to play coy, but the smirk on his face seemed to suggest talks are ongoing:
“Wow, that would be lovely. That would be really nice. But I know that Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden—I think I know how this one got started because they did Mississippi Grind obviously, and I think they’re a great choice and a really interesting choice for that film.”
When asked about the smile on his face, Mendelsohn humorously tried to deflect:
“Well you see a smile because I’m amused that people even bother to ask. Only because it’s one of those things, it’s sort of like being in the secret service for a moment. You can neither confirm nor deny… It would be thrilling, I’m sure.”
The actor then immediately threw himself into a fit of laughter. So yeah, it sounds like contracts are likely being worked out right now between Mendelsohn’s reps and Marvel Studios. And there’s no guarantee the deal makes—Marvel notoriously signs actors for multi-picture contracts and Mendelsohn’s a busy guy, so there’s a lot to think about. But he seems delighted by the notion of starring in Captain Marvel, and it should be noted that when his name came up for Rogue One, the actor toed a similar line of “Well that would be interesting.” So yeah, don’t be surprised if Ben Mendelsohn joins the MCU in short order.