Maria Rambeau is Captain Marvel’s best friend. Right? Maybe not. According to a new rumor from insider Daniel Richtman, there are plans to establish the two are in a romantic relationship in Captain Marvel 2. Because Maria is no longer around in the present day in the sequel, this would be established by Brie Larson’s character mentioning the nature of their relationship at some point during the sequel.
This may be a new rumor from Daniel Richtman, who just a few days ago heard that Carol will be established as gay in the sequel, but the relationship between Maria and Carol is something fans have speculated about for a long time. Brie Larson has summed up their relationship in the past by saying that Carol has a “special love” for Maria. No one involved in the film has ever given us explicit hope that the two ever dated. However, Carol’s sexuality is never explicitly stated in the first movie. This leaves a lot of room for interpretation. Maria’s always there at Carol’s side when she needs her most. Reminding her who she is. When Carol is down, Maria brings her back to herself and reminds her of the power and responsibility she carries. Maria is a great friend. She’d also make a great girlfriend.
But would Brie Larson’s Carol Danvers make a great girlfriend? New revelations in WandaVision about the end of Maria Rambeau’s life make one wonder. In shows like Lois & Clark, or of course movies like The Dark Knight, we’ve seen that dating a superhero is kind of a drag. You don’t always survive it. They always have greater responsibilities. You’re never their number one priority. Monica Rambeau is Maria’s daughter. If they establish Maria and Carol were romantically involved in Captain Marvel 2, Monica may have feelings about Carol not being there when Maria needed her most. It’s unclear when or if Brie Larson would be involved in a project that would address those years in Maria’s life.
All of these speculations get away from the bigger implications of Brie Larson’s character dating Maria Rambeau in Captain Marvel 2. Establishing Captain Marvel’s sexuality would make her the first openly gay or bisexual hero we’ve seen in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Of course, there may be some reactions to doing this through just mentioning the pair were a couple. All of the scenes we’ve seen with Maria and Carol show their relationship as platonic. To change that now and then say “You didn’t know it, but they were a couple” isn’t as bold as having two women hold hands, kiss, or care for each other on-screen in an established romantic relationship. Just having Brie Larson’s character say, “Oh yes, we were romantic” after the fact feels a bit like throwing fans a bone.
It’s been established that in Phase Four Marvel is moving toward a more diverse MCU. With the success of Black Panther and Brie Larson’s Captain Marvel, we’ve seen big changes. Marvel has announced more projects with female leads, BIPOC, and intentions toward LGBTQ representation. If this rumor proves true, will retconning Maria and Carol’s relationship be sufficient as a means of representation? Or will fans feel cheated?
Hopefully, if the rumor proves true, Brie Larson and director Nia DaCosta will find a way to handle that shift in the telling of their relationship in a way that feels more satisfying to fans who’ve speculated about their relationship for years.
Currently, we can expect to see Brie Larson in Captain Marvel 2 on November 11, 2022.