Besides the Hunger Games films, Elizabeth Banks hasn’t attached herself to many big, blockbuster franchises. We have it on good authority, however, that this is about to change. Our trusted and proven source has let Giant Freakin Robot know that Elizabeth Banks has just joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Who will Elizabeth Banks be playing in Marvel, and in what project? On those scores, our source wasn’t able to provide concrete word. But they believe the most likely landing place for Banks is in the upcoming Disney+ series Agatha: House of Darkness.
The absolutely hilarious Kathryn Hahn (Afternoon Delight) made her own MCU debut with the first original Marvel series to premiere on Disney+ — WandaVision. Originally appearing to be the traditional sitcom nosy neighbor, Hahn’s Agatha Harkness proved to be the villain of the piece who plotted to steal the Wanda Maximoff’s (Elizabeth Olsen) immense power. Wanda imprisons Harkness in her own “nosy neighbor” persona at the end of WandaVision, but the character proved popular enough that she soon had her own series green lit. Elizabeth Banks would be a perfect fit for such a series; possibly as another powerful witch either working with or against Harkness.
Any MCU fans with long memories and the penchant for holding grudges may not exactly welcome Elizabeth Banks to the ranks of Marvel with open arms. Back in 2019, the Hunger Games star faced a lot of social media backlash in the wake of comments she made not only about that year’s Captain Marvel, but 2017’s Wonder Woman. Banks’ reboot of Charlie’s Angels released in 2019 to mixed reviews and disappointing box office numbers. Speaking to the Herald Sun (via IndieWire), Banks said, “If [Charlie’s Angels] doesn’t make money it reinforces a stereotype in Hollywood that men don’t go see women do action movies.” Confronted with the reality that men did go pay to see movies like Captain Marvel and Wonder Woman, Banks countered with, “They’ll go and see a comic book movie with Wonder Woman and Captain Marvel because that’s a male genre. So even though those are movies about women, they put them in the context of feeding the larger comic book world, so it’s all about, yes, you’re watching a Wonder Woman movie but we’re setting up three other characters or we’re setting up Justice League.”
In a sense, however, you could make the argument that Elizabeth Banks is not only already part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but that she’s been a part of it longer than most. Some of the actress’ first big screen roles were as J. Jonah Jameson’s (J.K. Simmons) secretary Betty Brant at the Daily Bugle starting in 2002’s Spider-Man and continuing through each of the Sam Raimi-directed Spidey flicks. With Tobey Maguire’s appearance as the Peter Parker of those films in Spider-Man: No Way Home, then one could argue those films were part of the MCU before the MCU even existed.
Before Elizabeth Banks officially joins the prime Marvel Cinematic Universe, she’ll be appearing in the timely Call Jane. Banks will be leading a film with an impressive cast including Sigourney Weaver (Aliens), Kate Mara (House of Cards), and Aida Turturro (The Sopranos). The dramedy will be set in the 1960s when it’s extremely difficult for a woman in America to legally get an abortion. Call Jane set for a wide theatrical release in October.