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Ben Mendelsohn played coy when pressed about his new role in Captain Marvel in an interview with Screen Rant. Between performances like the fiery Orson Krennic in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and the unscrupulous Danny Rayburn in Netflix’s Bloodline, the veteran Australian actor has emerged in recent years as one of the industry’s more magnetic villainous actors. He has portrayed characters ranging from a little shady to downright despicable, and that’s likely to continue with his addition to the cast of Captain Marvel.
Disney and Marvel Studios have reportedly been in talks with Mendelsohn since at least late October to play the film’s big bad – possibly the leader of the Skrulls, which have been confirmed as antagonists. But he could also be playing Kree commander Yon-Rogg, who would likely be entangled in a rivalry with Mar-Vell (reportedly played by Jude Law) and/or the already-confirmed war with the Skrulls. One thing’s for certain: if Mendelsohn knows exactly what role he will play, he isn’t telling anyone.
The actor recently sat down with Screen Rant at a press event to promote the new Winston Churchill biopic Darkest Hour, in which he plays King George VI. But when pressed with questions about his role in Captain Marvel, framed around how it would compare to his role as Krennic in Rogue One, Mendelsohn played coy on the topic. Here’s the full exchange:
Screen Rant: You know, I do got to ask, we’re from Screen Rant, I get to ask you these questions. You play the big bad in Rogue One. You’re going to play the villain Captain Marvel, which we’re guessing is Yon-Rogg…
Ben Mendelsohn: Whoa.
Screen Rant: Possibly? A little Captain Marvel? Well what distinguishes the two villains apart?
Mendelsohn: No idea.
Screen Rant: No idea?
Screen Rant: Have you not heard about this Captain Marvel thing?
Mendelsohn: No, no. I’ve heard about it. I’ve heard about it plenty, but I’ve no idea.
Ben Mendelsohn as Orson Krennic In Rogue One A Star Wars Story Ben Mendelsohn Plays Coy About Captain Marvel Villain Role
Screen Rant: OK. OK. With the villain in Rogue One…
Screen Rant: Are you expecting more physicality and with the Marvel Studios…
Mendelsohn: I have no idea.
Screen Rant: Really?
Screen Rant: Nothing yet?
Mendelsohn: No. I have no idea. (Laughs)
Mendelsohn was similarly coy during a recent interview. But Screen Rant asked him specifically about Yon-Rogg due to a recent report that he was all but confirmed to play the character. Still, even that story acknowledged that “very little is set in stone” for the film overall, let alone the cast. Considering some of Mendelsohn’s other villainous roles, he sounds like a perfect fit for Yon-Rogg, a vindictive colonel overcome with jealousy toward Kree rival Mar-Vell.
Regardless of who he actually ends up playing, it would have been hard for Disney and Marvel to find a better choice to play one of Captain Marvel’s main bad guys. He’s long proven capable of depicting compellingly detestable characters and would likely bring more of the same here, even if his menacing stares are layered with makeup or CGI as one of the Skrulls.
The rumor that Mendelsohn would be portraying Yon-Rogg would directly conflict with Variety’s report that he was being eyed to play the leader of the Skrulls, so it’s still quite unclear where he will ultimately land among the Captain Marvel cast. Wherever the confirmation eventually comes from, it sounds like it won’t be coming from Mendelsohn himself.