DeWanda Wise Reveals the Real Reason Why She Exited Captain Marvel (Exclusive)

By Russ Milheim Posted:
DeWanda Wise, Captain Marvel, Maria Rambeau

DeWanda Wise provided the real reason why she exited the role of Maria Rambeau in 2019's Captain Marvel for Marvel Studios.

Wise was cast as the best friend of Carol Danvers by January 2018 but ended up parting ways with the project by March before production began in earnest that Spring. 

At the time, it was reported that Wise's departure from Captain Marvel was due to scheduling conflicts with filming the second season of She’s Gotta Have.

More recently, some singled out a previous quote from Wise calling the process behind making a Marvel Studios movie "[her] own personal nightmare."

As fans know, the role of Maria Rambeau ultimately went to Lashana Lynch - who was cast in March 2018. Lynch would go on to portray the character in Captain Marvel, 2022's Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, and 2023's The Marvels (in an extra special role).

DeWanda Wise Clears the Air About Her Captain Marvel Exit

DeWanda Wise
DeWanda Wise

In an exclusive interview with The Direct's Russ Milheim, Imaginary star DeWanda Wise explained why she exited the role of Maria in Captain Marvel.

While some of her previous comments were interpreted as the actress realizing that the Marvel Studios filmmaking process wasn't what she wanted to do, Wise noted that isn't why she had to exit.

Instead, it was "because it conflicted with Season 2 of She's Gotta Have It" and that "the concern about acting in blockbusters is no exclusive to Marvel:" 

"No, but that was a funny headline. I had to exit because it conflicted with Season 2 of 'She's Gotta Have It.' It was just both of those things were true at one time. You know what I mean? It was like, can—That was always my question. You know, the concern about acting in blockbusters is not exclusive to Marvel. It's acting in blockbusters..." 

Previously, Wise told Collider's Perri Nemiroff that after speaking with a crew member on a Marvel Studios project, the process behind the movie sounded "crazy and terrible:"

“When I almost did 'Captain Marvel,' there was a crew member, because I was going down the process, and they said to me, ‘Yeah, you know how it is, these movies, you hit your mark, you say your line, you go home’ ... I heard that, and I was like, ‘That is my own personal nightmare. That sounds crazy and terrible to me.’”

DeWanda Wise told The Direct that she feels there are some great performances in Marvel films, specifically noting that "Robert Downey Jr. is extraordinary," and "Hugh Jackman in Logan is literally what made [her] want to veer into action:"

"I think about some of the greatest performances. I think about [how] Robert Downey Jr. is extraordinary. Like he's extraordinary in those series. Hugh Jackman in 'Logan.' Hugh Jackman in Logan is literally what made me want to veer into action. I was like, 'Oh, if you can? Well, if we're doing that then maybe I will stop doing these indie movies and see what you guys are doing over here.' So yeah, no, it wasn't that at all."

When asked if she would take a Marvel role, Wise said:

"Yeah, if the chance came and it was meaty enough."

Does DeWanda Wise Have a Future in the MCU?

It seems clear that DeWanda Wise would be more than up for a role with Marvel Studios in the MCU.

This isn't surprising given some of her comments in past interviews.

Back in 2022, she spoke about how "very disappointing" it was to let the role of Maria Rambeau in Captain Marvel go. However, it's easy to see how the MCU might not be the best fit for the actress, as she's been adamant about not doing "repeat performances," which is the bread and butter of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Despite that, the actress told The Movie Dweeb in March 2024 that she's interested in playing the X-Men member Storm. Wise is so passionate that she clarified that "it's the only Marvel character [She's] ever been interested in."

No matter what, it's probably best that Wise wasn't Maria Rambeau because now the options for her possible MCU introduction are nearly limitless. If the actress has aspirations to embody a character such as Storm, then she shouldn't settle for anything less.

DeWanda Wise's recent film, Imaginary, hits digital platforms on Tuesday, May 7 and Blu-ray and DVD on Tuesday, May 14.

Catch up on more Marvel news on The Direct:

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Loki Season 3 Could Solve Marvel Studios' Kang Problem Perfectly

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- About The Author: Russ Milheim
Russ Milheim is the Industry Relations Coordinator at The Direct. On top of utilizing his expertise on the many corners of today’s entertainment to cover the latest news and theories, he establishes and maintains communication and relations between the outlet and the many studio and talent representatives.