2021 started off with a bang for Marvel Studios thanks to the MCU's debut streaming outing, WandaVision. The show earned rave reviews while topping the viewership charts for Disney+ upon its arrival, which eventually led to more than 20 Emmy Award nominations and three wins for the team at the premier awards show.
The show's centered around Elizabeth Olsen's Wanda Maximoff and Paul Bettany's Vision, although it helped explore characters from other corners of the MCU as well. One of these was Teyonah Parris' Monica Rambeau, who had her first proper introduction as a SWORD agent-turned-superhero after playing a minor role in 2019's Captain Marvel.
Right at the start of Monica's story in Episode 4, WandaVision revealed that her mother Maria had lost her battle with cancer two years after Monica was a victim of Thanos' snap in Avengers: Infinity War. While this came as a shock to fans in 2021, Marvel Studios reportedly had this event planned for a long time.
Lashanna Lynch on Maria Rambeau's Death
In an interview with ComicBook.com, Captain Marvel star Lashanna Lynch spoke about the death of Maria Rambeau from 2021's WandaVision.
Lynch revealed that she spoke to Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige about Maria's passing "over a year, year-and-a-half-plus" prior to the event coming to screen in January 2021. He was also very particular about not wanting Lynch "to find out through anyone else:"
"Kevin Feige, who is the nicest guy, personally emailed me way before, I want to say, over a year, year-and-a-half-plus, before WandaVision aired and explained what was happening, how it was going to happen, when it was going to happen. And him specifically saying that he didn't want me to find out through anyone else. So there was a lot of care around that."
While it was a sad moment for Lynch, she also realized that her character "had such a massive impact on Captain Marvel" and expressed her pride for the work she put in with the role. Particularly with the Rambeau legacy continuing through Monica, the Maria Rambeau star couldn't help but express her joy at how the story is unfolding:
"It was sad to read, but also, because I think Maria had such a massive impact on Captain Marvel and everyone loved her and really related to her, I felt good with the work that I did there and felt good that they were able to now continue her legacy in her daughter, which is amazing. And the introduction to her powers in WandaVision is also amazing, so I feel genuinely proud. I'm just happy I knew beforehand and didn't find out online somewhere."
Lynch Proud of WandaVision Story
While Maria Rambeau's death only had a small amount of discussion in Episode 4, it helped set the tone in a big way for Monica Rambeau's story as an adult.
Captain Marvel set up a strong relationship between mother and daughter as Monica encouraged Maria to go up into space with Carol Danvers and Nick Fury to finish Mar-Vell's mission. Although they were only supporting players in that movie, particularly in Monica's case, it set up an important dynamic that made her mother's death that much more painful to deal with.
As for Lynch herself, it's clear that she's supportive of Marvel's decision to bring Maria's story to an end in one fashion, as she looks forward to seeing Teyonah Parris take on her intense journey as a hero.
Interestingly, there are rumors pointing to Lynch making her MCU return as Maria Rambeau in 2022's The Marvels, although nothing has been confirmed from either party. Whether this comes to reality or not, the actress seems more than happy with her experience in the MCU, even considering her character's sad fate on Disney+.
Captain Marvel and WandaVision are available to stream on Disney+. The Marvels is currently filming and will release in theaters on November 11, 2022.