5 Reasons Why Anna Kendrick Should Play Marvel’s Squirrel Girl
Iron Man wasn’t much more than a B-list Batman wannabe until Marvel and the incomparable Robert Downey, Jr. made him an international icon with 2008’s franchise starting film, Iron Man. The Guardians of the Galaxy team were even less than that — just a C, D, or even F-list superhero team — before Marvel and director James Gunn used them to create one of the most standout films of 2014. If those heroes can be rescued from obscurity and turned into matinee idols, why can’t Squirrel Girl?
This oddball Marvel hero, also known by her civilian name Doreen Green, has always embraced the inherent silliness of her premise, which is exactly how it sounds — a young woman with super-powered abilities mirroring those of your average squirrel and the ability to communicate with said rodents.
The character’s chipper demeanor was created to contrast with the typically brooding superheroes of the ’90s, giving the comics a lighthearted tone that would mesh well with the current interest in comic book films where comedy is roughly as important as super-powered action. Here are five reasons we’d love to see Anna Kendrick take the title role in a hypothetical Squirrel Girl film.
1. She wants to do it
Really this is the most important consideration. Kendrick has already expressed interest in playing this offbeat Marvel character for the big-screen, saying that her brother “sent me a Squirrel Girl comic because he thinks I should [play her]. I don’t know what Squirrel Girl does other than be half squirrel, but I could be half squirrel!” If there’s one thing previous Marvel films have demonstrated, it’s that half the battle when it comes to comic book films is casting the right person, and most people already seem to agree that Kendrick is the right person for Squirrel Girl.
2. She looks like a squirrel
And I mean that in the best possible way. Kendrick is a beautiful woman who just happens to share a few features in common with the adorable rodent that inspired Squirrel Girl — including her mouth, thin face, petite frame, striking eyes, and chestnut brown hair. She matches the design of Squirrel Girl to an extent (though you could say that for many thin brunette women), but I’d argue this is the rare case where a flesh-and-blood actor is more perfect for the role than the original cartoon.
3. Her persona matches the character
Kendrick isn’t exactly a movie star, but she’s nonetheless become uniquely popular for her down-to-earth persona, both on-screen and off, giving interviews that seem to match the awkward, intelligent, self-aware, unfailingly sweet characters she’s portrayed in films like 50/50, The Voices, and Pitch Perfect. Her persona, or at least various aspects of it, matches that of Squirrel Girl almost to a tee. I would actually buy the naive hope that drove Squirrel Girl to request to be Iron Man’s sidekick in her first appearance if it was coming from the ever-sweet Kendrick. She’s an actress who is capable of creating depth and realism in female characters that might otherwise be totally flat — you know, like a comic book character!
4. Marvel’s best directors want to do it
Following the news of Kendrick’s interest in the role of Squirrel Girl, Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Civil War directors Joe and Anthony Russo — who, in the absence of Avengers director Joss Whedon, stand as the Marvel Cinematic Universes’s (MCU) most bankable directorial team — expressed their own enthusiasm for the idea. “It would be perfect casting, and we’re huge Anna Kendrick fans,” Joe Russo said of the idea.
The pair probably wouldn’t direct the proposed Squirrel Girl film, but whoever might end up helming the project could still learn from their mentorship on how to balance theme, action, character, and tone as masterfully as they’ve done for the MCU so far.
5. It’s perfect for Marvel’s tone
For all their talk of Tesseracts and Infinity Stones, Marvel’s films aren’t really about intergalactic threats or thrilling battles — they’re about heroes audiences want to spend time with, because they’re likable and human and funny. Squirrel Girl is all those things, and only a shade more ridiculous than some of the other heroes that have earned their own franchises (who ever though Thor could headline his own films?).
Kendrick’s a natural fit for the uber-specific niche Marvel has carved out for themselves, where action is often less important than character-based comedy and likable actors. Squirrel Girl has a lot of optimism and naiveté that would provide plenty of laughs while giving her room to grow in emotionally-involving ways.
If Marvel wanted to take the character, and their entire cinematic tone, a little further, they could take a page from Deadpool’s book and turn her into a meta-commentator on her own adventures, given that she introduced several issues of Great Lakes Avengers comics by wryly commenting on the events within each issue. It would be something new for the studio, as another strong but unique female presence in the Marvel film canon would be welcome. There isn’t much else to say except this — Marvel, please make a Squirrel Girl film starring Anna Kendrick. You’ve really no excuse not to.
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