Captain Marvel introduced audiences to U.S. Air Force pilot (and Carol Danvers' best friend) Maria Rambeau, played by Lashana Lynch. The character resonated with audiences and became a pivotal part of Captain Marvel's live-action world. Sadly, her MCU career was short-lived.
In WandaVision, Maria's daughter Monica learned that her mother had passed away in the five years between Thanos snapping half of the universe out of existence and the Avengers bringing everyone back. Her death was an unexpected development for fans, but luckily, it wasn't the same for Lynch herself, as the actress got the opportunity to learn about her character's passing early on courtesy of Kevin Feige.
During an interview with Comicbook.com, the No Time To Die star revealed that the Marvel Studios president emailed her long before WandaVision was released to tell her about Maria's fate:
"Kevin Feige, who is the nicest guy, personally emailed me [...] I want to say, over a year [...] 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."
Lynch then shared her reaction to the news, stating that she was saddened by it, but also felt proud of her character's legacy being picked up by Monica Rambeau:
"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 [...] And the introduction to her powers in WandaVision is also amazing, so I feel genuinely proud."
The actress also stated she was happy to learn about Maria's death from Marvel Studios first, as opposed to hearing about it from another source later on.
Killing off a character as important as Maria Rambeau off-screen ran the risk of undermining her journey in Captain Marvel, as well as the connection fans had developed with her. Fortunately, Marvel Studios handled her passing smartly by ensuring that her relevance in Captain Marvel's mythology and the overall MCU would not just evaporate. On one hand, her memory will live on through Monica Rambeau (whom we know is going to become a major superhero soon), and on the other, her legacy will continue through S.W.O.R.D., the organization she helped found.
Monica Rambeau will return in The Marvels, which flies into theaters on November 11, 2022.