Marvel’s first female-led superhero movie Captain Marvel is four years away, giving fans and reporters time to ply actors with questions concerning their potential involvement. Behold, the art of fancasting. Dragged from its humble, happy residence on message boards and subtweets, it has evolved into a part of mainstream movie gossip. It presides over the potential cinematic future of beloved characters, and the actors whose names — whether they like it or not — are connected to those roles.

No one can argue that the comic book canon leads this effort, hence the whirl of attention paid to Captain Marvel. While aficionados with years of knowledge stacked up chuck in their two cents, it’s the actors whose comments can provide the greater insight. Do you want a facsimile of Carol Danvers who’s clueless about the character’s heritage? Or does gusto and talent trump comic-book familiarity? Here’s our ranking of every actress tied to the role so far: and how their comments might save or doom them.

12. Sienna Miller

She says:Captain Marvel? Is that a girl?… I’m not someone who read a lot of comics and I don’t really know that world particularly well…but I think it would be quite fun - for my kid as well. She’d like it.”

Maternalism sets a precedent for the rest of the entrants on the list. “Doing it for the kids” is a selfless act. A willingness — like the untold thesps who ditch “real” movies for the confines of the vocal booth on animated kiddie flicks — to make career decisions based on what’s gonna make you a cool parent? Eh. It’s tough to assess Miller’s suitability based solely on her desire — which stems from a lovely warm place — yet based on her acting skills? It’s easy.

11. Maika Monroe

She says: “Someone was asking me the other day about Captain Marvel? That would be what I want. Start campaigning me to be Captain Marvel!”

Clever girl. Monroe might indeed be telling the God’s honest truth, or cooking up the old “I’ve got a friend” excuse as fuel to launch her Captain Marvel campaign platform. Points for effort on this tactic. But, we’re already excited that she’s taken up the scream queen mantle. Might be a bit much to juggle the horror and the ‘heroes.

10. Bryce Dallas Howard

She says: (when asked by an interviewer if she’d be interested in the part) “Oh my God, will you write that? Will you write that please? Yes, let’s start a campaign now. That would be rad. Those movies are so fantastic, because talk about just these incredibly drawn characters! That’s the joy of the comics, is that you fall in love with these characters and it’s who they are that carries you from journey to journey to journey… it’s not just about set pieces. It’s really about who these people are, and so, yes, I just would love to be in a Marvel film.”

Duh-damn! Howard’s been at the MCU-laid. Enthusiasm goes a long way, and her comments make Monroe and Miller’s responses look positively flaccid. Biggin’ up the substance over style might turn the heads of Marvel brass, or — taken the wrong way — turn their noses up. Nobody likes a kiss-ass.

9. Charlize Theron

Theron’s name was brought into the conversation back in May when OK! Magazine ran a piece on her newly-forged friendship with Angelina Jolie. No interviews with the actress have prodded her further on the topic, so at this stage, her thoughts on the matter are unknown. In place of an actual response, we’ll take her performance as Furiosa in Mad Max: Fury Road as an affirmative.

8. Natalie Dormer

She says: “I’m not going to comment about potential jobs in the future because that’s a rabbit hole to go down and get caught up in, but all I’ll say is I’ll go where the good scripts are. For me, Catching Fire, Game of Thrones, all my other work, I’ll just go where the good scripts are. I love being part of huge mega blockbusters and I love being a part of small independent films and small stage. I’m just looking at the material. I want to know the character and I want to know the text, and then the decision I make from there.”

An evasive response that immediately brings to mind the Shakespearean quip “the lady doth protest too much.” When you line up Dormer’s back catalogue alongside her upcoming titles — that include a zombie actioner and Japanese suicide forest horror — it can’t be denied that her brassy leading lady image lends itself to the Captain Marvel character. Remaining coy on the matter doesn’t exactly reek of enthusiasm, however.

7. Rebecca Ferguson

Locked and loaded for an action-centric career after her breakout in Mission: Impossible: Rogue Nation it’s no wonder that Ferguson is rumored to be atop Marvel’s shortlist for the role. The actress hasn’t publicly made reference to reports, as is oft the case with MCU newbies. Turning down a role in Gambit suggested that she might be hedging her bets for the Danvers part, instead choosing a role in The Girl On The Train to keep her busy in the meantime. And the way she manhandled that rifle during Rogue Nation’s theater sequence certainly boosts her chances.

6. Katheryn Winnick

She says: (on comic book roles in general) “I would love to. Oh wow, there’s so many. I’m such a fan of comic books. I grew up reading them. They were my idols. Like, these characters came to life for me! I don’t think there’s one in particular, either than I would love to play an action hero.”

Vikings star Winnick later ‘fessed that she’d snatch up the handset should Marvel call — wearing a wry smile. The multiple pieces of fanart posted to her Instagram speak louder than facial expressions. Her stint on the period show proves she’s got the tough hide to ass-kick her way into the MCU: and if she maintains an equally-aggressive social media campaign she may wangle a spot on Marvel’s shortlist.

5. Katee Sackhoff

She says: “Ms. Marvel’s interesting. I’ve always been more attracted to the villains so even when I play a hero, I try to make them a bit more of an emotional anti-hero. I think I could have fun with it, absolutely.”

Starbuck’s interested in the role. Sort of. Variety being the spice of life, it’s understandable for actors to seek other realms of performance to satiate their art. Playing Battlestar Galactica’s steely, cigar-chompin’ pilot Captain Thrace might have tipped Sackhoff into that category, as she also mentions she’s at an age where she can’t hold back on important life stuff on the off chance that she might get offered a role. She’s keen, and she’d bring some gravitas to the part: if Marvel’s willing to work around her. It’s a far cry from the feverishly blind “MEMEMEME” of other candidates, so who knows, it could work in her favor.

4. Olivia Wilde

She says: “I’m a big fan of superhero films, and I have so much respect for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The thing with female superheroes is that, in order to be powerful, they are flawless. The idea of kick-ass power lacks a certain nuance, at times. There is something to be said for a female director working to create a female superhero that perhaps [has] a little more complexity.”

You can’t deny Wilde’s got the pizazz that Marvel tends to amplify in its movies. None of its characters lack the spark to carry off one-liners, and Wilde’s a perfect contender despite her assurances that Marvel’s yet to come a’knocking. Regardless, she’s not stroking the studio’s ego to better her chances, which — in contrast to others — is quite refreshing. Her ideas for a more convincing and realistic approach to feminine superheroism will score points with fans.

3. Ronda Rousey

She says: “I’m really looking forward to doing my first starring role opposite Mark Wahlberg [in ‘Mile 22’]. Hopefully by the time Captain Marvel comes around, I will have enough experience and skills in the field for them to really seriously consider me.”

Rousey’s at begging point. The MMA fighter really, really wants to be Captain Marvel. Like really bad. The recent loss of her bantamweight title might work as motivation: if she’s serious about properly entering the race she needs to take acting classes. Dedication to the part — there’s loads of Roussey-approved fanart doing the rounds — and the general furor about her capability have already brought her to Marvel’s attention. Which is — good?

2. Jessica Chastain

She says: (On playing Captain Marvel) “Absolutely, but for me, in any genre of film that you do — I want to be part of it. So if I’m doing a superhero film, I want to wear a costume, I want a fight scene, I don’t want to be the girlfriend or the civilian that’s taking care of superheroes or whatever. I want to be part of the action. So if they came a-calling that sounds very cool.”

Scheduling conflicts got in the way of Chastain’s previous brush with the Marvel Cinematic Universe. She was once the studio’s top choice to play Maya Hansen in Iron Man 3, and recently set the record straight about another spot of social media-induced MCU casting confusion. It seems like for Chastain it’s only a matter of time — c’mon, she’s doing The Huntsman sequel! — before she does indeed don the lycra. Her firm attitude and preference for an actual role as opposed to a flimsy girlfriend part are all the fuel she needs! That’s Danvers material, right there.

1. Emily Blunt

She says: “No one has approached me as Captain Marvel! I have received not one phone call about Captain Marvel. I don’t know who she is. I’m sorry [laughs]. I don’t know comic book characters. They’re not my forte.”

Previously approached twice by Marvel for Peggy Carter and Black Widow, Blunt’s flat out denial that she’s not been asked about Captain Marvel and more to the point, that she’s never heard of Captain Marvel is rather amusing to watch. Self-deprecating to an extent — where other actors would gush endlessly — it’s no surprise that she’s of course, a firm fan favorite to tackle the role. Following Edge of Tomorrow she now wears her ass-kicking credentials with pride. Come on Marvel, give her a ring.

Photos via Getty, Marvel