A first look at actor Park Seo-joon in his yet unnamed role in The Marvels

Park Seo-joon’s Role in ‘The Marvels’ is a Mystery no More

The Marvels is the third feature film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Phase Five and it recently hit cinemas on November 10. The film from director Nia DaCosta follows Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, which premiered in February, and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, which debuted in May.

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The very first trailer for The Marvels—which saw the team-up between Carol “Captain Marvel” Danvers, Monica Rambeau, and Kamala “Ms. Marvel” Khan—contained the typical variety of shots that are just clear enough to make out some notions about the plot and characters while still leaving plenty to ponder and theorize about until the movie hits theaters.

One of these shots featured South Korean actor Park Seo-joon, beloved K-Drama leading man making his MCU debut. Park’s casting, way back when The Marvels was still in pre-production, had already caused some buzz online. And a brief glimpse of Park in his full Marvel getup had everyone wondering exactly what his role would be.

What was known for certain about Park Seo-joon’s role in The Marvels?

When the first teaser dropped, very little was certain about Park Seo-joon’s role in The Marvels. While he appeared pretty high up in the cast list on the movie’s IMDb page, the character he played was yet to be named. Not that strange, considering it’s Marvel we’re talking about—Zawe Ashton’s villain Dar-Benn wasn’t named publicly by the studio until after the trailer was released.

Even though Park had made just the shortest of appearances in The Marvels trailer, speculation was running wild among fans and there were already some theories circulating. The most convincing of these was that Park would be playing the role of Prince Yan of Aladna—quite a peculiar planet in the wider universe. 

So who does Park Seo-joon play in The Marvels?

Turns out that fans were right in their speculation, and that Park Seo-joon does indeed play Prince Yan of Aladna in The Marvels

Carol Danvers, Kamala Khan, and Monica Rambeau end up on Yan’s planet on their way to face the movie’s big bad. And there, the history between Yan and Carol comes to light—they are technically married, according to Aladna customs, and Yan actually cares deeply for his Princess.

And since Yan is a prince and there are certain staples when it comes to having princes on screen, he and Carol actually share a dance and a discussion—which happens in the form of a song, since that’s the way the people of Aladna usually communicate.

Still, the musical moment is short-lived because Kree leader Dar-Benn appears to bring her clash with the three Marvels to Aladna soil. Yan faces her down bravely, stating that he will never kneel to her and joins the fight with his soldiers.

All and all, it’s safe to say that Marvel kept the core of Yan’s backstory from the comics while simplifying the number of the characters he’s involved with—while of course placing him within the movie’s main conflict.

Who is Prince Yan in the Marvel comics?

Yan made his first Marvel comics appearance in 2014, and the first thing that you should know about is the customs of his native planet. Aladna is a place where everyone speaks in rhyme or sings, and where men don’t have a say in who they’ll end up marrying.

To make a long story short, Prince Yan finds himself engaged against his will to Lila Cheney, a teleporting mutant affiliated with S.W.O.R.D. who had visited Aladna as a young girl. Once Lila returns to Aladna, she finds that Yan’s royal parents are still intent on maintaining their engagement and wish to see Lila and Yan married.

So Yan turns to Captain Marvel for help, asking her to object to the ceremony and thus break the engagement. But of course, weddings have a tendency to attract all kinds of drama (even intergalactic ones), so it’s not Carol who objects but Marlo of Sleen, who seeks to marry Prince Yan and rule Aladna through him.

Marlo wants to challenge Lila for Yan’s hand, but Carol offers to fight in Lila’s stead and makes very brief work of Marlo—which makes her Yan’s bride, according to Aladna’s customs. Neither Yan nor Carol is very keen on this new development, though, so Yan ends up marrying the Nowlanian Tic—a friend of Carol’s—and ascending to the throne. You can guess what his very first royal command is: abolishing the practice that makes men incapable of choosing their own spouses. 

(featured image: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)


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Author
Benedetta Geddo
Benedetta (she/her) lives in Italy and has been writing about pop culture and entertainment since 2015. She has considered being in fandom a defining character trait since she was in middle school and wasn't old enough to read the fanfiction she was definitely reading and loves dragons, complex magic systems, unhinged female characters, tragic villains and good queer representation. You’ll find her covering everything genre fiction, especially if it’s fantasy-adjacent and even more especially if it’s about ASOIAF. In this Bangtan Sonyeondan sh*t for life.