Park Seo-joon’s Role in ‘The Marvels’ Might Not Be That Mysterious
The Marvels is the third feature film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Phase 5, coming to cinemas in November 2023. The film from director Nia DaCosta will follow Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, which premiered in February, and the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, which debuts in May.
The very first trailer for The Marvels—which sees the team-up between Carol “Captain Marvel” Danvers, Monica Rambeau, and Kamala “Ms. Marvel” Khan—was recently released, and contains 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 features 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. But after a brief glimpse of Park in his full Marvel getup, everyone is wondering exactly what his role will be.
What do we know for certain about Park Seo-joon’s role in The Marvels?
Very little is certain at the moment about Park Seo-joon’s role in The Marvels. While he appears pretty high up in the cast list on the movie’s IMDb page, the character he plays is yet to be named. This isn’t out of the ordinary for Marvel; Zawe Ashton’s villain Dar-Benn wasn’t named publicly by the studio until after the trailer was released.
Even though Park made just the shortest of appearances in The Marvels trailer, speculation is running wild among fans and there are already some theories circulating. The most convincing of these is that Park will be playing the role of Prince Yan of Aladna—quite a peculiar planet in the wider universe.
And if Park is indeed Prince Yan, then we’ll definitely see him hanging around Brie Larson’s Carol Danvers, since Yan is technically her husband. So let’s turn to the comics to see what the original Marvel canon can tell us.
Who is Prince Yan in 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.
How might Prince Yan appear in The Marvels?
Of course, this is what happens in the comics. We know by now that the Marvel Cinematic Universe follows its own storylines, so we might end up seeing just a chunk of Yan and Carol’s backstory as it appears in the original canon—or none at all.
The movie is already pretty packed with narrative threads that need connecting and expanding, what with Phase 5 being just the beginning and a new major villain that still needs some development, There’s also the whole plot of The Marvels, with Carol, Monica, and Kamala’s powers seemingly being connected and joining forces to fight against their enemy du jour.
So we’ll have to see how much space there is for Yan in the story—if that even is Prince Yan, to begin with.
(featured image: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)
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