While talking to press during promotion for her movie Soulmate Hingga Jannah, Malaysian actress Raja Ilya let slip that she will be joining a mysterious Marvel film that starts shooting at the end of this year. While Ilya and her work are virtually unknown in the states, it appears as though her Marvel role might be somewhat more substantial than a glorified extra, as it involves extensive martial arts training:
“For about six months, I will start my training classes at Jakarta with Yayan Ruhian before I fly to Hollywood,”
Yayan Ruhian, an Indonesian actor, and martial artist has some serious street-cred: his previous credits include The Raid and its sequel, as well as Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
Ilya was unable to give any details about the project, not even where it would film, but given her timeframe, it seems like the most likely candidate would be Captain Marvel. While Marvel’s 2018 films have either already begun filming or will begin filming in the summer, Captain Marvel will likely begin production around the very end of this year or beginning of next.
Given the unknown quality of the actress involved and her lack of secrecy about the project, it’s unlikely that her role will be a major part of the film. Still, the martial arts training does add an interesting wrinkle to the story that suggests she might get something more to do. Perhaps she’ll play the villain’s muscle or some other secondary threat.
Star2, who originally broke this story, asked Ilya how she became involved with Marvel, and she responded that the connection was made from an Indonesian actor who has already worked with Disney in the past:
The offer came from someone I know from Indonesia who has already acted in a few Marvel and Disney movies… Now I just have to get prepared for the moment of my life.
She may be referring to Ray Sahetapy, who had a very small role in Captain America: Civil War and is one of the only Indonesian actors to appear in an MCU movie. While this casting news might not be the most exciting story, any update on Captain Marvel is still welcome, as it remains the Marvel project about which we know almost nothing.