Warning: There are “Spider-Man: Homecoming” spoilers in this post.
In “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” Tony Stark gives fresh, superhero upstart Peter Parker a high-tech suit. This signals quite a change for Spider-Man, who was slinging around Queens in a homemade sweater combination.
But like all Stark superhero suits, it can talk.
At one point, a strong female voice begins talking to Peter, offering him up — sometimes unnecessary — Stark upgrades, such as hundreds of web shooter combinations, an enhanced interrogation mode and an instant kill function.
At first, Peter just calls her “Suit Lady,” but at one point asks her name, which she offers up as Karen.
And Karen, dear viewer, is voiced by Academy Award-winning actress Jennifer Connelly.
Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige says audiences can expect more iconic actors to get roles in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. We’ve already had quite a group, from Kurt Russell and Sylvester Stallone in “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” to Robert Redford in “Captain America: Winter Soldier.” And of course there’s Michael Douglas in “Ant-Man.”
“There are a few that are coming up, actually,” Feige told Fandango in a recent interview. “I’ll keep this spoiler-free, but be assured that there are more surprises of that caliber heading into our universe in the next few films.”
Connelly’s name was rumored to be a part of this group, but it was only after a trailer emerged where Peter spoke with Karen that open-eared viewers could place her.
So she plays a suit voice. That’s cute. However, what the casting implies is even cuter.
In real life, Connelly is married to actor Paul Bettany, who Marvel fans will recognize as the original voice of J.A.R.V.I.S., Stark’s robot suit voice. Later he became Vision, who was created from the remnants of J.A.R.V.I.S. in “Avengers: Age of Ultron.”
So, in a way, Karen is J.A.R.V.I.S.’ wife. Just not completely.
Fans of ABC’s “Agent Carter” series will note this isn’t exactly correct in canon, since the old Stark family butler Edwin Jarvis (James D’Arcy) — who J.A.R.V.I.S. is based on — isn’t married to a woman named Karen, but one named Ana, played by Dutch actress Lotte Verbeek.
It’s unclear where Tony could’ve gotten the name Karen from, but we’re sure — like J.A.R.V.I.S. (which stands for Just A Rather Very Intelligent System) — it’s some kind of ridiculous acronym.