Brie Larson brings Carol Danvers to life
It may have taken nineteen movies to get there but get there it has and the MCU’s first female-led solo entry is on its way towards establishing a major new character set to be its face in phase 4 and beyond (sorry, Natasha, sorry, Wanda, we were kinda rooting for you ladies for a while).
With the small matter of the aptly titled Avengers Endgame marking the “end of an era” after a decade long’s worth of interconnected storytelling, cinephiles and longtime fans of this successful –verse are hoping Cheeseburger (her callsign in the comics) can pick up the baton left behind by her male counterparts to lead the MCU into—who knows, another decade’s worth of stories, maybe?But let’s not look too far yet. There’s still an issue of introduction and an establishment of her character and world to navigate first before she goes to town on Thanos in Endgame. Here’s what we know about Captain Marvel, and what to expect.
While Captain Marvel was originally announced for release in the midsummer of last year, schedule adjustments had to be made due to the addition of Spiderman onto the slate for Phase 3. Prior plans had hinted at her making a cameo in Avengers Age of Ultron (2015) before headlining her solo and then getting in on then-Avengers Infinity War Parts 1 and 2.
In any case, the slate was rejigged to bring her into March 2019—on the 8th, to be exact. Which meant she was worked out of Age of Ultron and into Infinity War by way of a post-credits stinger. The stinger essentially was a Nick Fury in the eye of the Decimation (what the “Snap” that rocked the universe circa Infinity War is called in Endgame) reaching for and activating a souped-up pager that showed the Captain Marvel insignia before Fury himself dematerialized, hinting that she existed in that world.The release date is also significant because it’s the international Women’s Day, so it’s quite fitting.
Subtitle and trailer
Marvel Studios released the tagline “Higher Further Faster” on the 8th September, 2018, along with a slew of promotional materials for the movie. It’s a fitting subtitle that cuts straight to the point and highlights the character’s (feministic) background in the US Air Force, along with hinting at one of her recent popular runs in the comics written by Kelly Sue DeConnick. Later in November, a Japanese tagline was released in an international poster that translated to: “Lost Past, Memories Trapped, Powers Gained. Is this me? The Story before theAvengers.” The latter is more wordy and hints a lot of the plot but it seems to match up with what has been learned about the movie and the character from trailers and interviews with the cast.
The first official trailer was released on the 18th September on the Good Morning America show during an interview with its titular star, and while not revealing much about its plot, it highlighted its setting(s) and characters and a few glimpses at its set pieces (discussed below). Two other trailers have also been released since then—one of which was a shorter clip at the Super Bowl on the 3rd of February—along with several TV spots and promotional posters.
Watch the trailer
Cast and crew
Brie Larson (Room, 21 Jump Street) was announced as the titular character and her Carol Danvers alter ego during a panel at the San Diego Comic Con in July, 2016 to much fanfare. The actress was just coming away from an Oscar winning performance in Room.Samuel L. Jackson returns once more alongside the star as a much younger Nick Fury (25 years younger), as well as Clark Gregg’s Coulson (more on both later).
Other returning MCU stars are Lee Pace’s Ronan and DjimonHounson’sKorath, both from Guardians of the Galaxy. McKenna Grace and London Fuller both play younger versions of Carol Danvers. Ben Mendelsohn (Ready Player One, Star Wars: Rogue One) plays villain Talos, a Skrull commander (more on that below). Gemma Chan’s (Fantastic Beasts) Minn-Erva, Rune Temte’sBron-Char and Algenis Perez Soto’s Att-Lass round up the rest of the StarForce, Danvers’ eliteKree military team commanded by Jude Law’s character (believed to be Yon-Rogg).Lashana Lynch plays Maria Rambeau, Carol’s colleague and closest friend in the Air Force (and mother of Monica Rambeau, played by Akira Akbar, who becomes Photon and even once donned the Captain Marvel persona for a while in the comic books). Annette Bening plays the Kree ruler, Supreme Intelligence. Stan Lee also has his cameo, posthumously.Captain Marvel is directed by Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden (making a debut for a female director at the studio) and is produced by Kevin Feige (pga).
Screenplay is by Fleck, Boden, Jac Schaeffer and Geneva Robertson-Dworet. Story is by Nicole Perlman, Joe Schrapnel and Anna Waterhouse. Score is by Pinar Toprak and Cinematography by Ben Davis.
As filming began in March 2018, Marvel Studios released an official synopsis in a press release which read:
“The story follows Carol Danvers as she becomes one of the universe’s most powerful heroes when Earth is caught in the middle of a galactic war between two alien races. Set in the 1990s, “Captain Marvel” is an all-new adventure from a previously unseen period in the history of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.”Marvel Cinematic Universe
During her unveiling at the aforementioned Comic Con, producer Kevin Feige said the period piece would be an origin story for the character, but won’t follow the conventional storytelling for origin stories seen so far in comic book movies. Carol Danvers would already be Captain Marvel as the movie begins and as it progresses, the narrative would peel back the layers of who she was and how she became so. Judging from what has been learnt from TV spots and trailers, the titular character would be going on a journey of self-discovery, both mentally and physically, and most probably emotionally as well.
There will be origin stories too of Nick Fury and Phil Coulson’s friendship, and maybe a hint of the idea behind The Avengers initiative, and certainly of Fury’s souped-up pager seen in the post-credits of Infinity War.
What to expect
In Marvel Comics continuity, Carol Danvers was a U. S. Air Force fighter pilot who gained powerful abilities when her DNA was fused with that of an alien during an explosion caused by the Kree (who we remember from Guardians of the Galaxy, and the last season of Agents of SHIELD).
She began as Ms. Marvel until the death of the original Captain Marvel (Mar-vell who was her inspiration, and whose DNA hers got spliced with in the explosion).“She can’t help but be herself,” Brie Larson said of her new character in Entertainment Weekly.
“She can be aggressive, and she can have a temper, and she can be a little invasive and in your face.“She’s also quick to jump to things, which makes her amazing in battle because she’s the first one out there and doesn’t always wait for orders. But the not waiting for orders is, to some, a character flaw.”
Anna Boden also added that the character wasn’t perfect or godlike. “…what makes her special is just how human she is. She’s funny, but doesn’t always tell good jokes. And she can be headstrong and reckless and doesn’t always make the perfect decisions for herself.“But at her core, she has so much heart and so much humanity—and all of its messiness.”
Carol owns a cat named Goose (but who is actually called Chewie in the comics), which should further ground her character. The cat has been seen in the trailers in a funny scene with Fury (who knew Nick was a cat-person) but it’s uncertain if it comes with her from space (in the comics, Chewie is a Flerken, another specie of shapeshifting aliens) or if it’s a regular cat.
The former is likelier to be the case as Lashana Lynch (Maria Rambeau) has hinted that there’s more to the cat than meets the eye. In a recent interview, she said: “It’s not fully a cat. It’s a mysterious cat. The cat does things we didn’t expect for it to do, and it’s very surprising, and it could happen at random times.” A disclosed review from a recent test screening has claimed that Goose is a show-stealer.
The mighty goose….
During her run, Danvers has been a part of different teams such as the Avengers (obviously), Alpha Flight, Guardians of the Galaxy and Starforce (which will be introduced in the movie).
Before she inevitably joins the Avengers in Endgame (April, 2019), the film will set her character up and how well she plays—if she does—in a team.Starforce is an elite military squad of the Kree almost synonymous to the black ops. According to Jude Law, the team has been operative for over a decade prior to the beginning of the movie. The team consists of Jude Law’s Starforce commander, who the actor has described as a religious fanatic with a “particular relationship with the Supreme Intelligence”.
Marvel Studios have kept his character’s name under wraps although it may have slipped from merchandise that he plays Yon-Rogg, a military commander who ultimately becomes one of Danvers’ foes in the comic books. But recent interviews and footage has also hinted that he is a mentor to Danvers as well, teaching her to control her abilities, which Mar-vell was. It’s possible Law’s character is an amalgam of the two.
In any case, the producers have confirmed Yon-Rogg plays a part in the movie and is the likelier to be Law’s role. His motivations might well be rewritten for the movie as either characters have a penchant for going against the Supreme Intelligence and the Kree, but maybe, just maybe, that could be his character ar
Hounsou’sKorath who first appears in Guardians of the Galaxy is the second in command of Starforce. Soto’s Att-Lass (who has been called Captain Atlas in the comics) is one of the team’s snipers and a weapons specialist. Temte’sBron-Char is a “blue-giant” as describe by Jude Law, who seems to employ brute force as his own ability. Finally, Chan’s Minn-Erva will be the team’s main sniper and long-range specialist.
Captain Marvel will take place in the midst of a war between the Kree and the Skrulls (more on them below). What the war is being fought over has largely remained under wraps so far, although Jude Law described to Screenrant during a set visit that the war is largely as a result of the two alien species having different ways of life.
“The Kree and the Skrulls are constantly in conflict, so both communities are living really at high alert and both obviously live with a huge wariness of each other. And obviously as a part of the military, and as a poster boy of the military obviously of the Krees, my character is somewhat judgmental and full of hatred towards the skrulls,”Law
“The Skrulls to the Krees really represent despicable maneuvering and manipulation. The Skrulls have this way of simulating other people and turning into other things, so it’s this idea of subterfuge where you’re not who you really are, whereas the Kree gave a kind of purity and honesty to them as I see it.”
Their war will move towards Earth at some point in the movie which will bring the titular character here in unceremonious circumstances.The Skrulls will debut in the MCU with Captain Marvel.
They are a specie of shapeshifting aliens popularized by the Secret Invasion and Secret Wars arc in the comics where several Skrulls replaced notable heroes in the universe and went about trying to dominate Earth. They are most associated with the Fantastic Four.
Ben Mendelsohn will be playing Talos, who leads the Skrull infiltration of Earth. There’s bound to be some paranoia-inducing situations where it would be difficult to trust anyone. In the comics, Talos has been known to be one of the few Skrulls unable to shapeshift but it seems the character trait will be sidestepped as it’s been suggested (and shown in trailers); he’d be undercover as a human, and would even be Nick Fury’s commanding officer.
Since it takes place in the 90s, there will apparently be a lot of subtle and overt callbacks to the era, judging by set photos (and not to forget, the Blockbuster store Carol falls through in the first trailer as she crash lands on Earth) including setting, music, and set pieces.Feige has suggested Captain Marvel will have Terminator 2-esque car chases and action sequences on the ground level. But more than that, the movie will reveal a period of the universe not seen before (Captain America: The First Avenger takes place in the 1940s and Agent Carter a decade or so later).
It will be taking a look at a time in Nick Fury’s life when he believes his best years are behind him. Apparently, Fury hasn’t had any sort of correspondence with the extraterrestrial by this time. He even has his other eye intact.This is an interesting tidbit as in one line of dialogue from Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Fury says, “…last time I trusted someone, I lost an eye.” With Talos as his commanding officer, it’s possible he is responsible for giving Fury his eyepatch. There’s also a chance the movie will show how Fury sets off on the path towards The Avengers initiative alongside his friend Phil Coulson, both de-aged for the movie.
Captain Marvel will be a cosmic story, as Feigehas himself said a lot of the movie takes place in space, about 60%. By the end, we’ll have seen the character run through her full gamut of abilities, according to the producers, and will even see her costume graduate from the greenish variation she used while in Starforce (see above) to the popular Red/Blue uniform (below). So we’re keeping fingers crossed what she has in her armory will be more than enough to take on the Mad Titan in Endgame. Besides, she does goes Binary a couple of times, judging by the trailers and posters.
Her Binary form has a complicated history in the comics. In summary, when Rogue (of the X-Men) absorbed her powers, Carol Danvers was experimented on by the Brood (whose rights also belonged to Fox as at this time of writing) which let her tap into her latent abilities indicated by a massive increase in power and the ability to utilize all types of energy on the electromagnetic spectrum as she tapped into the power of a white hole. It allowed her move at the speed of light, breathe in space and control gravity to some degree.She adopted the identity Binary through that period. As shown above, her Binary form is identified by glowing skin and eyes and fiery hair.In the coming weeks, Captain Marvel will be exclusively screened for the press but there’ll be an embargo on social media reactions which will be lifted on the 19th of February. Embargo on reviews will be lifted on the 5th of March, a couple of days from its March 8threlease.