With the release of "Captain Marvel," Marvel Studios launches its highly
franchise into the ever-growing Marvel Cinematic Universe. Commenting on what
Marvel the right choice for the newest member of the cinematic universe,
producer Kevin Feige
says, "We thought it was the right time to finally introduce Captain Marvel to
the world. She's one
of the most popular characters and one of the most powerful characters in the
comics and will
now be the most powerful character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe."
Continuing, he adds, "We've always had
powerful female characters and heroes in our
films. But having a female Super Hero franchise
title character for the first time feels overdue,
and it's something that we have been excited
about for a long time, and we can't wait to
deliver it to the world."
"Carol Danvers has always been a character fans have had a lot of love for,
and she has a really
unique and cool voice in the comics," adds executive producer Jonathan Schwartz.
wanted to do with 'Captain Marvel' was to give Carol a chance to carve out her
own space in the
universe and not fit her into the existing continuity or have her show up
suddenly on the scene,
but really give her a lot of rich, deep connection to the core of mythology of
the MCU. It's exciting
that we get to introduce fans to this amazing character who has such a deep and
abiding fan base
in the Marvel Universe."
With many years of source material in the comics, the filmmakers were drawn
to a run of comics
by Kelly Sue DeConnick, whose take on the character would be the general
inspiration for the film.
Executive producer Jonathan Schwartz explains why that particular run of the
comics was a great
jumping-off point in developing the story and screenplay.
"Much like the Abnett and Lanning comics formed the foundation of the
'Guardians of the Galaxy'
films, from the standpoint of character and voice, we decided to go back to
writer Kelly Sue
DeConnick's run on 'Captain Marvel,'" explains Schwartz. "That run dealt with
Carol Danvers in a
great way and really made her a fully realized character for the modern era in
which she finally
assumed the mantle of Captain Marvel. There was a voice and tone for that
character that felt very
cinematic, and we were really excited to dig into and bring to life on the big
screen. There were
also a few other aspects that we were excited
for in that run. One of them being that she gets
to be the bridge between the cosmic side of the
universe and the earthbound side of the
Comic-book writer Kelly Sue DeConnick explains
the inspiration for her take on the character in
her run of "Captain Marvel" comics. "My dad
was in the Air Force, and I grew up on the base," says DeConnick. "When I
pitched Marvel to write
a run of comics, I basically said my inspiration was Captain Marvel or Carol
Danvers as Chuck
Yeager. For me, it was about the metaphor of flight and really kind of exploring
that and escaping
the bounds of our fears and our doubts about ourselves. That was thematically a
lot of what I
wanted to inject into the character."
For the comic-book writer, the news that Captain Marvel was going to the big
screen was music to
her ears. "When they first announced this movie," says DeConnick, "I knew it
would be a huge step
forward and would be important in the cultural zeitgeist. The message that it
sends to little girls
and women of all ages is something that renders me inarticulate, truly."
DeConnick adds, "For me, and hopefully many others who will see the film, she
will not just be a
female superhero; she will be looked upon as simply a superhero."
Part of what made Marvel filmmakers excited about "Captain Marvel" was how
took on serious themes and issues about being black. Similarly, "Captain Marvel"
with feminism and equality. As Jonathan Schwartz explains, "We were all really
finding the story and having it infused not only with fun sci-fi action and
adventure, but with very
real issues like female empowerment and equality, which is one of the key themes
of the film."
Filmmakers decided to set Carol Danvers' story in the 1990s-a first for the
MCU. In this preAvengers time period, cell phones were just phones, pagers were
in, internet cafes were the rage
and video rental stores dotted the landscape.
"We were really intrigued with the idea early on to explore a time in the MCU
that we hadn't seen
before in the '90s," says Feige. "It also allowed us to tap into '90s nostalgia,
which, having grown
up and been through college and graduated college in the '90s, makes me feel
old. And now
there's this nostalgia for everything '90s, and it felt that it would be fun to
also tap into that period
stylistically and cinematically with the '90s action films."
The next order of business for filmmakers was finding the actor to step into
role of the Marvel
Cinematic Universe's most powerful force, Captain Marvel. And they found that
actor in Academy
Award winner Brie Larson. "When we found out that Brie Larson might be
interested in joining
the MCU, we had numerous meetings and pitched her the idea for the film,"
recalls Feige. "She
was a huge fan of the character in the comic, and one of the highlights of my
career at Marvel was
introducing her at Comic-Con and having her come out on stage and stand with
every other actor from the MCU. She was at the forefront, which was a great
how audiences are going to embrace Brie as this character."
Feige adds about the character, "The great thing with Captain Marvel is that
she is human. There's
a real person in Carol Danvers who gets these incredible powers and has these
adventures in outer space. But, as with all the best Marvel characters, she
needs to be very
human. So, this is not just about somebody who is incredibly powerful and can
fly around and
shoot photon blasts out of her arms. It's somebody who's very human, who's very
who has multiple dimensions."
"Brie was the only choice for Captain Marvel," says Jonathan Schwartz. "In
the very early stages as
we were conceiving the character, we very quickly thought of her, because the
going to be a combination of emotion and vulnerability, strength and power. We
saw all those
things in Brie from a very early stage. When you go back through Brie's body of
work, you see
someone who is an incredible actor and capable of conveying a great range of
emotion, but is
strong in the way you want Carol to be strong."
Brie Larson recalls those initial meetings about the role and film: "When I
met with Kevin [Feige],
Victoria [Alonso], Lou [D'Esposito] and Jonathan [Schwartz], they showed me some
they started talking about the legacy of this character. They were interested in
complexity of being female, exploring emotion mixed with honor, which I felt
were two things that
are really important parallels that coincide within Captain Marvel. This desire
combined with the leniency of having an open heart, and how there's messiness
two things. Coming out of the meeting, I quickly realized that this could be the
biggest platform I
could ever imagine from which to tell this story about the human condition, and
walking out I just
knew we could deliver something great."
For Larson, being the lead of the first female Super Hero franchise presented
an opportunity to put
herself in the forefront of breaking new ground in the Marvel Cinematic
Universe. "It's such an
honor to be part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and be part of this legacy of
storytelling that is so incredibly meaningful to people," says Larson. "These
films are part of what's
shaping our culture, who we are, what morals we value. I don't think that I
fully understood the
scope of what it meant in the cultural zeitgeist until the announcement came out
that I was going
to be playing Captain Marvel. I've slowly started to grasp the vastness and
gravity of it all."
Following Marvel Studios' long history of choosing character-driven
directors, the filmmakers
brought on the directing team of Anna Boden & Ryan Fleck, who had carved out
critical success in
the indie film world. Feige remarks, "We always love to look outside the box for
for us it's not really outside the box. It's just finding talented people who
might not have done
movies on this scale or of this size before, but who've done incredibly clever
and unique and
special films. Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck have done just that. They've done a
number of films that
impressed us, and they have a very firm, guiding hand and vision of
Feige adds, "We met with them three or four times, and they just understood
understood her story and the wish fulfillment of Carol's journey of becoming a
did a lot of work on this character, and it is very special."
Explaining what sparked the directing duo's interest, Boden says, "One of the
things that drew us
to the character was the fact that she was a really powerful, interesting,
unique and independent
female character. We are so excited to be telling this story about somebody
who's not just
powerful but also really complicated and human."
"In researching the project, we started digging into the
comics, and we just fell in love with the character, her
voice, her grit and her humor," adds Ryan Fleck. "We
were trying to figure out how to do this, because we
come from a very indie background, but we were aware
that Marvel had been making some bold hiring decisions
before us with Taika Waititi directing 'Thor: Ragnarok'
and Ryan Coogler directing 'Black Panther.' Both are great
filmmakers who come from indie filmmaking and very
character-based storytelling. When we saw they were hiring directors like that,
our interest was
really stirred because they're not just after the big spectacle or the big
In stepping up to direct "Captain Marvel," Anna Boden also became the first
female director in the
Marvel Cinematic Universe. Sharing her thoughts on taking the helm of one of
iconic characters, Boden says, "I feel incredibly honored to be given the
opportunity to be here
with this awesome group of people. One of the things I love about this movie is
what an amazing
collaboration it is between women."
For Boden, diving into the complex character of Carol
Danvers aka Captain Marvel with Brie Larson in the role
was a welcome prospect. "Having Brie Larson in this role
is so important because she is such a strong, dynamic and
complex person and woman. She brings so much of that
to her work and this character. I was so excited at the
prospect of creating and developing a character who was
just about as dynamic as any character we've ever
written in any of our movies. It's thrilling for me to go on that journey with
her and create a
Captain Marvel character who's very specific and unique. She isn't an
everywoman, but she does
kind of capture something about what it means to be a woman and what it means to
powerful woman and ultimately what it means to be human."
Brie Larson, who also got her start in the world of indie films, felt the
script was a big win for her
and the film. "Anna and Ryan and the other writers worked so hard and diligently
on the script and
crafting out this structure and story, which made my immersion into the
character much more
seamless," says Larson. "Anna and Ryan come from the same scrappy indie-film
world and were
able to easily understand where we were coming from. So, to be with the both of
them on a
project like this feels super surreal."
Describing the direction in which he and Boden wanted to take the story and
the Captain Marvel
character, Ryan Fleck says, "We really wanted to explore the life she has and
the humanity that
grounds her, as that element excited all of us. We felt like we could tell a
story that was really
about a character journey of reconnecting with her own humanity."
Continuing, he says, "It's also why Kevin [Feige] and Jonathan [Schwartz] and
everybody at Marvel
were so excited about Brie Larson in the role, because she brings such humanity
and strength to
this character without being a perfect idealized superhero. Her strength comes
with all that
swirling human emotion, and that layers a lot of depth to the character."
Boden adds, "We spent a lot of time in a dark room reading by ourselves and
learning about this
Carol Danvers. We really sparked to the Kelly Sue DeConnick iteration of the
character when she
took on the mantle of Captain Marvel. It was also very much what Kevin Feige and
Schwartz were talking about in terms of the character that they were excited to
dig into. The
character is flawed in certain ways and wildly human even though she is a
superhero. She has a
sense of humor as well as real grit. She's sometimes a little bit cocky and
sometimes a little bit
irrational and doesn't make the best decisions for herself."
For Kevin Feige, watching the directors deliver on every level was a great
validation of Marvel
Studios' instinct in choosing directors for its films. "Anna and Ryan brought a
very unique vision to
this story and this hero, who has very human origins and yet arises over the
course of the film to
become one of the most powerful characters we've ever introduced," comments
were up to every challenge and elevated the material and film."
A former officer and Air Force test pilot, Carol Danvers
becomes the universe's most powerful hero when Earth is
caught in the middle of a galactic war between two alien
races, the Kree and the Skrulls. Danvers is a maverick and
not easily controlled, but through her journey she finds
her true self and the path to harness her incredible
In taking on the role of Carol Danvers, Brie Larson quickly found herself
immersed in the vast
universe of source material from the comics. "I wanted to know everything," says
Larson. "So, I
read everything I possibly could. I had an app on my iPad that's basically every
Marvel comic that's
ever been created. I just spent hours upon hours going through it and reading
are different illustrators in the comic books, who all have their own take on
her. There's a lot of
material for me to work with to create something that can still feel personal to
me and can still
feel like it's mine. It is smartly crafted, and Carol is incredibly dynamic,
which leaves a lot of room
Speaking to what attracted her to the role, Larson says, "This is the most
range of a character that
I've ever gotten to play before, and it's really cool that it's in something
like this. I've never had so
much time with a character that has so many different varying levels, which I
think was one of the
aspects I was attracted to, because in the process you learn a lot about
She adds, "The thing that I found so unique in Carol,
from reading the comics and from the script and
learning more about her, was her sense of humor
mixed with hyper-intelligence and total capability in
whatever challenge comes her way. I realized after
going to the Air Force base that the Air Force pilots are
like that, too. So, the spirit of her or the core of her is
the Air Force."
Commenting on how "Captain Marvel" may make a positive impact on kids,
especially girls and
young women, Larson says, "Once you know what Captain Marvel inspires within the
changes the entire perspective of the rest of the catalogue in this very
profound way. It's powerful
stuff. Part of what made me feel the stir to do this was when Kevin Feige told
me that his daughter
hadn't seen any of the Marvel movies and that this would be the first one that
she sees. That put
things in perspective for me of understanding the potential of what this was and
the timing of it."
In the film, Carol Danvers is an Air Force test pilot who, over the course of
a very strange
adventure, gets amazing superpowers. She is training with Starforce, an
elite division of the alien Kree army. As Carol begins her journey in
Starforce she begins to realize her true strength level as well as glimpses
into her mysterious past.
Describing Carol Danvers, Larson says, "The thing about Carol is that
she's two halves. She's Kree and she's human. And the Kree are really
incredible warriors, hyper-intellectuals and the best at what they do.
Then there's this other part of her that's human, and that is the loving
part of her, but it's also the part that makes her kind of sassy and a little
brash at times. It makes her really emotional. It makes her aggressive
and competitive. It's all of the good and all of the bad in that human
side. It's the flaw, and it's the best thing about her."
Larson adds, "I think she's incredibly relatable in that way because we both
have two sides of our
brains. We have the left and the right brain. We have the logical, and we have
the emotional, and
we have the war between the two of them. Which one is of most value? And which
one we should
bring to the table? So, that internal struggle is what keeps playing Carol so
interesting for me,
because I'm basically playing two characters at once. And that will keep the
"We're tackling this origin story from a little bit of a different way,
because Carol Danvers' story
sets up the entire MCU, as this film is a pre-Iron Man universe that we're
director Ryan Fleck. "It's not meeting her as a human and following a linear
trajectory to her
becoming a superhero. Carol is trying to figure out how she got from being this
human jet pilot to
becoming a powerful alien warrior who can shoot photon blasts from her hands."
(Samuel L. Jackson)
In the years following the Cold War, Nick Fury wrestles with his sense of
purpose within S.H.I.E.L.D.
When Fury crosses paths with Carol Danvers, they become Earth's only hope of
stopping a Skrull
Returning as Nick Fury is Samuel L. Jackson, in his largest role to date in
the Marvel Cinematic
Universe. With the film set in the 1990s, Nick Fury is at the very infancy of
his career as an agent
within the government. "Part of the challenge for this particular film is I have
two eyes and hair,"
laughs Jackson. "Since the film takes place over 20 years ago, I had to forget
who Nick Fury is at
this present-day juncture in the MCU, because he hadn't formed his opinions yet.
a bureaucrat in one of those government
alphabet things. He's still a badass, but he kind
of takes orders and listens to the people above
him. He still has a light side that we don't see a
lot of in those other movies. He has this weird,
funny, ordinary-person sense of humor."
Jackson continues, "He's also one of those
people who does not believe in extraterrestrials
until he meets one, and only then does he realize that he needs to find some
people that can do
extraordinary things, because the threat's not just coming from the east or the
west on this planet.
It's coming from out in space."
Describing Nick Fury's role in the "Captain Marvel" story, Jonathan Schwartz
says, "Sam Jackson is
back to play a younger version of the character. He hasn't lost that eye yet and
doesn't need an
eye patch. He is a different Nick Fury who thinks his entire career as a spy
within S.H.I.E.L.D. was
about the Cold War and these earthbound situations that he's been dealing with.
Then there's an
event that occurs and signifies the arrival of Captain Marvel back onto Earth,
which thrusts him
into a new adventure and leads him on the path to become the Nick Fury we know
and have seen
in all the other movies. But at this point he's never seen an alien, and we get
to see his first
encounter with cosmic events and supernatural events."
Commenting on Fury's relationship with Carol Danvers, Jackson offers, "There
is a real buddy-cop
element to 'Captain Marvel' with Nick Fury and Carol. When they meet, they are
kind of in an
adversarial position. They don't have to have a knock-down-drag-out fight to
become buddies, but
they must come to a place where he
understands something about her,
and she understands something
about him. And there's a level of
trust in that belief of who each
person is and helping that person
discover something. She helps him
discover things about himself, and
he helps her discover things about
herself. And in doing so, they bond in an interesting way."
Jackson adds, "Nick understands that Carol has a level of humanity that she's
lost touch with.
There's a literal discovery of self in this movie, and not just finding that
thing inside you that makes
you go, huh! I mean she literally doesn't know who she is. And Nick helps her
discover who she is.
In doing so, he begins to understand that there is a way to find people who have
abilities that aren't a threat and who will be helpful. He needs this
understanding in order to go on
to create the Avengers Initiative."
For Larson, teaming up with co-star Jackson twice before brought a sense of
familiarity for her
debut in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. "Sam's my family," says Larson. "We are
the dynamic duo
that the world didn't know that they needed. This is our third film together,
and we just love each
other and have the best time together. I can talk to him about anything. And
he's just a master-class actor. He's just the greatest, and I was so thrilled
when I found out that he was going to be
right by my side on this one."
"What Brie brings to this film is a level of respect from the
audience that I'm talking about," says Sam Jackson. "She's
done a very serious movie and won an Oscar. She's done
comedies that people loved and laughed at. She's also
been in an adventure story that I happened to be in with
her where we're running from a big, hairy monster. But
she also has this real-life thing of championing women's
rights that's very genuine and a great lead to follow for young women in
general. For her to
become a person with superpowers is an amazing thing, and it's going to resonate
with women of
all ages. We have done three films together and I love coming to work with her.
We laugh a lot,
but when she hits the set, the games become serious."
A proud member of the Skrulls, Talos is a master of shape-shifting. An
integral leader of the Skrulls'
offensive efforts in the bitter Kree-Skrull War, the fearsome Talos will do
whatever it takes to win.
While Carol Danvers is Nick Fury's first encounter with super-beings, she
reveals a much larger
problem for Nick Fury in the form of the alien Skrulls, who are led by Talos,
played by Ben
Mendelsohn. "As far as I'm concerned, the Skrulls are like the heavy metal rock
stars of Marvel,"
informs Mendelsohn. "They're kind of like the AC/DC of
the alien world. They're three chords. They're direct. They
rock, but they're not noise pollution. The fans have been
waiting to see them for a long time. The Skrulls, who are
basically these tough, lizard-like kind of space pigs, are big
and tough and have the ability to do something that
makes them very formidable indeed."
Director Anna Boden explains the Skrulls' unique talent
that allows them to infiltrate and take over. "Skrulls are
these really cool aliens who can shape-shift," says Boden. "They're like the
best spies in the world
because they can just instantly become part of a culture, and you can't tell
that the person you
speak to is a Skrull. In the development of the film, we got really excited
about the idea of an
enemy who could literally be anybody. They could look like your mother, your
best friend, the
security guard standing over there. It creates this sense of paranoia."
"We did a lot of research on shape-shifting in movies," adds Ryan Fleck.
"There have been some
good and not-so-good versions of it. But we wanted to give the sense that there
organic shifting with the skin, something bubbling under the surface. We didn't
just want it to feel
like a flicker effect or a morph or something that we've seen before. We really
wanted to feel like
there's some movement involved that takes a little bit of effort. We worked with
on it, and we settled on a very cool process."
While the Skrulls are virtually undetectable once they have shape-shifted,
the ability does have
one flaw as Ben Mendelsohn describes, "Skrulls can get into your mind and
simulate their host,
but they are limited as to what they can access. But Talos is not your average
Skrull, and as their
leader, he is the best shape-shifter in the universe and is a formidable
advisory for Carol Danvers
"We've talked about the Skrulls since the very earliest days at Marvel
Studios," says Kevin Feige.
"They might be the most famous alien race in the Marvel comics. It had always
been about figuring
out when and where to introduce them. This Captain Marvel story was the right
one to bring them
into the fold and to introduce the overarching narrative of the Kree-Skrull War,
which is one of the
most important and groundbreaking storylines within the Marvel comics and now
will be the
backdrop to the adventures of Captain Marvel."
And what does Mendelsohn think about bringing the Skrulls to the big screen?
"It's pretty good to
be bringing them to show to the lesser beings, like the humans and the Kree and
all these other
galaxy fools. Skrulling is good. That's the thing about being a Skrull.
Skrulling-it feels so good,
feels so right," laughs Mendelsohn.
Yon-Rogg, the Starforce Commander, is a highly regarded warrior in the Kree
army, which is in a
perpetual war with the Skrulls. An imposing leader and Carol Danvers' mentor,
the commander of
the elite army unit is a hero among the Kree people.
For centuries the Skrulls have been warring with another alien race, the Kree,
and Jude Law
stepped up to play the Kree Starforce commander, Yon-Rogg. For Law, it was a
part he had been
secretly waiting for. "Before this film, it kind of felt like a
party you've heard about for years, and you know and
admire all the people who go, and then you suddenly
realize that you haven't had an invitation yet," says Law.
"So, to get an invitation is a good feeling, and I'd been a
fan for a long time, and being able to step into and be
part of the things that I admire and love is a thrill."
Preparing for the role required Law to get up to speed on
the "Captain Marvel" characters. "I wanted a quick
education in the characters. So, they sent me some stuff, which I read. Then I
relied on the script
and treated it just as I would any other piece of writing. But here's an
interesting story. Captain
Marvel was my father's favorite character when he was young. So, he could tell
me all about it,
from the male iteration into the female iteration. And he knew exactly who my
Law adds, "The themes of the stories and conflicts that are laid there in the
comic books are timely
and social. They feel relevant. They feel political in ways. They're stories of
introspection, of learning to confront your ills and your dark sides. It's why
they're so popular, I
Speaking of the relationship between Carol Danvers and his character, Law
says, "Yon-Rogg is a
mentor to Carol Danvers. She has been a sort of pet
project for him. He feels responsible for guiding and
containing her skill sets, honing her abilities and trying to
keep her mind from drifting into the more human,
emotional places, and becoming therefore more focused
and driven and slightly less emotional, which is rather
For Law, the opportunity to work on practically built sets
on location was an added plus. "In certain areas they
constructed the whole set, but what's been great are the locations. You put this
kind of hardware
and the suits in a lakebed at the right time of day, lit by the brilliant Ben
Davis, and it looks like
you're in an alien world. It's kind of breathtaking. We've been to some
There's also just a sense of excitement when you're making a movie outside.
There's just a
dynamic and a scale to it all that suddenly enhances everything. It gives you
literally a sense of
"I could talk about Jude Law all day," praises Jonathan Schwartz. "He's a
terrific actor, and he was
really passionate about this role and wanted to understand his character from a
level. He relished playing a character that is very complex and layered. His
relationship with Carol
has many sides to it, and I'm excited for fans to see this Jude Law
A former test fighter pilot and Carol Danvers' best friend, Maria is
strong-minded and a loyal
confidant in Carol's life.
While Carol struggles with figuring out her past in the film, a big part of
it is Maria Rambeau, who
has been her best friend since their days as test pilots in the Air Force.
Lashana Lynch, who makes
her American feature film debut playing Maria,
describes the special friendship Maria has with
Carol, saying, "It's beautiful to see the female
relationship that we have-the closeness, the
sisterhood, the love-and the fact that it has
been them against the world."
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