This past April, the Marvel Cinematic Universe came to a head with the truly epic Avengers: Infinity War, which brought everyone together once and for all. We finally saw the Guardians of the Galaxy and the Avengers and Doctor Strange and Spider-Man all fighting alongside each other as they battled Thanos. The next movie, Ant-Man and the Wasp, came along recently, keeping a nice, steady stream of nerdgasms coming throughout the summer of 2018. But now, we have to wait until next March for the next movie: Captain Marvel. Here are 10 things you need to know before she makes her first appearance in the MCU.
10. Yes, that’s her logo on Nick Fury’s pager
If you stuck around for the post credits scene at the end of Avengers: Infinity War – which, let’s face it, is basically standard protocol with these Marvel movies by now – then you’ll remember that we saw Maria Hill and Nick Fury caught up in the aftermath of Thanos’ finger snap. People were disappearing left and right, and Hill and Fury both ended up disappearing, too. But right before Fury bit the dust (or rather, turned into dust), he whipped out his pager and sent out a feeler call. As the camera panned down on the pager on the ground, we saw a logo with a red and blue color scheme before a cut to black. Viewers who aren’t familiar with the comic books were probably confused by this logo, wondering who he was calling, but those who are went berserk over the first official reference to Carol Danvers on screen in the MCU. This is obviously a very subtle tease, so it’s open to interpretation, but it seems like Fury thought quickly on his feet of who is powerful enough to stop whichever cosmic being was causing this mass destruction. So, he called Captain Marvel, and in the next Avengers movie, she just might kick Thanos’ ass.
9. It’s set in the 1990s
The movie is not set in today’s trying times of Thanos’ finger snap and the Avengers’ cosmic adventures, but rather back in the simpler time of the 1990s. According to Marvel head honcho Kevin Feige, the 1990s setting will help to define Carol Danvers as “the singular hero, but place it within timing of the MCU.” The Hollywood Reporter has predicted that the movie will beg the question, “What happened to Captain Marvel to take her off the playing field ahead of the Marvel movies that we’ve seen to date?” If she got her powers in the ‘90s and Tony Stark became Iron Man in 2008, then where the hell has she been all these years? That’s the question that this movie is posed to answer (probably after its end credits have rolled – this is a Marvel film, after all). We all know that Marvel like to do a different genre with each movie (Ant-Man is a heist movie, Captain America: The Winter Soldier is a political thriller etc.), so this will be a ‘90s action movie in the vein of Terminator 2: Judgment Day. Feige says that it is full of “homages to our favorite ‘90s action films” with set pieces like “cool street level fights, street level car chases, and fun stuff like that.”
8. It takes place during the Kree-Skrull War
The plot of Captain Marvel will take place amid the Kree-Skrull War from the comic books. This war saw two alien races at each other’s throats in outer space. In his afterword in the collected edition of this storyline, its writer Roy Thomas confessed to having no “master plan” when he began writing the series. Instead, his plan was simply to tell the story of two “rapacious, galaxy spanning races,” who “would be at war in the far reaches of space,” and the hook that would keep the readers invested would be that “their conflict would be threatening to spill over onto the Earth, turning our planet into the cosmic equivalent of some Pacific island during World War II.” The comic book series has also been interpreted as an allegory of Joseph McCarthy and his communist bashing House Un-American Activities Committee. The hook of an alien war that threatens to find its way to Earth is the perfect way to bring Carol Danvers into the mix, since she will be the half alien superhero that can protect our planet from these two warring factions. The Skrulls were almost used as the alien baddies at the end of the first Avengers movie, but in the end, Joss Whedon went with their Ultimate universe equivalent, the Chitauri, instead.
7. This will be a different kind of origin story
According to producer Nate Moore, this won’t be the same old kind of origin story that we’ve seen over and over again in the MCU. As Moore explained, “I think there is a structure to origin films that audiences sometimes can get ahead of very quickly. So, if we do origin films, internally, we talk about how we can subvert that structure. For instance, Captain Marvel is an origin movie in that you haven’t seen her before, but we think we’ve stumbled upon a structure there that isn’t the traditional structure of what origin movies typically are, which is you meet the character, they have a problem, they get powers at the end of the first act; and the end of the second act, they learn about the powers; the third act, they probably fight a villain who has a function of the same powers. That’s a lot of times what a typical origin movie is structured like, but as we introduce new characters moving forward, we want to find ways to subvert that structure, so at least the experience of the film feels new to audiences. We’re very conscious of making sure that audiences don’t get things that feel like they’ve seen them before.”
6. Brie Larson is dedicated to the role
It’s kind a commitment for actors to sign on to play a role in the MCU at all, since they have to commit to any number of future sequels for the unforeseeable future. It fills up your slate, necessitating you to do your own solo movies every couple of years, and when you’re not doing that, take part in the larger ensemble pieces and everyone else’s solo movies. So, Brie Larson was originally quite hesitant to sign up to however many movies the Marvel guys are expecting her to do, but in the end, she decided that Carol Danvers was the kind of female role model that wished she had when she was a kid, and wanted to be that role model for today’s kids. She says that she “couldn’t deny the fact that this movie is everything I care about, everything that’s progressive and important and meaningful, and a symbol I wished I would’ve had growing up.” Now, she will be that symbol for a new generation of young girls and superhero fans. Larson also made a physical commitment to the role, as she spent nine months getting in superhero shape. She also headed to Nellis Air Force Base to meet with active duty Air Force pilots like Brigadier General Jeannie Leavitt and Major Stephen Del Bagno.
5. It’s the MCU’s first female-led movie
You’d think they’d have done one by now – it’s been ten whole years! – but this will actually be the first movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe with a female lead. The script is being written very carefully by a team of seven writers (yes, seven!), because as the first female-led movie in the MCU, there is a lot riding on it. It’s not just another male superhero movie that can get away with clichés and lazy writing. The writers have been very careful to keep that kind of thing out of the movie and avoid “things you wouldn’t think twice about for Iron Man, but you would think twice about for Captain Marvel.” It’s important to nail the first ever female superhero movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and make it really stand out above the crowd, because if this one isn’t done right, it’ll set back women in superhero movies by like ten years. Like Wonder Woman before it, it has to be great. Co-screenwriter Nicole Perlman has said that she doesn’t want the character to be “somebody who is a hero in spite of her femininity,” because according to her, “being a woman is part of [her] strength.”
4. She’s more powerful than any other character in the MCU
Producer Kevin Feige has said that Captain Marvel is “our most powerful hero by far.” He elaborated even further on just how powerful she is: “If you had the collector cards of the Marvel characters and you could see the power levels, she would be off the charts compared to anyone that we’ve previously introduced in a film.” This is good news for the Avengers, since she’ll be able to swoop in at the start of their next movie and beat Thanos like it’s nobody’s business and bring back all their dead friends. Okay, it’ll be a little bit more difficult than that, but that’s essentially what she will be able to do. Screenwriter Christopher Markus has spoken about how excited he’s been for a character with Captain Marvel’s powers to join the Avengers in their next movie: “Super excited to have her…You know, that movie does not exist yet, so we’re following up on something that is good intentions at the moment. But that’s a power scale that right now doesn’t exist in the MCU. So, with all these flawed, fucked up people and Quill who’s a mess and Tony who’s a massive ego all contorted, it’s fun to get another person with a clear vision in there and going, ‘Shut up.’”
3. Nick Fury will have two eyes in the movie
Since Captain Marvel is set in the ‘90s, Samuel L. Jackson will have his age reversed by 25 years (digitally – they don’t have some kind of magical de-aging potion), which is the first time that Marvel will have done it for an entire movie, although we have seen them do it to certain actors like Michael Douglas for flashback scenes. And with a plot set in the past, we will see Fury before he lost his eye and had to start wearing his iconic eyepatch. According to producer Kevin Feige, the Fury that we meet in this movie “has reached a point in his career where he thought the Cold War is over and the best days are behind him. And when he encounters certain things in this movie, it sets him on a path that leads us to where we are 19 films later.” So, if you’ve ever wanted to see a Nick Fury origin story movie in the MCU, then this is it. Okay, it’s not really his movie – it’s Carol Danvers’ movie. But we’ll still get to see how Nick Fury got introduced to the world of superheroes and would eventually set in motion the Avengers Initiative.
2. Captain Marvel has the powers of flight, strength, and energy projection
Carol Danvers was a pilot working with the U.S. Air Force who got into a freak accident in the skies during which her DNA fused with that of an alien. With her new half alien DNA, she becomes an incredibly powerful superhero with superhuman strength and the powers of flight and energy projection. With alien DNA, she is more akin to DC characters like Green Lantern and Superman than other Marvel characters. Brie Larson has described the character as a “believer in truth and justice” and a “bridge between Earth and space. She’s fighting between the flaws that are within her and all this good that she wants to try and spread and make the world a better place.” Producer Kevin Feige has praised Larson’s portrayal of Danvers for her ability to play the character as human, despite her immense powers. She’s the most powerful superhero in the MCU yet by far, and yet Larson is able to play her as “very human and very relatable and…get into a groove with the audience, where they’re willing to see her fly through the Sun and punch a moon away from a spacecraft. At the same time, we need her to land and have relatable flaws.”
1. Captain Marvel isn’t just “Superman with boobs”
Captain Marvel will be the strongest and most powerful character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, so in a sense, she will be to Marvel what Superman is to the DC universe. However, as Nicole Perlman, one of the writers of the movie puts it, she’s not just “Superman with boobs.” She will have her own identity and style and story, which is what women in superhero movies need. Just look at Wonder Woman – it’s still the best received of all the DC Extended Universe movies, and it makes a strong feminist point. According to Perlman, this will also be a feminist movie: “We’ve been talking a lot about archetypes and what we want this movie to be about and just how to write a strong female superhero without making it Superman with boobs…we’ll catch ourselves and say, ‘Wait a minute, what are we saying [here] about women in power?’ Then we have to say, ‘Why are we getting so hung up on that? We should just tell the best story and build the best character.’ And then we have this constant back and forth about how to tell a story that is compelling, entertaining, moving, kick-ass, and fun, and also be aware of what those larger implications might be.”